The Federal government is looking to undertake a major data center consolidation project after Federal Chief Information Officer Vivek Kundra charged government agencies were building too many data centers and not making efficient use of resources.

Kundra detailed plans of the formidable undertaking in a memo dated Feb. 26 to government CIOs. In the memo, Kundra makes note of the fact that the number of Federal data centers has grown from about 432 in 1998 to more than 1,100 in 2009.

That expansion has resulted in costly, inefficient and redundant infrastructures, and a significant increase in energy consumption, he stated.

“In 2006, Federal servers and data centers consumed over 6 billion kWh (kilowatt hours) of electricity and without a fundamental shift in how we deploy technology it could exceed 12 billion kWh by 2011,” Kundra said in the memo.

In response, the government has launched what it is calling The Federal Data Center Consolidation initiative. The focus of the initiative is to:

  • Promote the use of Green IT by reducing the overall energy and real estate footprint of government data centers.
  • Reduce the cost of data center hardware, software and operations.
  • Increase the overall IT security of the government.
  • Shift IT investments to more efficient computing platforms and technologies.

Kundra has designated Richard Spires, CIO for the Department of Homeland Security, and Michael Duffy, CIO for Treasury, to head up the initiative.
 Agencies will begin by conduction an initial inventory of data center assets. They will then have to draw up an initial data center consolidation plan by June 30, 2010. Final plans must be submitted by Aug. 30, 2010, and will be incorporated into 2012 fiscal year budgets.


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