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FCW : April 15, 2013
DATA CENTER CONSOLIDATION GameChanger GAME CHANGING TECHNOLOGY TO MEET AGENCY MISSIONS SPONSORED REPORT Data center consolidation: The Next Wave S ince the government’s Federal Data Center Consolidation Initiative launched in 2010, agencies have been working hard to consolidate their data centers. center consolidation can greatly improve energy consumption. homework, which begins with cataloging your assets. The inventory should include hardware, networking equipment, heating/cooling and other equipment. This work should culminate in a single database, with supplemental data on acquisition, deployment, usage and costs. The next step is conducting a thorough operating and maintaining the data center. That means gathering and analyzing cooling the systems, managing the This analysis also will clearly point out where virtualization makes sense. Combining multi-processor blade servers one hardware blade, saving space and center management. The inventory and ROI analysis also will help point out which services and Technology Shared Services Strategy, consumption by multiple organizations Consolidating multiple disparate systems into a shared services arrangement and security and enables updates to be to Vance Berry, a director in Deloitte Consulting’s Technology Strategy and Architecture practice. it is important to measure the impact what is working, what isn’t, and what can be improved. To help agencies DATA CENTER CONSOLIDATION AND THE CLOUD If OMB’s “Cloud First” policy isn’t reason enough to consider the cloud when consolidating data centers, then just look at the evidence from agencies that have gone that route. There are many benefits to implementing the cloud as part of data center consolidation, from improving efficiency to providing secure, on-demand access to critical data and enterprise services. It also enables organizations to rapidly provision systems to meet surges in demand, including as part of a disaster recovery strategy. But perhaps most importantly, it reduces costs, floor space and energy usage—key tenets of the data center consolidation initiative. Not everything is a candidate for the cloud, however, said Shawn P. McCarthy, an IDC Government Insights research director. “It’s best for functions that everybody uses the same way,” said McCarthy. “For example, the USDA wouldn’t outsource their crop forecasting system, but they would consider outsourcing their email.” There have been many successes so far. The EPA, for example, chose to consolidate email from more than 180 servers in 45 locations to a private cloud infrastructure in its four main data centers. According to the agency’s data center consolidation plan released in September of 2011, this initiative modernizes, standardizes and improves EPA’s e-mail service while substantially reducing its storage, servers and energy consumption. The USDA also has had great success with its cloud-first approach to data center consolidation. The department has developed a portfolio of private cloud offerings that cover hardware and software infrastructure, middleware platforms, application system components, software services and turnkey applications, according to a USDA report. The agency reports significant gains in uptime, security, recoverability and lower capital and operating costs.
March 30, 2013
April 30, 2013