Establishing A Countywide Enterprise Data Center

Ramping up its efforts to streamline Los Angeles County’s Information Technology systems, the Board of Supervisors has voted to establish a consolidated Data Center.

“We are not only on the path to modernize countywide Information Technology, but we are doing it in the most cutting-edge, energy-efficient, and cost-effective way,” said Supervisor Mark Ridley-Thomas.

Acting on his motion, co-authored by Supervisor Don Knabe, the Board decided to merge the County’s 49 data centers into a single facility. The goal is to reduce the cost of hardware, software and operations; shift to more efficient computing platforms; use less energy and real estate; and boost security.

Last year, the County’s previous CEO proposed building a 58,000-sq. ft. data center on a 154,015-sq. ft. lot for $209 million. That estimate covered only construction costs and did not factor in power, cooling or operational expenses.

Concerned the proposal would result in an overpriced, oversized and inefficient data center that may eventually become obsolete, Supervisor Ridley-Thomas urged the Board to consult independent experts.

An analysis by Gartner, one of the world’s leading IT research and advisory companies, concluded the County needs only 5,000-sq. ft. to 10,000 sq. ft. of space.

Gartner also recommended leasing – instead of buying or building – a data center, as that would save at least $50 million in construction costs.

The lease cost already includes power and cooling, resulting in additional savings. It would also enable a much faster migration to the new facility.

On Tuesday, the Board directed the County’s Chief Executive Officer to proceed with a lease approach, and work towards establishing a data center by mid-2017.