Arkansas buys backup data center


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Arkansas purchased a secondary data center facility that will enable the live backup of critical public data and act as a fail safe of the state’s computer systems if an event impacts the state’s primary data center.

Located in West Little Rock, the data center was purchased for $2.1 million including planned improvements and featured 9,600 square feet of data center space.

“We are very excited about the opportunity to improve continuity of operations for state and local government services and to ensure our environment will support highly available solutions for our citizens,” said Arkansas Chief Technology Officer Claire Bailey. “[The Department of Information Services] is working with the appropriate agencies to issue revenue bonds to finance the building acquisition, construction improvements to the facility, and to finance the purchase of IT and network equipment for this facility.”

The additional data center, previously owned by private enterprise, will be used to provide highly available, secure public sector cloud services in addition to multiple levels of backup and recovery for systems hosted within the state of Arkansas for state, county, city and educational entities in Arkansas.

Failover and disaster recovery testing will be conducted in Little Rock versus out-of-state facilities previously used. The state has maintained a disaster recovery contract with a private software and technology services company headquartered in Pennsylvania.

With Arkansas investing in its own state-of-the-art facility, the services previously obtained through the disaster recovery company will no longer be needed, which will eliminate the need for out-of-state travel to conduct disaster recovery exercises and result in cost savings for Arkansas taxpayers.

The center includes three diesel-powered generators (total 4,950kW) capable of providing power for up to one week, on-site fuel storage, 300 tons of cooling to the IT equipment, concurrently maintainable power and cooling infrastructure, and other mechanisms to ensure successful data and system application recovery operations in the event of a disaster.

Testing of recovery services is estimated to begin Jan. 6, 2014, with the facility expected to be operational in February 2014.

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Arkansas, Claire Bailey, States