How One City Embraced Virtualization As The Key To Success

How One City Embraced Virtualization as the Key to Success

The single most exciting thing you encounter in government is competence, because it’s so rare.

                                                                                               –  Daniel P. Moynihan (1927-2003), American politician.

You won’t normally associate Government with speedy decision-making, especially as regards to the adoption of a new paradigm. Fortunately, things have been different as regards cloud computing and virtualization, especially for the Federal Government. Most of the Federal government’s enthusiasm about cloud computing have largely been an outcome of recently-departed Chief Information Officer (CIO) Vivek Kundra’s faith in the technology (The Architect of the Official Cloud Computing Revolution – CIO Vivek Kundra ). It was under his stewardship that the government released the official Federal Cloud Computing Strategy in February 2011 that stated “Cloud computing can significantly improve public sector IT”, and outlined the way to go about it.

However, it may surprise you to know that as far back as 2007, the City of Niles in Ohio had decided to replace its legacy IT infrastructure with a fully virtualized system. Today, even as many local governments struggle under unprecedented budget cutbacks, the City of Niles has found ways to increase revenue intake, improve city services, and support a growing business community, in large measure because of the decision taken six years ago.

These are some of the IT benefits the city has seen:

  • 70% reduction in system maintenance time, freeing staff for more valuable tasks

  • 99.7% reduction in unplanned system downtime, from 14 days a year to less than an hour

  • 15 minutes to roll out a new virtual machine, compared with 2–3 days previously for a physical server

  • Ability to support 50% annual data growth

  • 60% savings in storage space due to thin provisioning

For the city of 20,000 the aforementioned IT benefits have translated to real benefits on the ground:

  • Threefold increase in IT services offered to state employees and the community

  • Up to $8,000 saved for each new software rollout or upgrade

  • 40% increase in police patrol time due to streamlined online reporting

  • Projected 50% reduction in time to remotely monitor and maintain 911 system

  • Maximum IT availability to operate important city services

  • Increased revenue generation projected due to implementation of a smart power grid to optimize power usage

Read how a small city leveraged the latest in technology to emerge first among equals in this white paper titled Driving City Government Toward Improved Services.

By Sourya Biswas

Patrick Joggerst

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