The Data Center Takes Center Stage

The Data Center is at the heart of our information-centric world and as such is key to government IT modernization efforts. Recognizing this, the Federal government introduced the Data Center Optimization Initiative (DCOI) in 2016 that requires agencies to meet specific consolidation, energy efficiency, and cost reduction goals by 2019. This initiative is an extension of and supercedes the Federal Data Center Consolidation Initiative (FDCCI), which focused primarily on reducing the data center real estate footprint. The investigation into data center utilization resulted in the closure of 1,900 data centers and nearly $1 billion in savings. DCOI operates on a similar premise of looking at underperforming data center assets, but extends the examination to energy efficiency and cost impacts. [Tweet "Meeting your #DCOI consolidation, energy efficiency, and cost reduction goals? #GovEventsBlog"]

To stay on track for the 2019 deadline, agencies will have to show they meet the following metrics by September 2018:

  • Install energy-metering tools in all tiered data centers to measure power consumption and show they can maintain a Power Usage Effectiveness (PUE) score of less than 1.5, but preferably less than 1.2;
  • Use automated monitoring and operations - no more manual collection and reporting;
  • House at least four virtual servers per physical server;
  • Use at least 80 percent of a tiered data center's floor space;
  • Achieve a server utilization rate of at least 65 percent;
  • Reduce data center costs by at least 25 percent, relative to the fiscal year 2016 spending; and
  • Close at least 25 percent of tiered and 60 percent of non-tiered data centers.[Tweet "The Data Center is key to government IT modernization efforts. #GovEventsBlog #DataCenter #GovIT"]

As part of this mandate, agencies are no longer allowed to set aside budget for new data centers unless they can show all of their existing centers meet the mandate requirements or they are opening a new center to consolidate existing centers. To meet the 2019 goals, it is widely accepted that agencies will have to invest in virtualization and cloud, a move many have already started. For example, the Air Force has been using cloud for the last 12 years to increase data center efficiency, saving millions of dollars annually in capital and operational costs.

Because this is such a key initiative for government agencies, many of the events on GovEvents are addressing smart data center consolidation. Here's a quick list of some upcoming events and opportunities to learn more about achieving an efficient data center:[Tweet "Upcoming events to learn more about achieving an efficient data center. #GovEventsBlog #DataGov"]

  • AWS Public Sector Summit (June 12-14; Washington, DC) - This event brings together government, education, and nonprofit technology leaders to talk about how they are transforming their organization with the use of cloud. There will be a number of sessions discussing how to optimize data management with cloud.
  • Atlassian Government Symposium (June 21; Washington, DC) - With a theme of "Stay Ahead Of The Curve," this event is focused on creating an IT infrastructure that will help government agencies innovate. The event includes a breakout session entitled "Scale with Data Center & Enterprise Services"
  • F5 Government Technology Symposium (June 22; Washington, DC) - While this is a vendor produced show, it takes a very broad look at security for cloud-based environments - something that needs to grow to meet DCOI requirements.
  • CIO Government Technology Conference (June 22; Philadelphia, PA) -- The goal of this conference is to create an environment for public and private sector executives to explore IT challenges, including data center consolidation.
  • Federal Focus: The Cloud Generation (July 12; Washington, DC) - This event takes a hard look at how agencies are embracing the cloud and provides insight into meeting user demands as well as compliance demands.
  • VMworld (August 27-31; Las Vegas, NV) - With VMware technology prevalent in the government already, this vendor event is valuable education to ensure you are getting the most out of technology you already own.
  • 930gov 2017 (September 6; Washington, DC) - This annual event takes place near the end of the government fiscal year to provide a look back as well as a look ahead at trends and challenges impacting the federal IT market. While the agenda is not public yet, the key DCOI deadlines are likely to be a hot topic.

We'd love to hear from you. What are some can't miss events that relate to data center optimization in government?


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