When is a datacenter not a datacenter? When the government gets involved, of course.

When is a datacenter not a datacenter? When the government gets involved, of course.

Summary: So what does it mean when the government says it is closing datacenters?

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With the Feds releasing their official map of datacenters that will be closed it's a lot easier to get a look into what exactly the Feds have decided is one of the 800 "datacenters" to be closed by 2015. While the list includes 373 datacenters to be closed by the end of 2012, it's somewhat interesting to see the broad definition of datacenter in use here.

The term "datacenter" can be loosely defined as a facility that houses computing equipment, which handles IT loads, and the supporting equipment that enables the IT loads to be serviced. It has also come to mean that the facility is somewhat self-contained, and that pretty much everything from the point that the power enters the facility is part of the datacenter. But while the Federal list of datacenters on the chopping block contains many facilities that would meet the current image of what most people think of as a datacenter, it's clear that the term has been broadly expanded by the government.

A quick look at the list of "datacenters" shows that many of them are identified as server rooms, not full blown datacenter facilities.  And while consolidating the IT loads of many server rooms is a laudable goal, it clearly doesn't have the same cachet as saying "we closed down 800 wasteful datacenters." Many of the facilities being closed down are small server rooms in regional offices for Federal agencies, and in many cases, they are simply part of the facility. Reducing the number of server rooms in a facility from five to three doesn't mean that you have shut down two datacenters, at least in most people's minds; it just means that you have reduced the size of your datacenter by 40%.

The overall success of this initiative will have to be judged by the bottom line; that is, how much cost saving has been achieved by the reduction in IT data processing facilities while still meeting the ever-growing demands of the Federal government.  Simply saying "we closed 800 facilities" and calling it a day, means next to nothing on its own.

Topics: CXO, Data Centers, Government, Government US, Hardware, Storage

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  • RE: When is a datacenter not a datacenter? When the government gets involved, of course.

    "Reducing the number of server rooms in a facility from five to three doesn?t mean that you have shut down two datacenters, at least in most people?s minds; it just means that you have reduced the size of your datacenter by 40%"

    Anytime the Government cuts 40% from its overhead I see that as great, and don't really care what you call it!
    wkulecz
    • Get rid of the real waste...

      @wkulecz
      We could probably achieve a 90% saving by cutting out the perks that the politicians in our government have voted for themselves. Like their "haircut" fund and the other "funds" that aren't subject to public scrutiny but which increase the Politician's paycheck by about $1.4 million dollars a year which they don't get taxed on and can spend in any way they wish.
      Tholian_53
      • RE: When is a datacenter not a datacenter? When the government gets involved, of course.

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        yantangseo
    • RE: When is a datacenter not a datacenter? When the government gets involved, of course.

      @wkulecz <br>Actually, do you really see a 40% savings in the datacenter if you still pay for the floor space and just reorganize the hardware to another room. My saying goes "anytime I see government cut by 40% I question the term "cut"!"
      No Thanks, Just Lurking
    • There is no savings if the people are reassigned and not dismissed...

      One thing that the federal government is not doing is laying off people, and if they do shut down any operation, the people from those operations are moved elsewhere. When it comes to the operation of any IT shop, the biggest expense is on people, and if the people are not dismissed along with the shop, then there is no savings.
      adornoe
  • I think manpower is the point

    I actually think that these smaller "datacenters" are a great place to start. At least a real datacenter already has some economy of scale, but a 200sf server room that is being managed by the dedicated on-site IT team for some tiny yet independent governmental agency is incredibly wasteful on a per-device basis.
    scripter