Data Center Consolidation:

Agencies Making Progress, but Planned Savings Goals Need to Be Established [Reissued on March 4, 2016]

GAO-16-323: Published: Mar 3, 2016. Publicly Released: Mar 3, 2016.

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What GAO Found

The 24 agencies participating in the Federal Data Center Consolidation Initiative have collectively made progress on their data center closures efforts. As of November 2015, agencies identified a total of 10,584 data centers, of which they reported closing 3,125 through fiscal year 2015. Notably, the Departments of Agriculture, Defense, the Interior, and the Treasury accounted for 84 percent of these total closures. Agencies are also planning to close an additional 2,078 data centers—for a total of 5,203—by the end of fiscal year 2019.

In total, 19 of the 24 agencies reported achieving an estimated $2.8 billion in cost savings and avoidances from fiscal years 2011 to 2015. In particular, the Departments of Commerce, Defense, Homeland Security, and the Treasury accounted for about $2.4 billion (or about 86 percent) of the total. Further, 21 agencies collectively reported planning an additional $5.4 billion in cost savings and avoidances, for a total of approximately $8.2 billion, through fiscal year 2019.

Agency-reported Data Center Consolidation Cost Savings and Avoidances (fiscal years 2011 through 2019)

Agency-reported Data Center Consolidation Cost Savings and Avoidances (fiscal years 2011 through 2019)

However, planned savings may be higher because 10 agencies that reported planned closures from fiscal years 2016 through 2018 have not fully developed their cost savings goals for these fiscal years. Agencies provided varied reasons for not having fully developed these goals, including facing challenges such as being in the process of re-evaluating their data center consolidation strategies. Until agencies address their challenges and complete savings goals, the $8.2 billion in total savings may be understated and agencies will not be able to satisfy provisions of a recently enacted information technology acquisition reform law.

Of the 24 agencies, 22 made limited progress against the Office of Management and Budget's (OMB) fiscal year 2015 data center optimization performance metrics, such as the utilization of data center facilities. Two agencies did not have a basis to report on progress. Of the nine metric targets, only one was met by half of the 24 agencies, while the remaining eight were each met by less than half. Agencies reported challenges in meeting OMB's targets, such as the decentralized nature of some agencies. Until agencies take action to improve progress against OMB's metrics, including addressing any challenges identified, they could be hindered in making progress against OMB's optimization targets.

Why GAO Did This Study

In 2010, as the focal point for information technology management across the government, OMB's Federal Chief Information Officer launched the Federal Data Center Consolidation Initiative to reduce the growing number of centers. Information technology reform legislation was subsequently enacted in December 2014 that included a series of provisions related to the federal data center consolidation effort, including requiring agencies to report on cost savings and requiring GAO to annually review agency inventories and strategies.

GAO's objectives were to (1) review agencies' data center closures to date and plans for further closures, (2) evaluate agencies' progress in achieving consolidation savings and describe plans for future savings, and (3) assess agencies' progress against OMB's data center optimization targets. To do so, GAO assessed agencies' data center inventories, reviewed agency-reported cost savings and avoidance documentation, and compared agencies' data center optimization data as of November 2015 against OMB's established targets.

What GAO Recommends

GAO is recommending that 10 agencies take action to address challenges in establishing, and to complete, planned data center cost savings and avoidance targets. GAO is also recommending that 22 agencies take action to improve optimization progress, including addressing any identified challenges. Fourteen agencies agreed with GAO's recommendations, 4 did not state whether they agreed or disagreed, and 6 stated that they had no comments.

For more information, contact David Powner at (202) 512-9286 or pownerd@gao.gov.

Recommendations for Executive Action

  1. Status: Closed - Implemented

    Comments: The Department of the Interior agreed with our recommendation, and has taken steps to implement it. In April 2016, the department stated in correspondence to GAO that its Office of the Chief Information Officer expected to submit the department's annual data center consolidation plan by September 2016. Based on this information, the department stated that it expected to have fiscal year 2016 cost savings and avoidance actuals and fiscal year 2017 and 2018 cost savings and avoidance targets established by December 2016. In April 2017, the Department of the Interior updated its Data Center Optimization Strategic Plan to include planned cost savings and avoidances targets for fiscal years 2016 through 2018, thereby addressing the weakness we had previously reported on. By identifying and reporting this information, the department is better positioned to measure and evaluate progress in achieving data center related cost savings and avoidances.

    Recommendation: To better ensure that federal data center consolidation and optimization efforts improve governmental efficiency and achieve cost savings, the Secretaries of the Departments of the Interior, State, Transportation, and the Treasury; the Administrators of the Environmental Protection Agency, National Aeronautics and Space Administration and Small Business Administration; the Directors of the National Science Foundation and Office of Personnel Management; and the Chairman of the Nuclear Regulatory Commission should take action to address challenges in establishing, and to complete, planned data center cost savings and avoidance targets for fiscal years 2016 through 2018.

    Agency Affected: Department of the Interior

  2. Status: Open

    Comments: The Department of Transportation (Transportation) agreed with our recommendation, and has taken initial steps to implement it. In April 2016, the department stated in correspondence to GAO that it's Office of the Chief Information Officer (OCIO) was actively engaging with the department's Operating Administrations and was reconciling its original cost savings and avoidance targets to develop and update a yearly calculation as part of Transportation's multi-year strategy to consolidate and optimize its data centers. The department added that periodic updates would be provided to OCIO leadership and the CIO Council, with reconciled cost savings and avoidance targets for fiscal years 2017 and 2018 expected to be updated by September 30, 2016. However, as of July 2017, Transportation has not updated its Data Center Optimization Strategic Plan to include planned cost savings and avoidances targets for fiscal years 2016 through 2018. We will continue to monitor and evaluate the department's progress in implementing this recommendation and update accordingly.

    Recommendation: To better ensure that federal data center consolidation and optimization efforts improve governmental efficiency and achieve cost savings, the Secretaries of the Departments of the Interior, State, Transportation, and the Treasury; the Administrators of the Environmental Protection Agency, National Aeronautics and Space Administration and Small Business Administration; the Directors of the National Science Foundation and Office of Personnel Management; and the Chairman of the Nuclear Regulatory Commission should take action to address challenges in establishing, and to complete, planned data center cost savings and avoidance targets for fiscal years 2016 through 2018.

    Agency Affected: Department of Transportation

  3. Status: Closed - Implemented

    Comments: The Department of the Treasury has taken steps to implement our recommendation. In April 2017, the Department of the Treasury updated its Data Center Optimization Strategic Plan to included planned cost savings and avoidances targets for fiscal years 2016 through 2018 thereby addressing the weakness we had previously reported on. By identifying and reporting this information, the department is better positioned to measure and evaluate progress in achieving data center related cost savings and avoidances.

    Recommendation: To better ensure that federal data center consolidation and optimization efforts improve governmental efficiency and achieve cost savings, the Secretaries of the Departments of the Interior, State, Transportation, and the Treasury; the Administrators of the Environmental Protection Agency, National Aeronautics and Space Administration and Small Business Administration; the Directors of the National Science Foundation and Office of Personnel Management; and the Chairman of the Nuclear Regulatory Commission should take action to address challenges in establishing, and to complete, planned data center cost savings and avoidance targets for fiscal years 2016 through 2018.

    Agency Affected: Department of the Treasury

  4. Status: Open

    Comments: The Department of State agreed with our recommendation, and has taken initial steps to implement it. In June 2016, the department stated in correspondence to GAO that it was in the process of reviewing pending guidance on the Office of Management and Budget's Data Center Optimization Initiative (DCOI). The department further stated that once the DCOI guidance was issued, the department would update its targets and finalize a plan to more adequately address cost savings and avoidance targets for fiscal years 2016 through 2018. However, as of July 2017, the department has not updated its Data Center Optimization Strategic Plan to include planned cost savings and avoidances targets for fiscal years 2016 through 2018. We will continue to monitor and evaluate the department's progress in implementing this recommendation.

    Recommendation: To better ensure that federal data center consolidation and optimization efforts improve governmental efficiency and achieve cost savings, the Secretaries of the Departments of the Interior, State, Transportation, and the Treasury; the Administrators of the Environmental Protection Agency, National Aeronautics and Space Administration and Small Business Administration; the Directors of the National Science Foundation and Office of Personnel Management; and the Chairman of the Nuclear Regulatory Commission should take action to address challenges in establishing, and to complete, planned data center cost savings and avoidance targets for fiscal years 2016 through 2018.

    Agency Affected: Department of State

  5. Status: Open

    Comments: The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) agreed with our recommendation, and has taken initial steps to implement it. In May 2016, EPA stated in correspondence to GAO that it planned to establish a single data center within each of several specific geographical areas. For each data center selected for retention, the agency stated that it planned to make upgrades to address any potential capacity or performance issues, but noted that the specific plans for each data center slated for consolidation were under development. EPA stated that the resulting total cost savings were under assessment and had not yet been determined. However, as of July 2017, EPA has not updated its Data Center Optimization Strategic plan to include planned cost and savings and avoidances targets for fiscal years 2016 through 2018. We will continue to monitor and evaluate the agency's progress in implementing this recommendation.

    Recommendation: To better ensure that federal data center consolidation and optimization efforts improve governmental efficiency and achieve cost savings, the Secretaries of the Departments of the Interior, State, Transportation, and the Treasury; the Administrators of the Environmental Protection Agency, National Aeronautics and Space Administration and Small Business Administration; the Directors of the National Science Foundation and Office of Personnel Management; and the Chairman of the Nuclear Regulatory Commission should take action to address challenges in establishing, and to complete, planned data center cost savings and avoidance targets for fiscal years 2016 through 2018.

    Agency Affected: Environmental Protection Agency

  6. Status: Closed - Implemented

    Comments: The National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) agreed with, and has taken initial steps to implement, our recommendation. In May 2016, NASA management stated in correspondence to GAO that it was evaluating available total cost of ownership tools, with the intent of using such tools to create historical approximations of savings through fiscal year 2015, as well as creating projections of savings for fiscal years 2016 through 2018. The agency added that a specific tool was selected and the model was being configured with the latest NASA-specific data for testing. NASA intended to deliver the historical approximations, as well as future projections of savings, by October 2016. In April 2017, NASA updated its Data Center Optimization Strategic Plan to included planned cost savings and avoidances targets for fiscal years 2016 through 2018 thereby addressing the weaknesses we had previously reported. By taking these actions, the agency is better positioned to measure and evaluate progress in achieving data center related cost savings and avoidances.

    Recommendation: To better ensure that federal data center consolidation and optimization efforts improve governmental efficiency and achieve cost savings, the Secretaries of the Departments of the Interior, State, Transportation, and the Treasury; the Administrators of the Environmental Protection Agency, National Aeronautics and Space Administration and Small Business Administration; the Directors of the National Science Foundation and Office of Personnel Management; and the Chairman of the Nuclear Regulatory Commission should take action to address challenges in establishing, and to complete, planned data center cost savings and avoidance targets for fiscal years 2016 through 2018.

    Agency Affected: National Aeronautics and Space Administration

  7. Status: Open

    Comments: The National Science Foundation has not yet taken steps to implement our recommendation. As of July 2017, National Science Foundation has not updated its Data Center Optimization Strategic plan to included planned cost and savings and avoidances targets for fiscal years 2016 through 2018. We will continue to monitor and evaluate the agency's progress in implementing this recommendation.

    Recommendation: To better ensure that federal data center consolidation and optimization efforts improve governmental efficiency and achieve cost savings, the Secretaries of the Departments of the Interior, State, Transportation, and the Treasury; the Administrators of the Environmental Protection Agency, National Aeronautics and Space Administration and Small Business Administration; the Directors of the National Science Foundation and Office of Personnel Management; and the Chairman of the Nuclear Regulatory Commission should take action to address challenges in establishing, and to complete, planned data center cost savings and avoidance targets for fiscal years 2016 through 2018.

    Agency Affected: National Science Foundation

  8. Status: Open

    Comments: The Small Business Administration agreed with our recommendation, but has not yet taken steps to implement it. As of July 2017, the Small Business Administration has not updated its Data Center Optimization Strategic plan to included planned cost and savings and avoidances targets for fiscal years 2016 through 2018. We will continue to monitor and evaluate the agency's progress in implementing this recommendation.

    Recommendation: To better ensure that federal data center consolidation and optimization efforts improve governmental efficiency and achieve cost savings, the Secretaries of the Departments of the Interior, State, Transportation, and the Treasury; the Administrators of the Environmental Protection Agency, National Aeronautics and Space Administration and Small Business Administration; the Directors of the National Science Foundation and Office of Personnel Management; and the Chairman of the Nuclear Regulatory Commission should take action to address challenges in establishing, and to complete, planned data center cost savings and avoidance targets for fiscal years 2016 through 2018.

    Agency Affected: Small Business Administration

  9. Status: Closed - Implemented

    Comments: The Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC) agreed with our recommendation, and has taken steps to implement it. In May 2016, the agency stated in correspondence to GAO that it was working to modify its acquisition strategy for a follow-on agency-wide managed services contract, which was expected to result in cost savings, but did not provide specific details regarding when this would be completed. In April 2017, NRC updated its Data Center Optimization Strategic Plan to included planned cost savings and avoidances targets for fiscal years 2016 through 2018 thereby addressing the weaknesses we had previously reported. As a result, NRC is better positioned to measure and evaluate progress in achieving data center related cost savings and avoidances.

    Recommendation: To better ensure that federal data center consolidation and optimization efforts improve governmental efficiency and achieve cost savings, the Secretaries of the Departments of the Interior, State, Transportation, and the Treasury; the Administrators of the Environmental Protection Agency, National Aeronautics and Space Administration and Small Business Administration; the Directors of the National Science Foundation and Office of Personnel Management; and the Chairman of the Nuclear Regulatory Commission should take action to address challenges in establishing, and to complete, planned data center cost savings and avoidance targets for fiscal years 2016 through 2018.

    Agency Affected: Nuclear Regulatory Commission

  10. Status: Closed - Implemented

    Comments: The Office of Personnel Management (OPM) agreed with, and has taken steps to implement, our recommendation. In May 2016, OPM stated in correspondence to GAO that efforts were underway to consolidate its data centers from four to two. OPM stated it was actively tracking the planned cost savings and avoidance amounts and adjusting targets to reflect schedule changes. In April 2017, OPM updated its Data Center Optimization Strategic Plan to included planned cost savings and avoidances targets for fiscal years 2016 through 2018 thereby addressing the weaknesses we had previously reported. As a result, OPM is better positioned to measure and evaluate progress in achieving data center related cost savings and avoidances.

    Recommendation: To better ensure that federal data center consolidation and optimization efforts improve governmental efficiency and achieve cost savings, the Secretaries of the Departments of the Interior, State, Transportation, and the Treasury; the Administrators of the Environmental Protection Agency, National Aeronautics and Space Administration and Small Business Administration; the Directors of the National Science Foundation and Office of Personnel Management; and the Chairman of the Nuclear Regulatory Commission should take action to address challenges in establishing, and to complete, planned data center cost savings and avoidance targets for fiscal years 2016 through 2018.

    Agency Affected: Office of Personnel Management

  11. Status: Open

    Comments: The Department of Homeland Security (DHS) agreed with our recommendation, and has taken initial steps to implement it. In April 2016, the department stated in correspondence to GAO that its Office of the Chief Information Officer (OCIO) developed a scorecard to track progress for each of the data center optimization areas. According the department's scorecard, the department reported meeting 3 of 10 optimization targets, but did not meet the remaining 7 targets. DHS's OCIO noted that they would update this scorecard quarterly in alignment with Federal Data Center Consolidation Initiative data collection. DHS's OCIO expected to complete implementation of this recommendation by November 30, 2016. However, as of July 2017, DHS reports on the Office of Management and Budget's (OMB) IT Dashboard that it does not yet meet any of the five data center optimization metric targets that OMB currently requires agencies to report against (related to server utilization and monitoring, energy metering, server virtualization, data center facility space, and power usage efficiency). We will continue to monitor and evaluate the department's progress in implementing this recommendation.

    Recommendation: The Secretaries of the Departments of Agriculture, Commerce, Defense, Education, Energy, Health and Human Services, Homeland Security, Housing and Urban Development, the Interior, Labor, State, Transportation, the Treasury, and Veterans Affairs; the Attorney General of the United States; the Administrators of the Environmental Protection Agency, General Services Administration, National Aeronautics and Space Administration, and U.S. Agency for International Development; the Director of the Office of Personnel Management; the Chairman of the Nuclear Regulatory Commission; and the Commissioner of the Social Security Administration should take action to improve progress in the data center optimization areas that we reported as not meeting OMB's established targets, including addressing any identified challenges.

    Agency Affected: Department of Homeland Security

  12. Status: Open

    Comments: The Department of Agriculture generally agreed with our recommendation, and has taken initial steps to implement it. Specifically, as of July 2017, the department reports on the Office of Management and Budget's (OMB) IT Dashboard that it meets one (server virtualization) of the five data center optimization metric targets that OMB currently requires agencies to report against. However, the department also reports that it does not yet meet the remaining four targets (server utilization and monitoring, energy metering, data center facility space, and power usage efficiency). We will continue to monitor and evaluate the department's progress in implementing this recommendation.

    Recommendation: The Secretaries of the Departments of Agriculture, Commerce, Defense, Education, Energy, Health and Human Services, Homeland Security, Housing and Urban Development, the Interior, Labor, State, Transportation, the Treasury, and Veterans Affairs; the Attorney General of the United States; the Administrators of the Environmental Protection Agency, General Services Administration, National Aeronautics and Space Administration, and U.S. Agency for International Development; the Director of the Office of Personnel Management; the Chairman of the Nuclear Regulatory Commission; and the Commissioner of the Social Security Administration should take action to improve progress in the data center optimization areas that we reported as not meeting OMB's established targets, including addressing any identified challenges.

    Agency Affected: Department of Agriculture

  13. Status: Closed - Implemented

    Comments: The Department of Education agreed with our recommendation, and has taken steps to implement it. As of July 2017, the Department of Education reports that it has moved all its data center services to cloud computing providers and that it no longer has any agency-owned data centers. Because the department no longer owns any data centers, it cannot report progress against meeting the Office of Management and Budget's (OMB) data center optimization metrics. However, OMB's Data Center Optimization Initiative also encourages agencies to consolidate and close existing data centers by moving those facilities' services into a cloud computing environment. To that end, Education officials note that by moving to cloud service providers, the department is able to respond timely to the shifts in user demand for server-based solutions by reducing capital expenditures and focusing more on provisioned services with service-catalog-based ordering from these utility-based "as a service" models. By taking these actions, Education has closed all agency-owned data centers and met a key intent of OMB's optimization initiative that agencies should transition to more efficient infrastructure, such as cloud services.

    Recommendation: The Secretaries of the Departments of Agriculture, Commerce, Defense, Education, Energy, Health and Human Services, Homeland Security, Housing and Urban Development, the Interior, Labor, State, Transportation, the Treasury, and Veterans Affairs; the Attorney General of the United States; the Administrators of the Environmental Protection Agency, General Services Administration, National Aeronautics and Space Administration, and U.S. Agency for International Development; the Director of the Office of Personnel Management; the Chairman of the Nuclear Regulatory Commission; and the Commissioner of the Social Security Administration should take action to improve progress in the data center optimization areas that we reported as not meeting OMB's established targets, including addressing any identified challenges.

    Agency Affected: Department of Education

  14. Status: Open

    Comments: The Department of Commerce agreed with our recommendation, and has taken initial steps to implement it. In May 2016, the department stated in correspondence to GAO that it will work with its bureaus to develop and publish an annual strategic plan. The strategic plan will, among other things, describe a list of specific planned actions to improve data center optimization progress. For example, the department stated that, to increase facility utilization, the Bureau of Economic Analysis is co-locating computing resources within the Census Bureau's Bowie Computer Center. Further, Census planned to market the Bowie Computer Center as an opportunity for government-wide co-location. In addition, the department stated that the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration is building greater network capacity to National Weather Service forecast offices and will aim to reduce the number of local systems at forecast offices that are currently considered data centers (122 in total). However, as of July 2017, the Department of Commerce reports on the Office of Management and Budget's (OMB) IT Dashboard that it does not yet meet any of the five data center optimization metric targets that OMB currently requires agencies to report against. We will continue to monitor and evaluate the department's progress in implementing this recommendation.

    Recommendation: The Secretaries of the Departments of Agriculture, Commerce, Defense, Education, Energy, Health and Human Services, Homeland Security, Housing and Urban Development, the Interior, Labor, State, Transportation, the Treasury, and Veterans Affairs; the Attorney General of the United States; the Administrators of the Environmental Protection Agency, General Services Administration, National Aeronautics and Space Administration, and U.S. Agency for International Development; the Director of the Office of Personnel Management; the Chairman of the Nuclear Regulatory Commission; and the Commissioner of the Social Security Administration should take action to improve progress in the data center optimization areas that we reported as not meeting OMB's established targets, including addressing any identified challenges.

    Agency Affected: Department of Commerce

  15. Status: Open

    Comments: The Department of Defense (DOD) agreed with our recommendation, and has taken initial steps to implement it. In June 2016, the department stated in correspondence to GAO that it is considering several actions to improve optimization progress in the areas that we reported as not meeting the Office of Management and Budget's (OMB) established targets. For example, DOD stated that it is moving toward on-premises and off-premises commercial cloud hosting services to enable migration of workloads to more efficient environments intended to improve the virtualization and density metrics. Further, the department stated that its Chief Information Officer is working directly with the services to reconcile the instances of multiple Installation Processing Nodes on individual bases, posts, camps, and stations. DOD also stated that all of these actions will enable the closure of additional data centers, increase efficiencies in all categories, and drive greater savings. However, as of July 2017, the Department of Defense reports on the OMB IT Dashboard that it does not yet meet any of the five data center optimization metric targets that OMB currently requires agencies to report against. We will continue to monitor and evaluate the department's progress in implementing this recommendation.

    Recommendation: The Secretaries of the Departments of Agriculture, Commerce, Defense, Education, Energy, Health and Human Services, Homeland Security, Housing and Urban Development, the Interior, Labor, State, Transportation, the Treasury, and Veterans Affairs; the Attorney General of the United States; the Administrators of the Environmental Protection Agency, General Services Administration, National Aeronautics and Space Administration, and U.S. Agency for International Development; the Director of the Office of Personnel Management; the Chairman of the Nuclear Regulatory Commission; and the Commissioner of the Social Security Administration should take action to improve progress in the data center optimization areas that we reported as not meeting OMB's established targets, including addressing any identified challenges.

    Agency Affected: Department of Defense

  16. Status: Open

    Comments: The Department of Energy (Energy) agreed with our recommendation, and has taken initial steps to implement it. In May 2016, Energy stated in correspondence to GAO that it had established an enterprise-wide Data Center Working Group that is chartered to identify best practices in data center metering, optimization, consolidation and cloud migration (and to support these practices throughout the department). According to Energy, this working group is intended to serve as a focus group for communicating information related to the Federal Information Technology Acquisition Reform Act (FITARA), departmental strategy and implementation, and the Office of Management and Budget (OMB) requirements for data centers, as well as to provide summary data center performance status to all members. However, as of July 2017, Energy reports on OMB's IT Dashboard that it does not yet met any of the five data center optimization metric targets that OMB currently requires agencies to report against. We will continue to monitor and evaluate the department's progress in implementing this recommendation.

    Recommendation: The Secretaries of the Departments of Agriculture, Commerce, Defense, Education, Energy, Health and Human Services, Homeland Security, Housing and Urban Development, the Interior, Labor, State, Transportation, the Treasury, and Veterans Affairs; the Attorney General of the United States; the Administrators of the Environmental Protection Agency, General Services Administration, National Aeronautics and Space Administration, and U.S. Agency for International Development; the Director of the Office of Personnel Management; the Chairman of the Nuclear Regulatory Commission; and the Commissioner of the Social Security Administration should take action to improve progress in the data center optimization areas that we reported as not meeting OMB's established targets, including addressing any identified challenges.

    Agency Affected: Department of Energy

  17. Status: Open

    Comments: The Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) agreed with our recommendation, and has taken steps to implement it. In May 2016, the department stated in correspondence to GAO that its ability to attain the Office of Management and Budget's (OMB) established target value for the three remaining optimization metrics would require the department to further consolidate data center resources and migrate from contractor-owned and operated data centers to multi-tenant, shared data centers. The department further stated that this effort would be accomplished under the HUD Enterprise and Architecture Transition initiative that was restructuring infrastructure services and was targeting data center migrations to be completed by July 2017. The department also stated that it expected to be able to provide fiscal year 2017 optimization metrics data that met or exceeded OMB's target values by February 2018. However, as of July 2017, the department states that, due to data center migration dependencies on two smaller infrastructure transition projects, the data center migration project schedule is delayed until the first quarter of fiscal year 2018. We will continue to monitor and evaluate the department's progress in implementing this recommendation.

    Recommendation: The Secretaries of the Departments of Agriculture, Commerce, Defense, Education, Energy, Health and Human Services, Homeland Security, Housing and Urban Development, the Interior, Labor, State, Transportation, the Treasury, and Veterans Affairs; the Attorney General of the United States; the Administrators of the Environmental Protection Agency, General Services Administration, National Aeronautics and Space Administration, and U.S. Agency for International Development; the Director of the Office of Personnel Management; the Chairman of the Nuclear Regulatory Commission; and the Commissioner of the Social Security Administration should take action to improve progress in the data center optimization areas that we reported as not meeting OMB's established targets, including addressing any identified challenges.

    Agency Affected: Department of Housing and Urban Development

  18. Status: Open

    Comments: The Department of Health and Human Services agreed with our recommendation, and has taken initial steps to implement it. In May 2016, the department stated in correspondence to GAO that it would work to improve the data center optimization metrics that did not meet the Office of Management and Budget's (OMB) established targets. The department further stated that it expected to have a more detailed approach available through a Data Center Strategy, which was expected before the end of fiscal year 2016 . However, as of July 2017, the department reports on OMB's IT Dashboard that it meets only one (power usage efficiency) of the five data center optimization metric targets OMB currently requires agencies to report against. The department further reports that it does not meet the remaining four targets (related to server utilization and monitoring, energy metering, server virtualization, and data center facility space). We will continue to monitor and evaluate the department's progress in implementing this recommendation.

    Recommendation: The Secretaries of the Departments of Agriculture, Commerce, Defense, Education, Energy, Health and Human Services, Homeland Security, Housing and Urban Development, the Interior, Labor, State, Transportation, the Treasury, and Veterans Affairs; the Attorney General of the United States; the Administrators of the Environmental Protection Agency, General Services Administration, National Aeronautics and Space Administration, and U.S. Agency for International Development; the Director of the Office of Personnel Management; the Chairman of the Nuclear Regulatory Commission; and the Commissioner of the Social Security Administration should take action to improve progress in the data center optimization areas that we reported as not meeting OMB's established targets, including addressing any identified challenges.

    Agency Affected: Department of Health and Human Services

  19. Status: Open

    Comments: The Social Security Administration agreed with our recommendation, and has taken initial steps to implement it. In April 2016, the agency stated in correspondence to GAO that it was in the process of transitioning to a new data center. While undergoing this transition, the agency stated that it was working to optimize its new data center and will have the capability to report on the Office of Management and Budget's optimization targets once the transition is complete. The agency expected to complete these steps by September 2016. As of July 2017, SSA reports on the Office of Management and Budget's (OMB) IT Dashboard that it meets three (energy metering, data center facility space and power usage efficiency) of the five data center optimization metric targets that OMB currently requires agencies to report against. However, SSA reports that it does not meet the remaining two targets (related to server utilization and monitoring, and server virtualization). We will continue to monitor and evaluate the agency's progress in implementing this recommendation.

    Recommendation: The Secretaries of the Departments of Agriculture, Commerce, Defense, Education, Energy, Health and Human Services, Homeland Security, Housing and Urban Development, the Interior, Labor, State, Transportation, the Treasury, and Veterans Affairs; the Attorney General of the United States; the Administrators of the Environmental Protection Agency, General Services Administration, National Aeronautics and Space Administration, and U.S. Agency for International Development; the Director of the Office of Personnel Management; the Chairman of the Nuclear Regulatory Commission; and the Commissioner of the Social Security Administration should take action to improve progress in the data center optimization areas that we reported as not meeting OMB's established targets, including addressing any identified challenges.

    Agency Affected: Social Security Administration

  20. Status: Open

    Comments: The Department of the Interior (Interior) agreed with our recommendation, and has taken initial steps to implement it. In April 2016, the department stated in correspondence to GAO that its Office of the Chief Information Officer (OCIO) was developing data center optimization metrics to measure bureau and office progress in meeting optimization targets. The department added that these metrics would become part of the 2016 OCIO Organizational Assessment, a scorecard used to measure bureau and office progress against predefined targets. However, as of July 2017, Interior reports on the Office of Management and Budget's (OMB) IT Dashboard that it does not yet meet any of the five data center optimization metric targets that OMB currently requires agencies to report against (related to server utilization and monitoring, energy metering, server virtualization, data center facility space, and power usage efficiency). We will continue to monitor and evaluate the department's progress in implementing this recommendation.

    Recommendation: The Secretaries of the Departments of Agriculture, Commerce, Defense, Education, Energy, Health and Human Services, Homeland Security, Housing and Urban Development, the Interior, Labor, State, Transportation, the Treasury, and Veterans Affairs; the Attorney General of the United States; the Administrators of the Environmental Protection Agency, General Services Administration, National Aeronautics and Space Administration, and U.S. Agency for International Development; the Director of the Office of Personnel Management; the Chairman of the Nuclear Regulatory Commission; and the Commissioner of the Social Security Administration should take action to improve progress in the data center optimization areas that we reported as not meeting OMB's established targets, including addressing any identified challenges.

    Agency Affected: Department of the Interior

  21. Status: Open

    Comments: The Department of Justice (Justice) agreed with our recommendation, and has taken initial steps to implement it. In May 2016, Justice stated in correspondence to GAO that it was developing plans to migrate the remaining non-core data centers to the department's three Core Enterprise Facilities (CEFs) and/or commercial cloud services by the end of fiscal year 2019. The department added that, as these migrations occur, its data center footprint and facility utilization should continue to improve and the percentage of servers and operating systems residing in the CEFs should significantly exceed federal data center consolidation targets. Justice also stated that it engaged with external representatives to perform an energy efficiency assessment at its core enterprise facility in Virginia, which resulted in significant improvements at the data center and improved the overall power usage efficiency across the department's core data centers. However, as of July 2017, Justice reported on the Office of Management and Budget's (OMB) IT Dashboard that it does not meet any of the five data optimization metric targets that OMB currently requires agencies to report against (related to server utilization and monitoring, energy metering, server virtualization, data center facility space, and power usage efficiency). We will continue to evaluate the department's progress in implementing this recommendation.

    Recommendation: The Secretaries of the Departments of Agriculture, Commerce, Defense, Education, Energy, Health and Human Services, Homeland Security, Housing and Urban Development, the Interior, Labor, State, Transportation, the Treasury, and Veterans Affairs; the Attorney General of the United States; the Administrators of the Environmental Protection Agency, General Services Administration, National Aeronautics and Space Administration, and U.S. Agency for International Development; the Director of the Office of Personnel Management; the Chairman of the Nuclear Regulatory Commission; and the Commissioner of the Social Security Administration should take action to improve progress in the data center optimization areas that we reported as not meeting OMB's established targets, including addressing any identified challenges.

    Agency Affected: Department of Justice

  22. Status: Open

    Comments: The Department of Transportation (Transportation) agreed with our recommendation, and has taken initial steps to implement it. In April 2016, Transportation stated in correspondence to GAO that it centralized its data center consolidation efforts in fiscal year 2015 and, in early fiscal year 2016, completed reconciliation of its actual and planned data centers closures, as well as related performance data. The department also stated that it planned to continue towards measuring and making improvements to meet the Office of Management and Budget's (OMB) data center optimization performance metric targets. Transportation noted that periodic updates provided to its Office of the Chief Information Officer leadership and the Chief Information Officer Council would identify challenges in meeting the Office of Management and Budget's optimization metric targets. However, as of July 2017, Transportation reports on OMB's IT Dashboard that it does not meet any of the five data optimization metric targets that OMB currently requires agencies to report against (related to server utilization and monitoring, energy metering, server virtualization, data center facility space, power usage efficiency). We will continue to monitor and evaluate the department's progress in implementing this recommendation.

    Recommendation: The Secretaries of the Departments of Agriculture, Commerce, Defense, Education, Energy, Health and Human Services, Homeland Security, Housing and Urban Development, the Interior, Labor, State, Transportation, the Treasury, and Veterans Affairs; the Attorney General of the United States; the Administrators of the Environmental Protection Agency, General Services Administration, National Aeronautics and Space Administration, and U.S. Agency for International Development; the Director of the Office of Personnel Management; the Chairman of the Nuclear Regulatory Commission; and the Commissioner of the Social Security Administration should take action to improve progress in the data center optimization areas that we reported as not meeting OMB's established targets, including addressing any identified challenges.

    Agency Affected: Department of Transportation

  23. Status: Open

    Comments: The Department of Labor (Labor) agreed with this recommendation, and has taken initial steps to implement it. In April 2016, the department stated in correspondence to GAO that it had closed 23 percent of its data centers and, by the end of 2019, the department plans to close 61 percent of its data centers. Further, Labor stated that it has made significant progress in the development of a fully virtualized common operating environment. According to the department, these efforts are designed to improve optimization metrics performance. However, as of July 2017, the department reports on the Office of Management and Budget's (OMB) IT Dashboard that it does not yet met any of the five data center optimization metric targets that OMB currently requires agencies to report against (related to server utilization and monitoring, energy metering, server virtualization, data center facility space, and power usage efficiency). We will continue to monitor and evaluate the department's progress in implementing this recommendation.

    Recommendation: The Secretaries of the Departments of Agriculture, Commerce, Defense, Education, Energy, Health and Human Services, Homeland Security, Housing and Urban Development, the Interior, Labor, State, Transportation, the Treasury, and Veterans Affairs; the Attorney General of the United States; the Administrators of the Environmental Protection Agency, General Services Administration, National Aeronautics and Space Administration, and U.S. Agency for International Development; the Director of the Office of Personnel Management; the Chairman of the Nuclear Regulatory Commission; and the Commissioner of the Social Security Administration should take action to improve progress in the data center optimization areas that we reported as not meeting OMB's established targets, including addressing any identified challenges.

    Agency Affected: Department of Labor

  24. Status: Open

    Comments: The Department of the Treasury (Treasury) generally agreed with our recommendation, and has taken initial steps to implement it. However, as of July 2017, Treasury reports on the Office of Management and Budget's (OMB's) IT Dashboard that it does not met any of the five data optimization metric targets that OMB currently requires agencies to report against (related to server utilization and monitoring, energy metering, server virtualization, data center facility space, and power usage efficiency). We will continue to monitor and evaluate the department's progress in implementing this recommendation.

    Recommendation: The Secretaries of the Departments of Agriculture, Commerce, Defense, Education, Energy, Health and Human Services, Homeland Security, Housing and Urban Development, the Interior, Labor, State, Transportation, the Treasury, and Veterans Affairs; the Attorney General of the United States; the Administrators of the Environmental Protection Agency, General Services Administration, National Aeronautics and Space Administration, and U.S. Agency for International Development; the Director of the Office of Personnel Management; the Chairman of the Nuclear Regulatory Commission; and the Commissioner of the Social Security Administration should take action to improve progress in the data center optimization areas that we reported as not meeting OMB's established targets, including addressing any identified challenges.

    Agency Affected: Department of the Treasury

  25. Status: Open

    Priority recommendation

    Comments: The Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) agreed with our recommendation, and has taken initial steps to implement it. In May 2016, the department stated in correspondence to GAO that it had not yet taken action to improve optimization progress in the areas that we reported as having weaknesses. Specifically, the department stated that the Office of Management and Budget (OMB) was in the process of changing the fiscal year 2016 through 2018 closure targets and data center optimization metrics under the Federal Information Technology Acquisition Reform Act, which it planned to complete by the end of July 2016. Upon receipt of the targets, VA stated that it needed to assess the impact on strategies already under way, which it planned to complete by mid-fiscal year 2017. As of July 2017, the department reports on OMB's IT Dashboard that it meets only one (power usage efficiency) of the five data center optimization metric targets that OMB currently requires agencies to report against. In addition, the department reports that it does not meet the remaining four targets (related to server utilization and monitoring, energy metering, server virtualization, and data center facility space). We will continue to monitor and evaluate the department's progress in implementing this recommendation.

    Recommendation: The Secretaries of the Departments of Agriculture, Commerce, Defense, Education, Energy, Health and Human Services, Homeland Security, Housing and Urban Development, the Interior, Labor, State, Transportation, the Treasury, and Veterans Affairs; the Attorney General of the United States; the Administrators of the Environmental Protection Agency, General Services Administration, National Aeronautics and Space Administration, and U.S. Agency for International Development; the Director of the Office of Personnel Management; the Chairman of the Nuclear Regulatory Commission; and the Commissioner of the Social Security Administration should take action to improve progress in the data center optimization areas that we reported as not meeting OMB's established targets, including addressing any identified challenges.

    Agency Affected: Department of Veterans Affairs

  26. Status: Open

    Comments: The Department of State agreed with our recommendation, and has taken initial steps to implement it. In June 2016, the department stated in correspondence to GAO that it planned to follow the Office of Management and Budget's (OMB) guidance on optimizing data centers and would take action to improve the defined areas that Data Center Optimization Initiative identifies. Specifically, as of July 2017, the department reports on OMB's IT Dashboard that it meets only one (power usage efficiency) of the five data center optimization metric targets that OMB currently requires agencies to report against. However, the department reported that it does not meet the remaining four targets (related to server utilization and monitoring, energy metering, server virtualization, and data center facility space). We will continue to monitor and evaluate the department's progress in implementing this recommendation.

    Recommendation: The Secretaries of the Departments of Agriculture, Commerce, Defense, Education, Energy, Health and Human Services, Homeland Security, Housing and Urban Development, the Interior, Labor, State, Transportation, the Treasury, and Veterans Affairs; the Attorney General of the United States; the Administrators of the Environmental Protection Agency, General Services Administration, National Aeronautics and Space Administration, and U.S. Agency for International Development; the Director of the Office of Personnel Management; the Chairman of the Nuclear Regulatory Commission; and the Commissioner of the Social Security Administration should take action to improve progress in the data center optimization areas that we reported as not meeting OMB's established targets, including addressing any identified challenges.

    Agency Affected: Department of State

  27. Status: Open

    Comments: The Environmental Protection Agency agreed with our recommendation, and has taken initial steps to implement it. In May 2016, the agency stated in correspondence to GAO that it had directed data center stakeholders to place an emphasis on virtualizing physical servers and moving server-based applications to the cloud or a core data center. The agency added that the estimated increase for each optimization metric would be determined after data consolidation plans were finalized. As of July 2017, EPA reports on the Office of Management and Budget's (OMB) IT Dashboard that it meets three (energy metering, server virtualization, and power usage efficiency) of the five data center optimization metric targets OMB currently requires agencies to report against. However, EPA reports that it does not yet met the remaining two targets (related to server utilization and monitoring, and data center facility space). We will continue to monitor and evaluate the agency's progress in implementing this recommendation.

    Recommendation: The Secretaries of the Departments of Agriculture, Commerce, Defense, Education, Energy, Health and Human Services, Homeland Security, Housing and Urban Development, the Interior, Labor, State, Transportation, the Treasury, and Veterans Affairs; the Attorney General of the United States; the Administrators of the Environmental Protection Agency, General Services Administration, National Aeronautics and Space Administration, and U.S. Agency for International Development; the Director of the Office of Personnel Management; the Chairman of the Nuclear Regulatory Commission; and the Commissioner of the Social Security Administration should take action to improve progress in the data center optimization areas that we reported as not meeting OMB's established targets, including addressing any identified challenges.

    Agency Affected: Environmental Protection Agency

  28. Status: Open

    Comments: The General Services Administration (GSA) agreed with our recommendation, and has taken initial steps to implement it. In May 2016, the agency stated in correspondence to GAO that it had developed an action plan to improve optimization progress. For example, GSA's action plan stated that the agency planned to create a new inventory of their data centers in order to establish a baseline to help in planning for data center closures, as well as collecting more accurate data for cost saving calculations. The agency also planned to create a new and better cost saving model and noted that it planned to refresh the cost model semi-annually. Finally, GSA intended to improve the required metrics set forth by the Office of Management and Budget (OMB) by eliminating physical machines and increasing virtualization whenever possible. As of July 2017, GSA reports on OMB's IT Dashboard that it meets one (server utilization and monitoring) of the five data center optimization metric targets that OMB currently requires agencies to report against. However, GSA reports that it does not meet the remaining four targets (related to energy metering, server virtualization, data center facility space, and power usage efficiency). We will continue to monitor and evaluate the agency's progress in implementing this recommendation.

    Recommendation: The Secretaries of the Departments of Agriculture, Commerce, Defense, Education, Energy, Health and Human Services, Homeland Security, Housing and Urban Development, the Interior, Labor, State, Transportation, the Treasury, and Veterans Affairs; the Attorney General of the United States; the Administrators of the Environmental Protection Agency, General Services Administration, National Aeronautics and Space Administration, and U.S. Agency for International Development; the Director of the Office of Personnel Management; the Chairman of the Nuclear Regulatory Commission; and the Commissioner of the Social Security Administration should take action to improve progress in the data center optimization areas that we reported as not meeting OMB's established targets, including addressing any identified challenges.

    Agency Affected: General Services Administration

  29. Status: Open

    Comments: The National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) agreed with our recommendation, and has taken initial steps to implement it. In May 2016, NASA stated in correspondence to GAO that it planned to develop improvement strategies for each deficient metric and hold meetings with all of the data center owners to explain the improvement strategies and further educate the data center owners on how to create efficiencies. NASA added that the anticipated completion for this is July 2017. However, as of July 2017, NASA reports on the Office of Management and Budget's (OMB) IT Dashboard that it does not meet any of the five data optimization metric targets that OMB currently requires agencies to report against (related to server utilization and monitoring, energy metering, server virtualization, data center facility space, and power usage efficiency). We will continue to monitor and evaluate the agency's progress in implementing this recommendation.

    Recommendation: The Secretaries of the Departments of Agriculture, Commerce, Defense, Education, Energy, Health and Human Services, Homeland Security, Housing and Urban Development, the Interior, Labor, State, Transportation, the Treasury, and Veterans Affairs; the Attorney General of the United States; the Administrators of the Environmental Protection Agency, General Services Administration, National Aeronautics and Space Administration, and U.S. Agency for International Development; the Director of the Office of Personnel Management; the Chairman of the Nuclear Regulatory Commission; and the Commissioner of the Social Security Administration should take action to improve progress in the data center optimization areas that we reported as not meeting OMB's established targets, including addressing any identified challenges.

    Agency Affected: National Aeronautics and Space Administration

  30. Status: Open

    Comments: The Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC) agreed with our recommendation, and has taken initial steps to implement it. In May 2016, NRC stated in correspondence to GAO that it was pursuing development of a hybrid data center that will allow many data center functions to be performed in the cloud, allowing for more optimization, including the ability to better meet optimization targets (including those related to both cost savings and optimization) established by the Office of Management and Budget (OMB) through the Data Center Optimization Initiative. As of July 2017, NRC reports on OMB's IT Dashboard that it meets one (server virtualization) of the five data center optimization metric targets that OMB currently requires agencies to report against. However, the agency reports that it does not meet the remaining four targets (related to server utilization and monitoring, energy metering, server virtualization, data center facility space, and power usage efficiency). We will continue to monitor and evaluate the agency's progress in implementing this recommendation.

    Recommendation: The Secretaries of the Departments of Agriculture, Commerce, Defense, Education, Energy, Health and Human Services, Homeland Security, Housing and Urban Development, the Interior, Labor, State, Transportation, the Treasury, and Veterans Affairs; the Attorney General of the United States; the Administrators of the Environmental Protection Agency, General Services Administration, National Aeronautics and Space Administration, and U.S. Agency for International Development; the Director of the Office of Personnel Management; the Chairman of the Nuclear Regulatory Commission; and the Commissioner of the Social Security Administration should take action to improve progress in the data center optimization areas that we reported as not meeting OMB's established targets, including addressing any identified challenges.

    Agency Affected: Nuclear Regulatory Commission

  31. Status: Open

    Comments: The Office of Personnel Management (OPM) agreed with our recommendation, and has taken initial steps to implement it. In May 2016, OPM stated in correspondence to GAO that it was committed to meeting the targets associated with the agency's data center optimization efforts. The agency added that challenges would be addressed as plans evolved to meet current targets and within current funding. As of July 2017, OPM reports on the Office of Management and Budget's (OMB) IT Dashboard that it meets only one (server virtualization) of the five data center optimization metric targets that OMB currently requires agencies to report against. However, the agency reports that it does not meet the remaining four targets (related to server utilization and monitoring, energy metering, server virtualization, data center facility space, and power usage efficiency). We will continue to monitor and evaluate the agency's progress in implementing this recommendation and update accordingly.

    Recommendation: The Secretaries of the Departments of Agriculture, Commerce, Defense, Education, Energy, Health and Human Services, Homeland Security, Housing and Urban Development, the Interior, Labor, State, Transportation, the Treasury, and Veterans Affairs; the Attorney General of the United States; the Administrators of the Environmental Protection Agency, General Services Administration, National Aeronautics and Space Administration, and U.S. Agency for International Development; the Director of the Office of Personnel Management; the Chairman of the Nuclear Regulatory Commission; and the Commissioner of the Social Security Administration should take action to improve progress in the data center optimization areas that we reported as not meeting OMB's established targets, including addressing any identified challenges.

    Agency Affected: Office of Personnel Management

  32. Status: Open

    Comments: The U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID) agreed with our recommendation, and has taken initial steps to implement it. In May 2016, USAID stated in correspondence to GAO that it was planning to take action to improve progress in the remaining two areas that we reported as not meeting the Office of Management and Budget's (OMB) optimization targets, including addressing any identifying challenges. The agency noted that its target completion date for implementing our recommendation was February 2017. However, as of July 2017, USAID reports on OMB's IT Dashboard that it does not yet meet the server utilization and monitoring metric target, which is the only metric applicable to USAID. We will continue to monitor and evaluate the department's progress in implementing this recommendation.

    Recommendation: The Secretaries of the Departments of Agriculture, Commerce, Defense, Education, Energy, Health and Human Services, Homeland Security, Housing and Urban Development, the Interior, Labor, State, Transportation, the Treasury, and Veterans Affairs; the Attorney General of the United States; the Administrators of the Environmental Protection Agency, General Services Administration, National Aeronautics and Space Administration, and U.S. Agency for International Development; the Director of the Office of Personnel Management; the Chairman of the Nuclear Regulatory Commission; and the Commissioner of the Social Security Administration should take action to improve progress in the data center optimization areas that we reported as not meeting OMB's established targets, including addressing any identified challenges.

    Agency Affected: United States Agency for International Development

 

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