Why OMB’s FDCCI reversal is a good move for IT admins

8/15

Why OMB’s FDCCI reversal is a good move for IT admins

You’ve got to feel for OMB.  They were originally given a near impossible task regarding the Federal Data Center Consolidation Initiative (FDCCI) and have done an admirable job of establishing guidelines and goals. They had no power to force anyone to follow it, and probably rightly so. But after a recent Government Accountability Office (GAO) report, and a push by the administration, they have had to release a new set of guidelines that changes the landscape of FDCCI. It’s really a policy reversal.

When OMB launched FDCCI in 2010, the goal was to close 40 percent of government’s data centers by 2015. However, as with any large organization, simple goals can get complicated by the reality of details. The guidelines didn’t always fit the situation found in the field. The GAO report found that the number of data centers identified for closure so far leaves Uncle Sam almost 300 short. So OMB is changing its guidelines from simply talking about closing data centers to making sure government optimizes the data centers it has.

What the change in policy means for measurement

Despite some criticism of OMB, this is actually a good decision. Because now data centers will be categorized (starting with core or non-core) instead of all treated the same. This will allow IT admins to have more input on decisions instead of just consolidating data centers for the sake of policy — it means a collaborative approach versus a policing approach. Maybe this will cut down on admins going from desk to desk searching for single-server ‘data centers’ (PCs under someone’s desk) to consolidate. By being more cooperative, the IT department isn’t left maintaining useless servers without the funds to do so after a program has won a fight to keep its data and the related budget.

OMB also announced last spring that it would make FDCCI just another part of its larger campaign to cut waste in IT spending, PortfolioStat. This means data center consolidation will be a subject of government agencies’ face-to-face IT portfolio reviews with OMB moving forward. Whether this gives FDCCI more or less visibility remains to be seen, but to date GAO has determined there isn’t a consistent, repeatable method for tracking cost savings from consolidation. Taking a hard look at performance and efficiency of data centers instead of comparing the closure of data centers that fit in closets to those that take up entire buildings is certainly progress toward meaningful metrics.

How can IT admins adjust?

Recently, NetApp has been at the forefront of virtualization, cyber security, big data, high-performance computing and cloud computing, giving the company a good handle on the full spectrum of government’s needs as they relate to IT directives.

Efficiency is top priority for NetApp storage, as is flexibility, which can be achieved through shared services on virtualized infrastructures. In fact, that’s the foundation for a cloud-first approach. With NetApp Data ONTAP, your data center can achieve maximum flexibility and superior operational efficiency even while managing data, application and infrastructure growth. What are just some of the ways this makes your data center more optimized?

  • 50 percent less capacity, power, cooling and footprint
  • Fewer people can manage more data
  • Reclaim 35 percent disk space on third-party storage technology
  • Cut provisioning time by 90 percent

There are several other benefits NetApp storage brings when it comes to adapting to new FDCCI guidance, which is why SwishData uses it in the consolidation-related projects we architect. To learn more about how SwishData approaches a total solution to data center optimization to serve government agencies’ IT needs better, follow us on Twitter and join the conversation on Facebook.

Image courtesy of Flickr user ChrisDag

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