Agencies to close 137 data centers and move 100 email systems to the cloud

April 29, 2011
Cyber Security, FedCyber Wire, Spending
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via Nextgov

Federal officials on Wednesday released a list of 137 government data centers slated to close by the end of the year.The information they hold will either be consolidated into other data centers or moved to rented space in a public or private cloud.

Thirty-nine of those data centers already have been shuttered, federal Chief Information Officer Vivek Kundra told a gathering of government and industry officials at a White House event Wednesday.

In addition, 15 federal agencies have identified 100 government email systems comprising nearly 1 million individual email users that will be moved from government-owned data storage space to cloud computing, Kundra said.

The General Services Administration will begin accepting bids May 10 on a $2.5 billion contract to manage that move, he said.

Kundra is the author of a December 2010 planto fundamentally reform how the government manages information technology projects. That 25-point plan calls for the government to close about 800 of its more than 2,100 data centers nationwide within five years.

Data centers are essentially rooms filled with computer servers that hold government data and operating systems. They can range from just a few rooms to large complexes. Computer clouds are even larger blocks of computers, usually owned by private companies that rent out server space and typically charge customers only for the amount of space they use, which may fluctuate.

The data centers identified for closure collectively take up more than 350,000 square feet and cost the governments tens of millions of dollars annually in upkeep, staffing and electricity, Kundra said.

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