Lower costs, greater agility, and better support of mobile employees – those are among the chief benefits of data center consolidation. Federal agencies have been under orders for several years now to rationalize their data center infrastructures, under the Federal Data Center Consolidation Initiative.
But consolidating data centers is far more than simply rolling the servers out of one data center, loading them on a truck, and re-installing them in another facility. Instead, it’s a chance — a necessity really — to modernize the target center with more efficient equipment, virtualization and an optimized storage and data communications network, power and storage infrastructure. Consolidation reduces the number of servers, improves performance, and cuts energy consumption.
To explore progress so far on the FDCCI and to gauge where this initiative is headed, Thundercat Technology and NetApp convened a panel to discuss the technical, financial and operational challenges of data center consolidation. And share progress some of the success stories, and what’s ahead for FDCCI.
Mike Giesler, Vice President,Systems Engineering, NetApp, Inc.
Discussion points included status of plans and who is responsible, whether agencies have realized measurable savings, and descriptions of to-be states. The CIOs noted, one of the most difficult steps in the FDCCI is simply getting an accurate inventory of IT assets an agency has, especially because the OMB’s definition of data center includes facilities as small as 500 square feet. But advantages include getting a clearer handle on the agency’s applications inventory. The CIOs and industry both agree, the real benefits will be a greener infrastructure, a more virtualized one including virtual desktops to support thin clients and mobile users, and more scalable and flexible facilities.