Hawaii Government, University Partner on Data Center Colocation

Officials touted the mutually beneficial collaboration as a means to address some of the state’s aging data center needs.

The state of Hawaii is collaborating with its academic partners to reduce risks to their IT systems and save valuable taxpayer dollars.

On Tuesday, March 15, Gov. David Ige and University of Hawaii President David Lassner signed a colocation memorandum of agreement at the institution’s 2-year-old data center in Honolulu.

Under the terms of the agreement, portions of the data housed within the Office of Enterprise Technology Services’ primary data center will be migrated to the university’s data center, where the systems will provide a resilient backup.

“This partnership really allows us, on behalf of the taxpayers of Hawaii, to really leverage the assets that state government has so that we can deliver better services to our community,” Ige said at the signing.

Officials touted the mutually beneficial collaboration as a means to address some of the state’s aging data center needs, which is housed in the Kalanimoku Building in downtown Honolulu, and has long been recognized as needing technological upgrades.

“By leveraging the UH data center, we are able to address some of our most critical systems while reducing duplicative spending, including costs associated with designing, building, maintaining, powering and staffing an entirely new data center," said CIO Todd Nacapuy in a press release.

“This partnership between UH and the state of Hawaii will easily save us millions of dollars a year," he said at the signing. "We're not building an additional data center, we're not going outside and using other facilities. We're using a state facility to help us with this."

According to the press release, officials were able to outline access, security and reliability issues within the agreement.

Lassner said that when the university was initially requesting state funds for the center, it was made clear the educational institution was open to supporting the state program.

"This is a shared investment by the state of Hawaii and the University of Hawaii," he said. "This partnership really represents the same kind of approach that when the university and the entire state work together, we can achieve great things.”

Eyragon Eidam is the Web editor for Government Technology magazine, after previously serving as assistant news editor and covering such topics as legislation, social media and public safety. He can be reached at eeidam@erepublic.com.