Digital Strategy

DOD on target with data center consolidation

data center cages 

Military data centers make up more than half of the 2,900 identified governmentwide; Pentagon officials aim to eventually trim from 1,500 to 250. (Stock image)

One of every 13 Defense Department data centers has been closed under the Federal Data Center Consolidation Initiative, and the Pentagon has bigger ambitions -- but the cost savings so far are difficult to pinpoint.

So far, DOD has shut down 114 centers, or more than one-quarter of the 382 agency data centers closed since 2010, according to the Office of Management and Budget's latest figures.

By 2015, FDCCI aims to close or consolidate about 1,200 of the nearly 2,900 identified data centers. A large number of those closings will come from DOD, which has 1,500 data centers, said DOD spokesman Damien Pickart.

He said DOD's goal is to reduce that number to 250 data centers in the next eight to 10 years.

"The department as a whole is methodically assessing their data center requirements and creating a detailed plan for ensuring capabilities are relocated elsewhere before losing data centers," Pickart said.

DOD assesses data centers to identify those that "provide near-term operational benefit, improved cybersecurity and/or net savings" as part of a coordinated effort that will eventually migrate department systems and applications into a smaller set of data centers.

Pickart said he had no information on the net savings from the department's consolidation efforts so far.

Estimates of governmentwide FDCCI cost savings vary, with OMB predictions ranging from $3 billion to $5 billion. The Government Accountability Office has predicted $2.4 billion in savings.

David Powner, director of IT management issues at GAO, told FCW in early November that it is difficult to pinpoint cost savings because agencies have not provided asset inventories, data on network infrastructure savings or power use information.

"The effort is on pace from a closure perspective," Powner said. "But given the lack of complete plans and cost-savings information, it is questionable whether it is on pace to achieve the $3 billion in savings that has been promised."

Here is a look at the latest data center closures by agency:

DOD 114
Interior Department 42
Justice Department 38
Agriculture Department 32
Department of Health and Human Services 28
Transportation Department 26
Commerce Department 25
NASA 19
Department of Homeland Security 17
Environmental Protection Agency 15
Treasury Department 7
Labor Department 5
Energy Department 4
State Department 4
Department of Veterans Affairs 3
U.S. Agency for International Development 2
National Science Foundation 1

About the Author

Frank Konkel is a former staff writer for FCW.

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