recommended reading

Data center closures are ahead of schedule, federal CIO says

The White House is ahead of schedule with its five-year drive to shut down about one-third of the government's 2,100 data centers, federal Chief Information Officer Vivek Kundra said Wednesday.

The government plans to shutter 373 data centers covering about 800,000 square feet, or about 14 football fields, by the end of 2012, Kundra said. It already has closed 81, and will take care of 114 more by the end of 2011, bringing the total closed to 195. The government's plan as of April had been to close only 137 centers by the end of 2011.

Kundra has estimated the entire data center consolidation process should save the government about $3 billion over five years in reduced costs for electricity, air conditioning and, in some cases, leased space. The average data center uses about 200 times the energy of conventional office space, Kundra said, much of it due to the cost of cooling computer servers.

The federal CIO's office doesn't have data about projected savings from this round of closures yet, but expects to gather and release that information during the next month, Kundra said.

Because federal data centers can vary from less than 1,000 square feet to more than 100,000 square feet, it's been difficult to nail down the actual cost savings from the early rounds of consolidation.

Kundra said he's instructed agencies to release by Oct. 7 a detailed breakdown of all the data centers they expect to close by 2015 and the savings associated with each. A Government Accountability Office report on agency data center consolidation plans is due out sometime this month.

Sen. Tom Carper, D-Del., released a statement applauding Kundra's announcement, but warned that "these first few rounds may be the low-hanging fruit or perhaps the fruit already on the ground."

Carper is chairman of the Senate Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Subcommittee on Federal Financial Management, which has been deeply involved in the data center consolidation process.

Kundra's office also released a map Wednesday of where the data centers slated for closure are located.

The IT chief's 25-Point Implementation Plan to Reform Federal IT, released in December 2010, also envisions saving about $5 billion annually by shifting some data that's now housed in centers to more versatile cloud computing.

Computer clouds are large banks of computer servers that can pack data more efficiently than traditional storage facilities and that consumers treat like a utility, paying only for the server space they use.

Kundra plans to leave his post in August to take a fellowship at Harvard University. President Obama hasn't yet named his successor.

Threatwatch Alert

Thousands of cyber attacks occur each day

See the latest threats


Close [ x ] More from Nextgov

Thank you for subscribing to newsletters from
We think these reports might interest you:

  • It’s Time for the Federal Government to Embrace Wireless and Mobility

    The United States has turned a corner on the adoption of mobile phones, tablets and other smart devices, outpacing traditional desktop and laptop sales by a wide margin. This issue brief discusses the state of wireless and mobility in federal government and outlines why now is the time to embrace these technologies in government.

  • Featured Content from RSA Conference: Dissed by NIST

    Learn more about the latest draft of the U.S. National Institute of Standards and Technology guidance document on authentication and lifecycle management.

  • A New Security Architecture for Federal Networks

    Federal government networks are under constant attack, and the number of those attacks is increasing. This issue brief discusses today's threats and a new model for the future.

  • Going Agile:Revolutionizing Federal Digital Services Delivery

    Here’s one indication that times have changed: Harriet Tubman is going to be the next face of the twenty dollar bill. Another sign of change? The way in which the federal government arrived at that decision.

  • Software-Defined Networking

    So many demands are being placed on federal information technology networks, which must handle vast amounts of data, accommodate voice and video, and cope with a multitude of highly connected devices while keeping government information secure from cyber threats. This issue brief discusses the state of SDN in the federal government and the path forward.

  • The New IP: Moving Government Agencies Toward the Network of The Future

    Federal IT managers are looking to modernize legacy network infrastructures that are taxed by growing demands from mobile devices, video, vast amounts of data, and more. This issue brief discusses the federal government network landscape, as well as market, financial force drivers for network modernization.


When you download a report, your information may be shared with the underwriters of that document.