Government Technology

Data Center Consolidation Could Cut Federal IT Spending by a Third

November 15, 2010 By

More than half of federal government IT managers says their agencies have consolidated at least some data centers, an effort they say could potentially save $14.6 billion annually.

But less than a third of respondents of a survey announced Monday, Nov. 15, by the MeriTalk government IT network said their agencies had submitted a final data center consolidation plan, which the U.S. Office of Management and Budget (OMB) made due in August.

Despite the fact that the majority of federal agencies appear to be behind schedule, according to the survey, optimism that consolidation is achievable is increasing — although those with confidence are still in the minority. Compared to six months ago, when just 12 percent of respondents said they thought the federal government’s IT consolidation was attainable, by September, 33 percent said the federal government’s targets for consolidation will happen by the third quarter of 2011.

According to an October memo from Federal CIO Vivek Kundra, there were 2,094 data centers spread across the federal government. Officials hope to cut that number by nearly half.

Fifty-five percent of those surveyed said their agencies had consolidated at least some data centers, while 96 percent said they have a strategy for doing so. Thirty-two percent said they haven’t consolidated any data centers yet.

If there are potential stumbling blocks, it’s a perceived lack of clear guidance from the feds and insufficient staff training. Only 38 percent of respondents graded the OMB’s guidance on data center consolidation an A or B — still an 8 percentage point increase from May. And only half of respondents said their agencies are “staffed and trained” to manage the data center consolidation effort.

What the consolidation looks like in its final form remains to be seen. Nearly two-thirds of respondents said their agencies’ apps and data will stay on in-house servers. This may indicate that federal agencies are reluctant to cede control to partnering agencies or an outside entity. In fact, 51 percent of respondents said the OMB’s support of cloud computing is unrealistic. Despite these figures, 30 percent said their agencies would build a private cloud.

The MeriTalk survey, sponsored by Riverbed, was conducted in September.

You may use or reference this story with attribution and a link to

| More


Add Your Comment

You are solely responsible for the content of your comments. We reserve the right to remove comments that are considered profane, vulgar, obscene, factually inaccurate, off-topic, or considered a personal attack.