MeriTalk - Where America Talks Government
Steve O'Keeffe


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Posted: 8/31/2011 - 2 comment(s) [ Comment ] - 0 trackback(s) [ Trackback ]

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Why did Moammar Qaddafi stop at colonel? Idi Amin’s appetite wasn't sated with field marshal - yum, yum - he went all the way to King of Scotland. So why didn't Libya's favorite larcenist make brigadier general?

Now, those are good questions - but there are some rich riddles in Fed IT too. A recent MeriTalk study - the Consolidation Conundrum report - highlights Federal data center consolidation - DCC - disconnects. Nobody doubts data volumes will climb steeply. Cloud's placing the data center in the hot seat as agencies consolidate their digital dynamos. So, how are we supposed to manage more data with less data centers?
 
The answer - audit, rationalize apps, automate, and design for higher performance - while cutting power consumption. See the DCC Cookbook. And, speaking of Libya, data centers, and revolutions, that brings me to the theme for our September 13 Fabric of the Future - Supporting the Federal Data Center Revolution at the Willard. Hear from government and industry. Speakers include Ron Ross of NIST, Pradeep Sindhu of Juniper, Johnny Barnes of IBM, Matt McCarthy of Dell Data Center Solutions, and Andy Ingram of Juniper. And, as if that's not enough, we're presenting the $50,000 check to the winner of the Merit Awards at 2 p.m. at the summit. The best idea to revolutionize government performance. Register today.
 
Interested to see if the rebels catch the colonel by the summit. May be he'll explain his rank in life? Understand that the rebels sold his peaked cap on eBay last week. Now that's taking the "lid" off of data center consolidation...

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Posted: 8/25/2011 - 1 comment(s) [ Comment ] - 0 trackback(s) [ Trackback ]

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When we throw a conference, we really bring the roof down - almost literally. Check out the Innovation Nation quake video from inside the lunch C-Suite session.
 
Yep, that was IN - the "Shake IT Up" tagline seemed to tempt fate. Midway through the luncheon keynote panel, fate flexed. Plaster fell from the ceiling and 1,000 government IT pros bolted for the door. Check out IN photos.  Other than that Mrs. Lincoln...?
 
But, earthquake apart, IN yielded seismic insight. Greenspan sent tremors through the global business world with his three frictional observations:
1. Innovation Disrupts Full Employment - Tech advances automate processes and put people out of work. Not sure I agree with you Al. The Luddites would still have us hand weaving fabric. Innovation unleashes our potential to solve the economic problem.
2. Cracks in the Chinese Wall - Our oriental trading partners are robbing us blind. Fair to say we need to do something to balance the trade imbalance. Fair-trade tariffs seem like a logical first step. Good fences make good neighbors.
3. Euro to Buckle - Cultural differences between northern and southern Europe will undermine Euro buck. Wow. Did he really say the Greeks, Portuguese, and Spanish are too lazy to get ahead? What about Ireland and Britain? Not sure the South has a monopoly on siestas and prodigality...
 
Oh, and the Data Center Exchange released the Federal Data Center Cookbook at IN. Fed data center pros provided the ingredients. DCX opened up a wiki so that the community cooks can provide your efficiency recipes. Log on to DCX, take the taste test, and bring your own dish. In this case, we can't have too many cooks in the kitchen - surely all of us are smarter than any of us.
 
IN boasted more than 40 Fed IT exec speakers. With all the talk about disruptive technology, it's no wonder that we shook IT up.  Now batten down the hatches for the hurriquake Irene -- the high-tech hurricane. 
 
No CIOs were hurt in the making of this movie.  Congratulations to the executive panelists for staying so cool in an emergency.

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Posted: 8/15/2011 - 3 comment(s) [ Comment ] - 0 trackback(s) [ Trackback ]

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London Calling

David Cameron’s an awful hangover. Austerity measures and frustration with government corruption combusted. The prime minister’s not feeling too much like an Olympian - 2,800 arrests and counting. Headache compounded by Ahmadinejad and the Syrians lodging complaint at the U.N. about the bull dog’s response to “protestors.” Cheeky monkeys. But, is this the harbinger for the West’s Arab Spring - a Western Fall? 

Let’s face it - it’s looking pretty bleak out, even on this side of the Pond. Philly catching Blighty’s flash-mob flu. Triple A fall off. Our economy’s looking very vulnerable. What to do? Is anarchy really yawning? Is it time to balance trade tariffs with the Chinese? Is protectionism the answer? Is this the end of Facebook and Twitter as we know them? 

Well yes and no. Is it absurd that our trade balance and import duty relationship with China are absurdly out of whack? Clearly. Do we depend on cheap Chinese imports to maintain our standard of living? Clearly. It’s time to tighten the belt - but we need to take care not to dip into protectionism. We need to stop the squabbling in Washington and focus on what’s always worked in America. Innovation and hard work.  

I hear you say, what the heck is O’Keeffe ranting about - what does he know about global socio-economic trends? Okay, so come out and see somebody with real gravity. I’ll be curious to see what Alan Greenspan has to say in his morning keynote speech at Innovation Nation on August 23.  Who knows, David Cameron may call in for some advice.  

Ironically, London is burning and I live by the river...

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Posted: 8/4/2011 - 4 comment(s) [ Comment ] - 0 trackback(s) [ Trackback ]

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OMB Data Center Download

On his way out the door at OMB, Federal IT fitness fanatic Vivek Kundra ran up to the Hill last week to outline the diet-exercise plan for Federal agencies after his departure. It's some kinda tough love. The question, is this a lifestyle changer or a flash-crash purge that'll leave agencies with more pounds and dashed expectation? Interestingly, Vivek announced that agencies will spill the beans on how much moolah they've saved through their data center consolidation - DCC - efforts so far on October 7. While the notion of a one-time weigh-in is interesting, the total fitness regime OMB issued to agencies on July 20 raises a series of questions. Here's the download - mark your calendars:
 
-August 31: GSA Hosts Data Center Government/Industry Day - bringing in industry partners = great. Here’s the catch - despite a number of enquires, we can’t find anyone at GSA who has heard about this meeting. Knowing a thing or two about the events business, seems like a stretch to create a major information sharing session from scratch in just one month - especially if you intend to do more than just check the box...
 
-September 30: Agencies to Submit Complete Data Center Consolidation Plans Signed by the CIO - didn't OMB already require agencies to do this? Seems GAO's recent report is prompting regrading. I guess there are no celery sticks for reporting foot draggers - they get potato chips and cookies. What happens to agencies that just wait it out?
 
-October 1: Agencies to Initiate Quarterly Reporting on Data Center Closures on their Web sites - with an Integrated Picture on cio.gov - Peer pressure is great, but only if the peers are pressuring - see the impact of the IT Dashboard... like most health food, this seems awfully bland. How about we spice it up with two shakes of Congressional Hearing?
 
-October 7: Data Center Plans on their Web sites - mark this on your calendar today folks, like the opening of Al Capone’s vault, this will be a major day in Federal IT whether it turns out to be treasure or just any empty old server closet.
 
-March 31, 2012: Federal DCC Taskforce will Publish a Report on DCC Across Government - will be interesting how this compares to GAO's recent report. After all, if you don’t like the data, just create your own.
 
-June 12, 2012: OMB and GSA will Stand Up a Government-wide Marketplace for Data Center Availability - the take so far? Everyone wants to sell health food, nobody wants to buy it. To provide real value, any marketplace will need to include both public- and private-sector offerings.
 
-FY13: Agencies Need to Show DCC Dollar Savings in their Budget Submissions
 
So there it is - seem like a pathway to a sustainable data center lifestyle to you or just another two years on the treadmill? Will be curious to see what Steven VanRoekel has to say. Fed data center pros are skeptical. According to a recent MeriTalk study, just 10 percent believe their agencies will make DCC goal. Twenty-three percent believe that there will be even more data centers by 2015.
 
What about a support structure - peers who can share progress and ideas while keeping each other on the straight and skinny?
 
What about industry partnerships - collaboration and contracting for performance to provide real incentives for selling healthier fare?
 
Most of all, how about a little incentive? After all, if I am just doing this for me, isn’t it easier just to have another bowl of ice cream?  
 
Hear what Fed data center leads have to say about consolidation calisthenics at Innovation Nation on August 23 at the D.C. Convention Center, register today.

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