Data Centers Puzzle Federal Energy Savings Goal

A Recent report says that the growing demands of Defense Department for data center services could idle the efforts of federal to restrain the energy costs through data center consolidation.

The administration’s proposal could reduce energy use, but “in the face of what is likely to be continuously increasing demand for datacenter services, gains from consolidation and improved efficiency are expected to plateau, with energy use resuming an upward trajectory,” according to a July 12 Congressional Research Service (CRS) report about DoD data center consolidation efforts.

The report noted that the DoD accounts for about 63 percent of the energy consumed by federal buildings and facilities. According to its data center consolidation proposal released in November the DoD anticipates in saving about $58 million annually in energy costs from 2013 to 2018. Other savings would be from reduced operations and maintenance and construction costs.

Government wide savings will be difficult “in the absence of accurate and complete baseline measurements of energy and other costs,” the report said.

DoD’s current goal is to eliminate 428 of its 772 data centers by fiscal 2015, as part of an administration effort to combine more than 1,000 federal data centers. DoD has more than twice the number of data centers of any federal agency, according to OMB data. .

By 2013, DoD plans to eliminate 240 centers:

• 96 of the Army’s 250, bringing the number down to 154.

• 20 of the Air Force’s 137, bringing the number to 117.

• One of the Navy’s 78, bring the number to 77.

• Four of the combatant commands 25, bring the number to 21.

• 119 of the remaining 282 bring their number to 163.

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