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Administration: Closing data centers will save $3 billion

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April 29, 2011
Cyber Security, FedCyber Wire
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via Federal Times

The Obama administration expects to save $3 billion over the next four years by consolidating 800 data centers, including 137 this year.

Of the data centers slated to close this year, most – 52 – are run by the Defense Department. Other agencies shutting down large numbers of data centers this year are Interior with 18, NASA with 14, and the Agriculture Department with 10. Most are located in the upper Midwest and East Coast. The Defense Department centers slated to close were not identified for national security reasons.

The savings of the effort would come from lower utility bills, lower capitol investments and fewer support resources needed, Agriculture Deputy Secretary Kathleen Merrigan said Wedesday at an Office of Management and Budget briefing.

Agencies already have closed 39 data centers, officials at the briefing said.

It’s not clear how many federal workers could be affected by the shutdowns, but several agencies don’t expect contracting jobs will be spared.

The data centers set to close this year, which span 16 agencies, cover 325,000 square feet of space in centers scattered throughout the country.

“Imagine five-and-a-half football fields filled with servers and networks and routers and switches consuming energy and requiring cooling, and it poses a huge security threat from a cybersecurity perspective,” federal chief information officer Vivek Kundra said at the briefing.

Agencies last year estimated they operate a total of 2,094 data centers.

So far, NASA has closed 13 of its 79 data centers, the most of any agency. The space agency will close one more by year’s end.

“We actually went out and looked at these [data centers],” NASA CIO Linda Cureton said. “We made the business case for real dollar savings.”

The Agriculture Department plans to move 43 business systems now residing at numerous data centers that serve small bureaus to seven larger centers serving the entire department, Merrigan said.

The Defense Department’s goal is the most ambitious by far. As of April 21, DoD has closed eight data centers and plans to close another 44 by the end of the year.

Story here.