DOD To Close 52 Data Centers

U.S. CIO Vivek Kundra reports that the federal government will close 137 data centers by the end of the year, and that 39 already have been closed.

Elizabeth Montalbano, Contributor

May 3, 2011

2 Min Read

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The Department of Defense (DOD) operates nearly 40% of the data centers the federal government plans to shutter before the end of the year as part of a sweeping effort to close at least 400 data centers by the end of 2015.

The federal government will close 137 data centers by the end of the year, 39 of which--including those operated by the DOD, NASA, Department of State and the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS)--already have been closed, according to a White House blog post by U.S. CIO Vivek Kundra.

At a forum of federal IT officials last week, Kundra provided the most explicit details to date of progress being made on federal data-center consolidation, an effort to crack down on duplicative IT spending according to a 25-point IT reform plan.

In Tuesday's blog post, he revealed a map of locations across the country where the closures will take place, as well as the agencies or departments that operate the centers. The map also distinguished between centers that have already been shut down and those that will close before the end of the year.

Fifty-two DOD data centers will close before the end of the year, the highest number for a single department, according to the post. The Department of Interior and NASA also will see a fair number of closures in 2011--18 for the former and 14 for the space agency. Most of the NASA centers already have been closed as part of the initial 39, which were mainly located in the Washington D.C. area.

The Departments of Agriculture, Homeland Security, Justice, Energy, Veterans Affairs and the General Services Administration also have closed or will close data centers this year, among other federal agencies, according to the blog post.

Last week Kundra also provided details about the some of the real estate the government is giving up, information he reiterated in his blog post.

An HHS data center in Rockville, Md., for example, was a 14,992 square foot facility with 218 racks of equipment that consumed $1.2 million worth of electricity each year, he said. In total, the 39 centers already closed represented 325,000 square feet of facility space.

The federal consolidation effort is the result of a mushrooming of data centers in a 12-year period, from 432 in 1998 to more than 2000 now. The expansion created a ripple effective that allowed "redundant systems and applications to sprout like weeds," Kundra wrote, a problem the Obama administration is now trying to fix.

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