White House Announces Plans to Shut Down Hundreds of Duplicative Data Centers as Part of Campaign to Cut Waste
“Duplication, waste, and inefficiency are never acceptable, but it is especially intolerable in these challenging budgetary times,” said Jeffrey Zients, federal chief performance officer and OMB’s deputy director for management. “As part of the Campaign to Cut Waste, President Obama has directed his Administration to aggressively root out misspent tax dollars in agencies across the government to ensure we are spending tax dollars wisely.”
A data center is a facility for the storage, management, and dissemination of data and information, housing computer systems and associated components and generally includes backup power supplies, environmental controls (air conditioning, fire suppression, etc.) and special security devices. Data centers can be as a big as a building or as small as a closet, located in leased, owned, collocated, or standalone facilities.
Since 1998, the number of Federal data centers rose from 432 to more than 2,000-a proliferation of infrastructure that has created unnecessary and redundant systems and applications-while the private sector has been shrinking its data-center footprint. Moreover, those facilities have been using only 27 percent of their computer power on average even though taxpayers are footing the bill for the entire infrastructure, real estate and energy costs. Data centers can consume 200 times the electricity as standard office spaces.
To date, agencies have closed 81 data centers and will close 114 more during this calendar year for a total of 195 in 2011.This represents an increase in both planned and actual closures from the data released in April 2011. As agencies have continued to update their data center inventories, they have increased their planned closures, demonstrating the seriousness in which they are attacking waste.
“With data centers that run as large as three and a half football fields, shutting down excess datacenters will save taxpayers billions of dollars by cutting costs for infrastructure, real estate and energy. At the same time, it will improve the security of government data and allow us to focus on leveraging technology to make government services work better for the American people,” said U.S. Chief Information Officer Vivek Kundra.
The data centers being added to the shut down list today range from a 195,000-sq-ft Department of Homeland Security facility in Alabama that is roughly the size of three-and- a-half football fields to four Department of Agriculture data centers in the same zip code, each of which is less than 1,000 sq ft. In another instance, the Department of the Treasury is closing a nearly 13,000-sq-ft facility in Lanham, Maryland. This facility has 75 racks, hosts 250 servers, and costs taxpayers more than $400,000 a year for leasing and electricity alone.