The California Department of Technology announced this week that it has launched a statewide cloud initiative, dubbed CalCloud, aimed at building and delivering improved government services.

CalCloud is an on-premises private cloud infrastructure and is the first state-specific project of its kind to be implemented. While it will be managed by a third-party provider, the platform will be housed in California's Office of Technology Services' data centers and will be under the office's oversight and control, according to a CDT newsletter. Using a private cloud solution instead of a public one will give the state more control of its systems as well as increase overall security.

According to USA Today, the goal of the initiative is to streamline and unify the different systems used by hundreds of state agencies and allow records to be accessed in a faster, more cost-effective way through a shared system.

"In the past it could take months and complex budget proposals to request new IT services, but now we'll be able to respond in hours to shifts in demand," says Ron Hughes, head of the state's Department of Technology. "Having all the data in the cloud and easily accessible by all our departments will make us more efficient."

Optimizing performance with the cloud
Through CalCloud, California's government agencies are able to minimize financial risk and investment while still having access to the necessary IT systems and services. The platform creates a shared pool of computing resources for departments and allows them to utilize backend services that frees up in-house IT departments to focus on business critical projects.

CalCloud also offers agencies the flexibility to only use the resources necessary for specific workload demands by providing quick scalability. Around-the-clock access to cloud-based services will also be available through the platform, including storage, networking and disaster recovery.

"CalCloud will give customers highly available virtual servers with an operating system within hours by the click of a button, from a self-service web portal," according to the CDT newsletter. "Additionally, customers will be able to add more resources, e.g., memory and storage, to the servers with the same easy process via the web portal."

CalCloud is currently available on a subscription basis to all California municipalities, as well as state and local government departments, according to eWEEK. So far, more than 20 agencies have already submitted requests for the platform's services.