The U.S. government has completed a review of the number of data centers operated by federal agencies and come back with a figure considerably larger than previous estimates.

In a memo written by Federal CIO Vivek Kundra to government chief information officers, the administration now pegs the total number of government data centers at 2,094. That is nearly double the 1,100 data centers previously estimated.

In the memo, Kundra cites a more thorough approach to determining what exactly is a data center for the big jump in the number of facilities.

“Over the past eight months, agencies have collected and refined their data center inventory based on a common definition of a data center and a rigorous peer review process,” the Oct. 1, 2010, dated memo states.

The inventory is part of an ambitious initiative to drastically reduce the number of government data centers. For the purpose of the initiative, the government has defined a data center as:

  • Any room that is greater than 500 square feet and devoted to data processing;
  • Meets one of the tier (I, II, III & IV) classification defined by the Uptime Institute.

The memo also provides a breakdown of the number of data centers per major government agency. Not surprisingly, the Department of Defense came way out on top with more than double the number of any other agency.
Here is a list of the top 10 government agencies by the number of operating data centers:

  1. Department of Defense – 772
  2. Department of State – 361
  3. Department of the Interior – 210
  4. Department of Health and Human Services – 185
  5. Department of Energy – 89
  6. Department of Veterans Affairs – 87
  7. NASA – 79
  8. Department of Justice – 65
  9. Department of Agriculture – 46
  10. Department of Treasury – 42


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