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U.S. Department of Justice to cut data centres to three by 2019

Mon 31 Oct 2016

Federal data center

The U.S. Department of Justice (DoJ) has announced plans to reduce its data centre footprint to three physical facilities by 2019. Speaking at the recent MeriTalk Accelerating Data Center Transformation event, DoJ data centre transformation program manager Mark Busby noted that the agency has already shut down 64% of its data centres, maintaining between 30-40% of its historic infrastructure.

Federal departments began closing the doors on their data centres six years ago, in an effort to reduce the costs of their data centre hardware and related energy expenses. This scheme was mandated by the Office of Management and Budget, which launched the Federal Data Center Consolidation plan in 2010.

The initiative resulted in the closure of thousands of surplus facilities and significant cost savings across a range of government data centre holdings. While the policy saw relative success, many departments struggled to approach the goals with confidence – some even unsure of how many facilities they were actually linked to.

In August 2016, the Consolidation plan was replaced by the new Data Center Optimization Initiative (DCOI) which claims to be more attainable, seeking to cut the cost of Federal data centres by 25% over the next two years.

Busby explained that while the DoJ has made significant progress in line with the DCOI, it is still working to optimise its own data centre infrastructure, as well as its colocation demands.

‘Some things we need to own and we need to keep,’ said Busby. ‘The less I get to put into physical data centres, the better. Let’s get out of the business of owning hardware if we can…’

Busby discussed the challenges many operators face when looking to rein in their facilities’ energy footprint. He pointed to Data Centre Infrastructure Management (DCIM) tools as a reliable measure of energy consumption and an essential platform for reducing excess. ‘DCIM will be a secret sauce. It’s going to inform us on acquisition more than anything… We’ll have a common language,’ he said.


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