Upgraded state mainframe computer goes online | NevadaAppeal.com

Upgraded state mainframe computer goes online

For less than the cost of upgrading the old system, the state now has a new mainframe computer.

The 2003 Legislature approved about $10 million to upgrade two existing mainframe systems but, according to Department of Information Technology Director Terry Savage, IBM made him a better offer.

“Imagine finding out you can get a new car for less than what it would cost to fix the old one,” he said. “That’s what happened to us. We ended up getting a new, better, higher-capacity system for less than it was going to cost to upgrade the old one.”

The total cost to buy and operate the mainframe was projected at $24.7 million over the next five years. Under the deal reached for the new Z900 computer, the total will be about $22.3 million – a savings of $2.4 million.

And, Savage said, the state gets a more modern, faster computer system.

Gov. Kenny Guinn praised the deal as “an excellent example of state agency teamwork in the public’s favor.”

He said the new system will provide reliable computer capabilities for many years.

Savage said the new system was turned on three weeks ago and is handling the state’s largest and busiest databases including the NOMADS welfare system, the Department of Motor Vehicles and Department of Taxation as well as many smaller agencies.

“The cutover was seamless – without a burp when we finally turned off both existing computers.”

He said he hopes the new system will save state agencies money.

“We’re having to recalculate the rates but we’re hoping to be able to offer a rate reduction because of the cost reduction,” he said.

Contact Geoff Dornan at gdornan@nevadaappeal.com or 687-8750.