U.S. agencies can't track savings from data center closings
The government's goal to close 1,253 of its data centers is behind schedule, an auditor says
IDG News Service - The U.S. government's effort to close 1,253 of its data centers is falling short of its goal, and agencies haven't been able to track projected cost savings for the initiative, a government auditor told lawmakers.
The White House Office of Management and Budget's goal of saving at least US$3 billion by closing 40 percent of the government's 3,133 data centers is "very realistic," but so far, the OMB and government agencies haven't been able to calculate those savings, said David Powner, director of IT management issues at the U.S. Government Accountability Office.
OMB has told GAO that, so far, the "savings were minimal," Powner told the government operations subcommittee of the U.S. House of Representatives Oversight and Government Reform Committee. "Who knows, really, where it is?"
OMB, in February 2010, set the goal of closing 1,253 data centers by 2015. As of December, agencies had closed 420 data centers, with plans to close another 548 by December 2015, or 285 closures short of the OMB goal, the GAO said in a report released Tuesday.
Eighteen months from the deadline for data center closings, "we have no idea how much we've saved the taxpayers," said Steve O'Keeffe, founder of MeriTalk, an online community for government IT issues.
While OMB's data center closure plan was a good one, the agency is not "bringing it to closure," Powner told the subcommittee. OMB declined to testify during Tuesday's hearing.
OMB isn't tracking cost savings, because the agency has "not yet determined a consistent and repeatable method for tracking cost savings," the GAO report said.
The cost savings estimates for most agencies aren't available, according to a chart released by the subcommittee. Agencies have estimated just $65.3 million in savings in the government's fiscal year 2013, out of the $3 billion goal, according to the chart.
Lawmakers called on OMB and the other agencies to find ways to track the results of the data center closings. "If they're not tracking cost savings, what do they think the consolidation effort is for?" said Representative Gerry Connolly, a Virginia Democrat. "We've got to have some consistent measurement by OMB."
Agencies will are looking at server utilization, energy costs and other criteria in an effort to decide what data centers to close, said Bernard Mazer, CIO at the U.S. Department of Interior. "Many of our servers are at 5 percent, or 10 percent, utilization," he said.
Agencies should be able to get a better handle on cost savings moving forward, because a federal Data Center Consolidation Task Force is working on establishing cost savings metrics, Mazer said.
Since late 2010, OMB has been pushing agencies to consider cloud computing services as an alternative to operating their own data centers. But the U.S. General Services Administration has certified only two cloud service providers for use by government agencies, O'Keeffe said.
- Best iPhone, iPad Business Apps for 2014
- 14 Tech Conventions You Should Attend in 2014
- 10 Desktop Apps to Power Your Windows PC
- How to Add New Job Skills Without Going Back to School
- Slideshow: 7 security mistakes people make with their mobile device
- iOS vs. Android: Which is more secure?
- 11 sure signs you've been hacked
If you use ‘password,’ one the worst passwords, as your password, fail to keep antivirus protection updated and don’t bother to deploy security patches to close critical vulnerabilities, then maybe you should consider working for the cybersecurity-clueless federal government; you’d fit right in, according to Senator Tom Coburn's cybersecurity and critical infrastructure report.
- IT Certification Study Tips
- Register for this Computerworld Insider Study Tip guide and gain access to hundreds of premium content articles, cheat sheets, product reviews and more.
- Changing the Way Government Works: Four Technology Trends that Drive Down Costs and Increase Productivity
- This paper discusses four technology-based approaches to improving processes and increasing
productivity while driving down department and agency costs.
- Red Hat Enterprise Linux - The Original Cloud Operating System
- Linux adoption is growing against a number of measures, such as the
number of supercomputers that run Linux and the size of the contributing...
- OpenStack Hype vs. Reality: CIO Quick Pulse
- Open-source architecture can enable IT departments to build infrastructure-as-a-service (IaaS) clouds running on standard hardware.
- Building a Bridge to the Next Generation Data Center
- Selecting a widely adopted operating system is a foundational component of a standardization strategy.
- OpenStack and Red Hat: IDC White paper
- Most OpenStack deployments are by public cloud providers that are early adopters of technology and use OpenStack in a do-it-yourself deployment and support... All Government IT White Papers
- Webinar: Building a Big Data solution that's production-ready Big data solutions are no longer just a nice-to-have.
- Meg Whitman presents Unlocking IT with Big Data During this Web Event you will hear Meg Whitman, President and CEO, HP discuss HAVEn - the #1 Big Data platform, as well...
- The New Way to Work Knowledge Vault This Knowledge Vault focuses on how, in today's increasingly virtual world, it's more important than ever to engage deeply with employees, suppliers, partners,...
- Getting Ready for BlackBerry Enterprise Service 10.2 Find out how BlackBerry® Enterprise Service 10 helps organizations address the full spectrum of EMM challenges, while balancing the needs of both the...
- Containerization Options: How to Choose the Best DLP Solution for Your Organization This webcast outlines a framework for making the right choice when it comes to containerization approaches, along with the pros and cons of...
- All Government IT Webcasts