FBI datacenter project could set government standard

In a reasoned approach to the Federal mandate, the FBI looks to build more effective datacenters, not just reduce their numbers

We’re only a few years into the mandated federal government datacenter downsizing project and the FBI this week has released its RFP for a datacenter pilot program with an eye to developing an infrastructure that is more effective and efficient than the current model and can be scaled to meet the future needs of the agency. On the surface, it sounds like someone with a clue, at a  fairly high level, has finally gotten involved with this project.

Rather than simply shutting down datacenters, the FBI is taking a much more measured approach. The list of requirements below, taken from the proposal documentation, sounds like a good basis that any business serious about optimizing their datacenter infrastructure would use.

  • Reduce the construction window for the necessary infrastructure to the lowest possible timeframe. 
  • Be able to scale the infrastructure in the lowest possible increments of space, power, and cooling.
  • Maximize the available IT space of the site by shrinking the footprint of the supporting infrastructure.
  • Provide the redundancy required to comply with a Tier 3 Uptime Institute rating
  • Accommodate 100% continuous functioning without disruption during routine maintenance and future expansion.
  • Provide the lowest possible guaranteed annualized mechanical Power Usage Effectiveness (PUE) and include monthly reports to the contracting officer. (PUE Objective of less than 1.5)
  • Comply with Leadership in Energy and Environment Design (LEED) Gold Standard.

The detailed proposal includes requirements outlining the growth capabilities of the infrastructure, the ability to integrate green technologies, as they become feasible, and the flexibility to make the design the standard for the FBI and other agencies in the Department of Justice, with the potential for growth into other parts of the government as the standard for existing and future datacenter projects