Wyoming legislators voted in July to begin looking for third-party Wyoming data center providers to host the state’s systems and data. Officials are interested in moving to outside facilities because the current Wyoming data center facility is preparing to undergo major renovations.
Lawmakers accepted a proposed plan to spend $800,000 to contract with private data centers to meet the state’s needs. The money will allow Wyoming to move one of its data centers from its current location in the Herschler federal building to a space rented from private providers. The plan calls for an eventual annual cost of $1.5 million, which includes approximately $950,000 for energy costs that will be paid regardless of where the data is housed.
Flint Waters, Wyoming’s CIO, has made the move part of his long-term vision for the state’s tech future. Waters plans to continue looking for outside help to manage the data required by Wyoming’s government from companies whose core competency is data storage and hosting. According to Waters, the state’s data demands will soon outpace their ability to meet those needs, making this transition increasingly urgent.
“In the long run, I believe it makes far more sense for us to partner with folks who manage data well as their full-time job rather than try to continue to expand our walls out to capture all the data that the state is going to need,” he said. “This accelerates [our plans] dramatically, and it changes our sequence, but it very much fits within our plan.”
According to Waters, the goal is to sign a three-year contract with private providers to accommodate the move. The plan to outsource data storage should be made easier by the influx of Wyoming data centers being constructed in recent years.