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Under its new leader, the US Department of Defense's IT infrastructure team will focus on tighter collaboration with the private sector, changing the way it buys technology and services and, of course, data center consolidation, as the agency has more data centers than any other in the US federal government.

Between now and the end of the year, the department plans to close 44 data centers, its new CIO Teresa Takai wrote in her first blog post as the department's technology leader. Eight facilities have already been closed.

As we look to improve efficiency, one of our ongoing targets is the management and use of data centers," she wrote. "DoD remains committed to identifying candidates for data center closure and consolidation in support of the secretary's efficiency efforts and the IT reform plan goal of closing 800 federal data centers by 2015."

She was referring to the 25-point government IT reform plan created by the office of the outgoing federal CIO Vivek Kundra. He is leaving this month for a fellowship at Harvard University.

Secretary of Defense Robert Gbates appointed Takai as the department's CIO in October 26. Prior to taking the post, Takai was CIO of the State of California, which has recently received an award from the National Association of State CIOs for its recent data center optimization initiative.

There are 50 DoD data centers scheduled for closure before the end of this year, as listed on More than 110 DoD data centers were identified for closure before the end of 2012, including the ones closed in 2010 and 2011.

According to the most recent data center inventory federal agencies conducted themselves, the DoD has about 770 data centers. Kundra's plan calls for the department to close all but 426 of them by 2015.

Agencies'data center inventories conducted as part of the ongoing government-wide consolidation initiative were recently put in question, however.

The Government Accountability Office recently completed a review of the initiative and concluded that only one of the 24 participating agencies had submitted a complete inventory of its data centers.

Release of the report was followed by an order from Kundra to all agencies to redo the inventories and submit new consolidation implementation plans by the end of September.