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City Mulls Server Virtualization and Cloud Solutions to Cut IT Cost

The City is considering the approval the purchase contract of hardware (servers) and software to replace and upgrade existing systems at a cost of $77,560.90. The City currently uses separate, dedicated servers for various IT functions, such as hosting the website, managing email, and printers, storing files, etc. Some of the servers are more than five years old. “Server Virtualization” is a more efficient use of server resources. Software is used to divide one server into multiple “virtual” servers.

Staff is recommending that vendor will install and implement the equipment ($5,600). Three years of product support for VMware is $2,946. The City received three quotes for purchasing the new virtual servers, and the lowest and recommended quote is $77,560.90 (the other bids were $78,429 and $91,338). The vendor’s price is based on a “pre-negotiated technology contract” that includes discounts for hardware, software, and maintenance.

Having said that, a lot of companies, including many federal government agencies are moving towards cloud based solution. Most leading cloud providers, such as Amazon AWS and Microsoft Azure, allow the purchase of cloud servers and install custom software there. In the end, companies save thousands of dollars on hardware, software, and maintenance.

Also, Federal government has been encouraging agencies to move to the cloud.

I’ve asked staff to look into cloud solution a little bit more and compare the cost with the virtualization option.

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