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FCW : April 15, 2013
As agencies scramble to comply with cost-cutting IT initiatives, many are turning the challenges inherent in data center consolidation into oppor- tunities and taking the long view on expected savings. At a FedInsider event in March, fed- eral IT experts from three agencies addressed some of those challenges and said the issues boil down to doing more with less --- a common refrain these days. Kirit Amin, deputy CIO and chief technology of cer at the Commerce Department, referenced the Of ce of Management and Budget s recent deci- sion to roll the Federal Data Center Consolida- tion Initiative (FDCCI) into PortfolioStat by saying, OMB "is on to something that has teeth in it." "It s a tall order for us," Amin added. "And as a result, we are taking a serious look at all this and saying, OK, how are we collectively going to address this going forward? How is [Commerce] going to evolve into all these different areas? " The challenges present a tremen- dous opportunity to provide value for agencies and their customers, he said. That s why Commerce is draft- ing short-, mid- and long-term plans as far as ve years out to manage met- rics, goals and milestones for FDCCI, PortfolioStat, TechStat and the Digital Government Strategy. Edward Rhyne, a program manager in the Cyber Security Division of the Department of Homeland Security s Science and Technology Directorate, shared similar thoughts with an audi- ence predominantly made up of sys- tems integrators. "We re turning challenges into opportunities," Rhyne said. DHS has reduced 46 data centers down to ve, making it a leader in data center consolidation. In terms of cyber- security, he said that although having fewer data centers gives would-be attackers a smaller zone to target, the threat is offset by a smaller perimeter that has more controlled resources within it. Of cials at the Defense Department, one of the few agencies that have provided estimates of what they expect to achieve through consolidation, have said they anticipate savings of about $2 billion. Rhyne said he could not comment on DHS expect- ed savings. Amin said savings from data center consolidation aren t immediately apparent. Typically, those savings come from reductions in real estate, energy consumption and sys- tems administration. But there s a cost to consolidation, too, because moving data and applications to a centralized server isn t like moving furniture from an apartment to a house. "Metrics right away is dif cult to do," Amin said. "If I m massively virtualizing, I have a cost to do that --- same thing with provisioning tiered storage." James Flanagan, director of the Nuclear Regulatory Commission s Of ce of Information Services, said that just because the information, applications and hardware from a data center are relocated, the facility does not stop costing money right away. "When an agency has released a data center, it does not necessarily translate into freed space," Flanagan said. "The issue lies in [asking], Does my foot- print really shrink? " --- Frank Konkel Challenges and opportunities in data center consolidation April 15, 2013 FCW.COM 11 On March 18, FCW.com broke the news of the CIA's private-cloud contract with Amazon Web Services, a deal that could be worth as much as $600 million. The story sparked quite a discussion. Here is a small sampling of the hundreds of comments and shares fromTwitter in the days that followed. major CIO positions would become presidential appointees under the proposed Federal IT Acquisition Reform Act 16 Kirit Amin THE CIA/AMAZON STORY RESPONSE Clay Johnson (@cjoh) $600 Million! That's a lot of EC2 Instances. buff.ly/116WZxd Rick Holgate (@rickholgate) Interesting: "@FCWnow: Hot today: Amazon and CIA ink cloud deal ow.ly/jcLRU Reactions sfy.co/q3GW" NYT Bits Blog (@nytimesbits) Will the CIA demand a higher level of reliability than Amazon delivers to its private clients? fcw.com/articles/2013/03/18/ amazon-cia-cloud.aspx Alan W. Silberberg (@IdeaGov) Just curious what happens to the CIA when Amazon has one of its famous Web service outages? :) Join the conversation. Follow @FCWnow. FCW uses Twitter to break news, eld questions and ask our own. And we are donating to the Wounded Warrior Project as our list of followers grows. Learn more at FCW.com/followFCWnow.
March 30, 2013
April 30, 2013