data center

GSA shutters 37 data centers, consolidates IT operations

The General Services Administration has shuttered 37 data centers this fiscal year, avoiding real estate costs and reducing energy consumption, the agency reported.  

The closures meet GSA’s stated goal of closing 32 percent of its non-core data centers in fiscal 2013 as  part of the Federal Data Center Consolidation Initiative (FDCCI).

And all IT offices and staff within the agency are now consolidated in a new GSA IT office under the leadership of GSA CIO Casey Coleman, instead of having several CIOs serving each individual line of business or having IT staff reporting into a different program office. IT contracts also will be managed by the GSA IT office, eliminating redundancies. A centralized IT office will improve access to technology services, GSA officials said.

“Closing data centers are an important part of GSA’s efforts to shrink the federal footprint,” Coleman said in a statement. Coupled with the agency’s new coordinated IT operations, using technology to do more with less when it comes to data centers will make GSA a model of how to provide efficient, effective and transparent service, Coleman said.  

Launched three years ago, FDCCI is moving beyond metrics and focusing on technologies that are proven to drive down IT costs, according to industry experts. Set up by then-federal CIO Vivek Kundra, FDCCI is intended to curb data center proliferation, which had led to low usage of individual agency centers and runaway IT energy consumption across government.

As part of the initiative, the Obama administration plans to close 40 percent of non-core federal data centers by 2015. Agencies that have embraced data center consolidation are now reporting significant savings in IT capital expenditures, operating budgets, payroll and facilities costs, according to industry observers.

About the Author

Rutrell Yasin is is a freelance technology writer for GCN.

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