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THE US Government is ready to start implementing its data center consolidation strategy, the plans for which have been outlined in a whitepaper released by US Government CIO Vivek Kundra.
For more than a year, the US Government’s data center consolidation plans have made headlines due to the data center efficiencies they promise to deliver. Now the world will get to see just how successful these plans will be.
Kundra has not been shy about his plans to remove at least 800 data centers used by the government, with a goal of having increased capacity with 40% less data centers by 2015.
In his 25 Point Implementation Plan to Reform Federal Information Technology paper, Kundra highlights the work of the last 18 months, during which detailed inventory checks and consultation has been carried out.

"Over the last 18 months, we have engaged the Federal IT, acquisition and program management communities;industry experts and academics," Kundra said.

"We have conducted listening sessions with Congress, Agency, CIOs, and Senior Procurement Executives. We have received detailed input and recommendations from many industry groups such as TechAmerica. This engagement process has led to recommendations for IT reform in the areas of operational efficiency and large-scale IT program management."

The outcome has been a 25-piont action plan which will take place over the coming 18 months to address the more pressing needs for consolidation.
"While the 25 points may not solve all Federal IT challenges, they will address many of the most pressing, persistent challenges," Kundra said. "This plan requires a focus on execution and is designed to establish some early wins to garner momentum for our continued efforts."
Kundra is expected to work with the US President’s Management Council to carry out this plan, which will see one third of underperforming projects in the IT portfolio terminated.
Kundra’s plans also outline goals for cloud-first policy, under which each agency will be expected to move three services over to the cloud as well as a crackdown on IT program funding.
The plan also highlights Kundra’s determination to better police commodity IT funding with new budget models with a particular focus on modular development.

Kundra said data center program managers will be chosen to lead data center consolidation efforts.

"Large, complex, and critical infrastructure programs such as data center consolidation require a single person to lead the coordinated effort. Within the next six months, each agency will designate a senior, dedicated data center consolidation program manager with project management experience and technical competence in IT infrastructure," Kundra said.

The project will also require a data center consolidation task force which will meet monthly to review the progress of the overall consolidation effort. A project dashboard will also be set up for public viewing for project accountability.
"Within the next 18 months, OMB (the Office of Management and Budget) and GSA (the US General Service Administration) will create a government-wide marketplace that better utilizes spare capacity within operational data centers. This online marketplace will match agencies with extra capacity to agencies with increasing demand, thereby improving the utilization of existing facilities. The marketplace will help agencies with available capacity promote their available data center space. Once agencies have a clear sense of the existing capacity landscape, they can make more informed consolidation decisions," Kundra said.
To see the full document, click here.