A majority of U.S. federal agencies plan to adopt converged infrastructure in the next two years, spurring more rapid data center optimization, according to a new report by MeriTalk, a public-private partnership focused on improving the outcomes of government IT.

The study, underwritten by Cisco and NetApp, shows that 59 percent of 150 federal IT managers surveyed online in May and June 2017 are turning to converged infrastructure solutions as part of their agencies’ current data center strategies. About one quarter (23 percent) have multiple converged solutions in place.

A converged infrastructure groups together multiple IT components, such as servers, storage and networking, into a single platform. Organizations use converged infrastructure to centralize the management of IT resources.

The five-year outlook is even more promising, the report noted, with the average agency aiming for 55 percent of their data centers to consist of converged infrastructure solutions by 2022.

Many agencies are adopting converged infrastructure as data center transformation continues across the federal government. These technologies align with the Data Center Optimization Initiative (DCOI), with 60 percent of agencies leveraging converged infrastructure to replace working data centers. DCOI was established by the Office of Management and Budget and fulfills the data center requirements of the Federal Information Technology Acquisition Reform Act (FITARA).

While 57 percent of current converged users see growth in operational efficiency, hurdles still remain. These include security, budget, and interoperability concerns. In fact, 44 percent of the IT managers view security concerns as the top roadblock to converged infrastructure solution adoption.

“As agencies hit a crossroads of multiple mandates and legislative initiatives to reduce legacy systems, the conversation on optimization is moving to the next level,” Steve O’Keeffe, founder of MeriTalk, said in a statement. “Converged infrastructure is the next step and gives agencies a way to meet the requirements of multiple mandates while saving money and modernizing our federal IT systems.”

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Bob Violino

Bob Violino

Bob Violino is a freelance technology and business writer who covers a variety of topics, including big data and analytics, cloud computing, information security and mobile technology.