When the state of Ohio began building a private cloud in 2013, the plan was to first consolidate state agency systems into a new central computing facility, and then use that facility to support the computing needs of other government entities.

With the state consolidation well under way — more than 5,000 state agency server environments now reside in the central facility — the second part of the plan is taking shape. Ohio’s consolidated state data center, known as the State of Ohio Computing Center, or SOCC, is becoming home for a growing number of university and local government servers.

Ohio State University recently collocated its data center at the SOCC, and now Cuyahoga County —the most populous county in Ohio — is making a similar move.

Ohio CIO Stu Davis says tight budgets and growing acceptance of the shared data center concept are driving growth in collocation activity at the state’s central computing facility.

“I think our department has become more customer-centric, and I think word is getting out that there are more efficient ways to do this," Davis said in an interview at Government Technology’s Ohio Digital Government Summit.

Cuyahoga County CIO Jeff Mowry expects to save $1 million annually in data center costs by moving county servers to the SOCC. “The financial impact will be very significant for us,” Mowry said in an interview at the Digital Government Summit.