Social Security Administration about ready to begin consolidating data centers

Phased migration to the new facility will take 18 months.

Hensel Phelps

The new Social Security Administration National Support Center is designed to not only meet the demands of the Federal Government's data center consolidation requirements but also to provide a basis for moving the SSA information technology backbone into the 21st century. According to Bill Zielinski, Deputy Commissioner for Systems and Chief Information Officer, Social Security Administration, the new facility will also save hundreds of thousands of dollars per year in energy costs.

The Tier 3 data center was completed outside of Baltimore, MD, in 2014 with the conversion to a virtual tape library the first step in the migration process, completed at the end of October. This was immediately followed by the installation of the complete networking and storage infrastructure, a process which is necessary to prep for the overall migration/consolidation projects in the foreseeable future, and which is scheduled to be complete by March 2015. Once this stage is completed the NSC will begin the process, scheduled to take 18 months, of migrating their Mainframe and Open Systems solutions and all of the existing production environments.

The new facility will also play an important role in cross-agency technology support and the development of more advanced self-service capabilities for consumers of their services, bit within the government and with public facing services. With the migration work scheduled to be completed in August 2016, it will be a while before the full advantage of the new facility can be realized.

The SSA plans to get a baseline PUE assessment from the operational data center and then make use of that information to continually fine tune the operational matrix for optimal energy savings. The new infrastructure makes use of some the most energy efficient equipment and technologies currently available including Energy Star certifications for the data center, solar power, and detailed energy monitoring and management, from their dedicated sub-station down to individual branch circuits.