GSA assists agencies with data center consolidation

GSA helping federal agencies manage OMB data center directive.

Shutterstock image of a data center.

The General Services Administration is more than up to the task of managing the latest guidance from the Office of Management and Budget's on data center optimization, according to one of the agency's top policy managers.

On Aug. 1, U.S. CIO Tony Scott unveiled his final version of the successor to Federal Data Center Consolidation Initiative -- the Data Center Optimization Initiative. The DCOI's goal is to bring data center guidance in line with the Federal IT Acquisition Reform Act, strengthening CIO authority over data center-related budgeting and management decisions and increasing the use of the cloud and interagency shared services.

GSA Administrator Denise Turner Roth said on Aug. 1 that her agency's Office of Government-wide Policy  would be managing partner with OMB on DCOI.

Under the DCOI memorandum, each agency must publish an annual strategic plan describing its consolidation and optimization strategy for fiscal 2016, 2017 and 2018. Agencies must publish those plans within 60 days of the memo's publication on Aug. 1. An OGP spokesman said the agency is working closely with OMB to align its Inter-Agency Shared Service Providers designation process with the Strategic Plan timeline to help with those plans.

In an Aug. 10 blog post, Dominic Sale, deputy associate administrator in OGP's Office of Information, Integrity and Access, said OGP will focus on three primary objectives with its DCOI support: encouraging the best-equipped federal data centers to be the centers for service for less-well-equipped agencies; fostering internal markets for federal data center services; and charting a clear path agencies can follow to the cloud, away from a dependence on their own physical infrastructure.

The agency is also honing a set of Data Center Infrastructure Management tools agencies can use to take stock of their data centers. The OGP spokesman said that although some basic DCIM tools are already available on its IT acquisition schedules, it is working the Federal Acquisition Service to expand that portfolio with an inventory of automated infrastructure management and monitoring tools.

Along the assessment, Sale said OGP is working to build a community of practice among government agencies. An OGP spokesman said the agency will kick off an initial Community of Practice meeting in September, under the sponsorship of the Federal CIO Council.