The Feds step up data center consolidation

Despite what seems to be gridlock in Congress, federal IT workers press on with ambitious data center consolidation.

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I recently wrote about one slice of the federal government’s data center consolidation, that of the U.S. Department of Defense's. Among the goals of the various agencies within the Defense Department, the Army expects to close 185 of its data centers, or nearly half, by the end of fiscal year 2015, with further reductions possible. The Navy seeks reduce by half its data centers, also by 2015, and will focus on virtualizing applications and consolidating servers. The Defense Logistics Agency (DLA) plans to cut its servers by 75 percent and close nearly all its data centers (at least 90 percent of them) by 2015, and the Military Health System target is to reduce the number of data centers by 70 percent over a five-year time frame. You can read more in my blog here.

There have been some bumps, however. The Defense Department picked 59 data centers to close this year. Of these, the department reports, the closure of all but four are on schedule. As for next year, the department says budget resolutions and funding issues have stalled some of the plans, noting that “although significant savings are expected in future years, those savings cannot be borrowed to fund required investments for consolidating data centers. Consolidation requires an investment in labor, new and more efficient hardware, upgrades to computer facilities, and increased operating costs when some legacy systems run in parallel with new systems.”

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