Canadian Government Releases Data Center
The Canadian government is following in the US government footsteps with a plan to consolidate data centers, email systems and streamline IT within federal departments, according to a report released Thursday.
Though the motivation is the same, to save taxpayers money and strengthen security of data, the numbers are much different: the Canadian government will consolidate its more than 300 data centers to less than 20. The US government plan is to reduce the number of data centers by 800 by 2015, and has already shut down close to 200. Before the implementation plan, the US government had more than 2,100 data centers in operation.
The US government will have shut down 195 data centers by the end of 2011. Outgoing federal CIO Vivek Kundra has set a deadline of October 7 for federal agencies to outline consolidation plans on their websites.
The Canadian government has more than 100 different email systems and more than 3,000 network services within the Federal Public service, according to the press release.
work hard for their money and expect our government to manage taxpayers dollars responsibly, minister of public works and government services and minister for status of women, Rona Ambrose, said in a statement. Services Canada will have a mandate to streamline IT, save money, and end waste and duplication.
The plan includes moving the government to one email system and streamline networks within and between departments. The IT systems will be transferred from 44 of the more departments and agencies to a new entity called Shared Services Canada within the next two months, according to the press release.
Right now each government department sets up and runs its own IT infrastructure, resulting in fragmentation, duplication and inefficiencies.
Email systems between departments are not fully compatible. According to the press release, 80 percent of departments use Microsoft Outlook, 15 percent use Lotus Notes and 5 percent use Novell Groupwise for their email system.
Some data centers are not used to capacity and each facility has different reliability and security standards, the report says. In addition, the older data centers are not meeting energy efficiency requirements.
In 1998, the Government of Ontario launched its IT transformation initiative. According to the report, at maturity it saves $100 million annually, representing 10 percent of the total IT spending and 25 percent of IT infrastructure spending.
Security concerns are paramount for governments in light of the recent research published by McAfee that claims more than 70 computer networks of public and private sector organizations have been breached by hackers. Canada is believed to have had four organizations, including two government agencies, hit by Shady RAT, according to the report.