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U.S. launches new data centre ‘Optimization Initiative’

Wed 3 Aug 2016

The U.S. federal government has announced a new data centre strategy to replace its earlier Consolidation Initiative which has resulted in the closure of thousands of surplus facilities and significant cost savings since its launch in 2010.

The new Data Center Optimization Initiative, released initially as a draft in March, responds to the struggle experienced by agencies to meet the goals outlined in the Consolidation plan – some even unsure as to how many data facilities they were linked to.

A memo for the new policy states that all Chief Financial Officers Act agencies, including the Defense Department, ‘develop and report on data center strategies to consolidate inefficient infrastructure, optimize existing facilities, improve security posture, achieve cost savings and transition to more efficient infrastructure.’

The policy stipulates that after 180 days, government agencies will not be permitted to allocate funds or resources to building new data centres or expanding existing estates without approval from the Office of Management and Budget.

U.S. Chief Information Officer Tony Scott wrote in an official blog post that the new effort will ‘drive progress’ in three key fields; optimization, data centre closures and cost savings.

The aim of the project is to cut annual data centre costs by 25% by the end of the 2018 financial year – achieving $2.7 billion (approx. £2 billion) in cost savings over the next three years.

An increased focus will also be directed at strengthening CIO authority over data centre budgeting and management. The Optimization Initiative also seeks to boost the use of cloud and shared services between agencies, as well as the replacement of legacy data collection with more accurate and agile tools.

Scott commented in the White House post: ‘The important work agencies are undertaking as part of the Data Center Optimization Initiative will help move the Federal Government toward an IT portfolio that is more efficient, more effective, more secure, and better able to deliver world-class services to the American people.’

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