Texas’ Department of Information Resources moved 75 percent of the state’s IT services under the umbrella of its consolidated data centers, marking a major milestone in an effort that’s been nearly a decade in the making, the agency announced Monday.
The change is the result of legislative action in 2007 to alter how state agencies managed their IT infrastructure. While agencies once bought their own servers, they’ve gradually started leasing space on servers housed in the two data centers managed by the state’s IT shop, a change aimed at cutting costs and making the state’s infrastructure more secure.
“This milestone represents the reality of the Legislature’s vision and is the result of much hard work on the part of the program team and, most importantly, the agencies that participate,” State Chief Information Officer Todd Kimbriel said in a statement.
In a release, the IT department also touted the potential for the consolidation to improve the state’s “data recoverability in the event of a disaster,” and keep Texas’ infrastructure more up to date.
With so many servers spread out among the agencies, the department claims that just 60 percent of the state’s equipment was new before the data center consolidation effort began. Now, more than 90 percent of its infrastructure is up to date, according to the release. Similarly, more than 90 percent of the state’s software is now “current and therefore better supported and less vulnerable to attacks,” the department wrote.
By cutting the number of servers the state’s agencies are using and housing them in centralized data centers, the department has also been able to offer “additional public cloud capabilities and disaster recovery-as-a-service for all statewide government entities,” according to the release.
“Although 75 percent is a significant milestone which must be recognized, the consolidation effort will continue to ensure Texas maintains vigilance against security exploits and continues looking to improve services and achieve efficiencies for Texas agencies, their customers and the 27 million Texans whose data they protect,” Stacey Napier, the IT department’s executive director, said in a statement.