Oklahoma Considering IT Consolidation

Meet Alex Pettit, the State of Oklahoma's new CIO. He has uncovered some apparent inefficiencies in the way the state government delivers IT services.

For example, Oklahoma currently has 7 mainframes. If Oklahoma consolidated onto a couple of new z196 machines, they could probably run more efficiently. That sounds like a good idea, actually, but my advice to Mr. Pettit would be: why stop there? Keep consolidating the thousands of other servers you have onto those same zEnterprise machines. Perhaps he's already thought of that since he cites a figure of $100 million for consolidation, which I assume includes more than just relocating some LPARs.

IBM achieved a greater than 100 to 1 reduction in its own mainframe consolidation project, called "Project Big Green." IBM moved thousands of small servers onto just a few mainframes. IBM's "w3" intranet runs on mainframes, as a notable example. Oklahoma could easily do the same thing and achieve similar cost efficiencies.

Pettit also wondered why his state has 32 different circuits (contracted separately) for connecting its computer systems. That's a lot of duplicated cost, and reducing his state's network to two major network links, centrally managed, would reduce costs and improve network resiliency for everyone.

Good luck, Mr. Pettit, and please keep the public informed of your progress.

by Timothy Sipples April 14, 2011 in People


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