GAO Report: Federal Agencies Should Close Data Centers Faster

The Government Accountability Office has charged 24 Federal agencies with consolidating data centers, but it seems their progress is too slow, according to a new report.

These Federal agencies agreed to participate in the Federal Data Center Consolidation Initiative, which was designed to reduce the energy and spatial consumption, hardware and software cost, and security liability.

The report is titled “Data Center Consolidation: Agencies Making Progress, but Planned Savings Goals Need to Be Established,” in which GAO recommends that most of the participating agencies need to pick up their data center consolidation efforts to make a bigger impact on savings and avoidance.

The good news: Last November, participating agencies reported closing 3,125 of 10,584 data centers through fiscal 2015. From 2011 to 2015, all 24 agencies are responsible for $2.8 billion in savings and avoidances.

The bad news: 22 of the 24 agencies reported “limited progress” through fiscal 2015. Also, the departments of Agriculture, Defense, the Interior, and the Treasury  seemed to pull a disproportionate amount of the load for the other agencies, closing 84 percent of those data centers and accounting for $2.4 billion in savings and avoidances.

For 2011 to 2019, the GAO projects total savings and avoidances to hit $8.2 billion. The agencies plan to close an additional 2,078 data centers, for cost savings and avoidances of $5.4 billion by the end of fiscal year 2019, to meet that goal.


Screen Shot 2016-03-04 at 4.36.13 PM


  1. Anonymous | - Reply
    Unfortunately, GAO's one trick pony is to move federal data to the cloud in order to reduce the data center footprint. We have all seen how well "the cloud" secures data. What constituency are they really working for?
    1. Anonymous | - Reply
      And how many of the public and not so public security breaches have occurred in the cloud? None. The cloud security bogie man is a figment....
  2. Anonymous | - Reply
    The VA is already short data center space across all regions, again there seems to be this "the cloud saves all" strategy. Until the work load is changed or data is moved outside VA control I just don't see this happening
  3. Anonymous | - Reply
    It's a good goal that will save the government a lot of money. But how will these agencies get all of those data centers consolidated and closed?
  4. Anonymous | - Reply
    I'm not seeing anything to suggest the VA is aggressively advocating Cloud or enterprise solutions. Instead, VA OIT factions and local IT services keep doing their own thing and getting away with it. Nobody is really driving home a clear vision of VA Enterprise Operations, consolidation, etc. Instead all the little fiefdoms are clutching their data like goblins with treasure, or trying to sink money into making their local data patch bigger and more relevant.

Leave a Reply