A Timely Shift to Cloud-Based Infrastructure
“Our overall investments include continuing to work on our data center move,” Virginia CIO Nelson Moe told StateTech last month during the 2020 NASCIO annual conference. “We are track to move out of our data center here in Chester to move up to a data center in Henrico.”
Moe said the state’s agencies would be moving their compute capabilities and applications to the new data center over the next calendar year.
Virginia, Moe said, remains “interested in making sure we have investments for continuing to migrate to cloud technology, both public and private, a hybrid approach. We see the speed and scale for cloud. That’s exciting.”
The shift to the new data center was also driven by a few deadlines, including the lease expiring on the old data center in Chester.
“The commonwealth saw a simultaneous opportunity where we knew we needed to get eventually out of the building because our lease was coming up,” Virginia CISO Mike Watson tells StateScoop. “And we said we’ve got all this equipment that’s close to end-of-life, this is a great time for us to focus on a commonwealth-wide effort to consolidate and virtualize much of the equipment together.”
Virginia has been able to shrink the footprint of its data center and avoid buying lots of new IT equipment as a result of the move, Watson says.
The shift to the cloud-enabled data center is also being driven by cybersecurity concerns. “The nice thing about this is you get a chance to clear away a little bit of the cobwebs,” Watson tells StateScoop, “clean up a few of the things that probably needed to be looked at a little more closely, and we also find out a lot of times where there are things where you go, ‘How did that get there?’”
Virginia’s state networks experience 30 million cyberattack attempts per year, according to Watson. “Leveraging these new capabilities will significantly enhance our ability to respond and contain those who try to compromise state systems,” he said in the press release.