When Peter Wallace became CIO of the City of Chesapeake, Va., in 2007, he discovered the citys datacenter produced so much heat that it reduced the lifespan of the equipment it housed. Wallace had two options to dissipate heat and accommodate future growth: expand the data center or virtualize. After careful consideration, Wallace turned to virtualization.
Wallace discovered that virtualization was the more economical solution and would also improve staff efficiency an important consideration as many local governments grapple with lower tax revenues and increased need for citizen services. Wallaces decision to deploy 84 virtual servers significantly improved the utilization of the citys existing IT equipment while increasing the longevity of its hardware resulting in significant cost savings.
With virtualization, the city realized the following benefits:
The savings Chesapeake received from server virtualization allows IT staff to work on projects that would otherwise be underfunded. Next on the citys list is a storage virtualization project, which will include off-site data backup and disaster recovery capabilities.
Local governments and state agencies nationwide are realizing similar benefits of virtualization. Seventy-nine percent of state and local government agencies are implementing server, storage and/or client virtualization, and of these, 89 percent say their deployment is successful or somewhat successful, according to CDW-Gs Government Virtualization Report, released July 13. CDW-G surveyed 300 state and local IT professionals and 300 Federal IT professionals to understand the state of client, server and storage virtualization.
Despite the cost savings, equipment utilization and IT staff productivity benefits of virtualization, governments note that there is more work to be done. CDW-G found that 82 percent of state and local agencies say they are not using virtualization to the fullest extent. IT managers cite limited budgets and lack of staff and resources as the biggest barriers to further virtualization projects.
To successfully implement virtualization, CDW-G recommends that government IT professionals follow four steps:
Named by Forbes as one of the top 10 fastest growing cities in the United States, McKinney had outgrown its data center. To continue operations in the same physical space, Don Grammar, the citys IT director, embarked upon a three-year initiative to implement server virtualization.
With server virtualization, McKinney:
"Reducing" our carbon footprint was a major driver in our decision to virtualize, but the service we provide to our end users was equally if not more important to us," Grammar notes. "Our users now benefit from higher-quality service without experiencing disruption when infrastructure changes are made."
David Hutchins is director of state and local government sales at CDW Government (CDW-G), a leading source of IT solutions to governments and educators. Hutchins is responsible for leading the team of sales executives and account managers focused on meeting the unique needs of CDW-G state and local customers.