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Mainframe with cloud-like capabilities comes to the Sunshine State

What we achieved together




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of Dell/EMC Virtual Tape

The client

The State of Florida, with its 21 million residents, is the third-largest state in the US by population and its trillion-dollar economy would be the 16th largest in the world if viewed as a stand-alone country. The state is served by a number of agencies that rely on the Northwest Regional Data Center (NWRDC) to deliver their digital services to residents. 

The obstacles faced

The State considers its mainframe platform to be mission-critical. The platform runs important services including welfare and social services for its citizens.  

However, NWRDC was approaching a juncture. A combination of factors was leading it to reassess the future direction of its mainframe estate. The factors included:  

  1. Its mainframe servers were aging and one, in particular, needed to be replaced soon as it approached end of support.  
  2. Key staff were considering retirement and the skills required to run the mainframe servers were increasingly scarce.  
  3. Many state agencies were undertaking modernization projects which were potentially going to move them off the mainframe platform in the future.  

This final factor was key. The concern was that as agencies migrated off, it would result in incrementally higher costs for remaining agencies with the ultimate concern that one agency would be left with “last man standing” risk. As a result, the State desired a more flexible cloud-like model for its mainframe platform that could both increase and reduce capacity as required without impacting cost.

The journey

Ensono proposed that NWRDC leverage its remote-hosted mainframe-as-a-service solution. This would give NWRDC the latest hardware, but also solved its future skills concerns and offered a scalable solution running in its own data centers. Agencies have the freedom to carry out modernization projects, transitioning applications off mainframe without increasing other agencies’ share of mainframe costs. Ensono brought in technology partners to work alongside it on the project to deliver the best outcome and offered up the opportunity to fix inefficiencies across State departments and reduce cost.

State of Florida case study hero

The outcomes achieved

  • Implemented Ensono’s mainframe-as-a-service solution in its data centers  
  • Significant performance improvements over previous IBM z10 system  
  • Reduced software costs through consolidation

“Ensono has been very easy to work with. The team always works to find creative solutions to any problems we face. The experience they have really shines through.”

NWRDC Representative

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