Apr 30 2019

Los Angeles Jumps Off Mainframes and into California's Data Center

The city will transition into a data center run by the California Department of Technology for cost savings and security benefits.

Los Angeles is abandoning its old mainframes and getting a modern IT architecture in exchange. 

Last month, the city announced a three-year, $10.5 million contract with the California Department of Technology, with an option for three additional years, if needed.

L.A. will transition from its mainframe technology, including key public safety workloads, to the CDT’s state data center in Sacramento, Calif. The city and CDT officials have been working on the plan over the past few years, according to a CDT statement.

“For the past five years, we have strived to modernize operations through public and private cloud options,” Ted Ross, the Information Technology Agency general manager and CIO for the city of Los Angeles, says in a statement. “The move to migrate away from our 30-year-old legacy system to the state’s secure, cloud-based environment will greatly improve our ability to serve and protect the people of Los Angeles.” 

MORE FROM STATETECH: Find out how to handle the human side of state and local data center automation. 

L.A. Gets Security and Support in Data Center Transition

The city decided to strike the deal with CDT because of the state’s larger purchasing power for licensing. L.A. also wanted to cut costs by avoiding the replacement of aging IT equipment. According to the CDT statement, this will save the city hundreds of thousands of dollars. 

The city also notes that it was difficult to recruit younger hires to replace retiring employees to manage its mainframes. CDT will offer experienced, around-the-clock staffing, hardware support, security and disaster recovery services, according to the CDT statement. 

“CDT has sufficient staff and technology resources (hardware/software) to accommodate the city of L.A.’s workload,” CDT spokesman Bob Andosca told Techwire. The state technology agency already provides data center services to counties and municipalities in the Golden State. 

“For example, 86 percent of the customer base for our California Network and Telecommunication (CALNET) program contracts are non-state entities, which include cities and counties,” Andosca says. 

The city will be able to quickly make the transition off of mainframes and into the state’s data center. “This will likely be cut over on a specific date, rather than a phased migration,” Andosca says. “The date of that cut-over has not been determined at this point.”

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