The Allen County Public Library is asking for proposals from companies that would replace its data center with a "virtualized computer center." Library officials say a virtualized center would be more flexible and make it easier to create backup copies of important data.
“Virtualization really means that the computers will now exist in software rather than being in a physical device,” said Cheryl Ferverda, the library's manager of communications and development, in an email. “This is superior in a number of ways. The first is the ability to create new systems. Servers can be created as easily as creating a file. Secondly, backup is easier, as easy as running a copy-and-paste function.”
Ferverda said such a data system would allow the library's information-technology staff to spend more time pursuing innovation instead of maintaining and repairing onsite computers. “It also allows for a more comprehensive disaster-and-recovery program to be put in place,” she said.
Library patrons would not see a big difference immediately, but a virtualized center makes it more likely that upgrades and new services would be introduced over time, she said. However, the library's users will see less down time and interrupted services.
Ferverda did not release an estimate of the cost of a virtual center. She did say library officials expect to complete it this year.