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: Open

    Comments: The Department of the Interior agreed with our recommendation, but has not yet taken steps to implement it. In April 2016, the department stated in correspondence to GAO that its Office of the Chief Information Officer expects to submit the annual data center consolidation plans by September 2016. Based on this information, the department expects 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. 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 the Interior

  2. Status: Open

    Comments: The Department of Transportation (Transportation) agreed with, and has taken initial steps to implement, our recommendation. In April 2016, the department stated in correspondence to GAO that its 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 will 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. 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: Open

    Comments: The Department of the Treasury has not yet taken steps to implement our recommendation. 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 the Treasury

  4. Status: Open

    Comments: The Department of State agreed with our recommendation, but has not yet taken 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). Once the DCOI guidance is issued, the department will update its targets and finalize a plan to more adequately address cost savings and avoidance 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, but has not yet taken steps to implement. In May 2016, EPA stated in correspondence to GAO that it plans 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 plans to make upgrades to address any potential capacity or performance issues, but noted that the specific plans for each data center slated for consolidation are currently under development. Finally, EPA stated that the resulting total cost savings are under assessment and have not yet been determined. 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: Open

    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 is 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 has been selected and the model is being configured with the latest NASA-specific data for testing. NASA intends to deliver the historical approximations, as well as future projections of savings, by October 2016. 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 Aeronautics and Space Administration

  7. Status: Open

    Comments: The National Science Foundation has not yet taken steps to implement our recommendation. 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 has not yet taken steps to implement our recommendation. 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: Open

    Comments: The Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC) agreed with our recommendation, but has not yet taken steps to implement it. In May 2016, the agency stated in correspondence to GAO that it is working to modify its acquisition strategy for a follow-on agency-wide managed services contract, which is expected to result in cost savings, but did not provide specific details regarding when this would be completed. 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: Nuclear Regulatory Commission

  10. Status: Open

    Comments: The Office of Personnel Management (OPM) agreed with, and has taken initial steps to implement, our recommendation. In May 2016, OPM stated in correspondence to GAO that efforts are underway to consolidate its data centers from four to two. OPM stated it is actively tracking the planned cost savings and avoidance amounts and adjusting targets to reflect schedule changes. 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: Office of Personnel Management

  11. Status: Open

    Comments: The Department of Homeland Security (DHS) agreed with, and has taken initial steps to implement, our recommendation. 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 will update this scorecard quarterly in alignment with Federal Data Center Consolidation Initiative data collection. DHS's OCIO expects to complete implementation of this recommendation by November 30, 2016. 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 agreed with our recommendation, but has not yet taken steps to implement it. 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: Open

    Comments: The Department of Education agreed with our recommendation, but has not yet taken steps to implement it. 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 Education

  14. Status: Open

    Comments: The Department of Commerce agreed with, and has taken initial steps to implement, our recommendation. 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 plans 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). 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, but has not yet taken 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 established targets. For example, DOD stated they are moving toward realization of on-premises and off-premises commercial cloud hosting services to enable migration of workloads to more efficient environments, therefore positively affecting 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. 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, and has taken initial steps to implement, our recommendation. 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 requirements for data centers, as well as to provide summary data center performance status to all members. However, as of May 2016, the department had not provided evidence that it had improved the data center areas that we reported as not meeting the Office of Management and Budget's targets, such as facility utilization and power usage effectiveness. 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, but has not yet 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 established target value for the three remaining metrics will require the department to further consolidate data center resources and migrate from contractor-owned and operated data centers to multi-tenant, shared data centers. This effort will be accomplished under the HUD Enterprise and Architecture Transition initiative that restructures infrastructure services and is targeting data center migrations to be completed by July 2017. Finally, the department stated that it expects to be able to provide fiscal year 2017 optimization metrics data that meets or exceeds the Office of Management and Budget's target values by February 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, but has not yet taken steps to implement it. In May 2016, the department stated in correspondence to GAO that it will work to improve the five optimization metrics that did not meet the Office of Management and Budget's established targets (i.e., facility utilization, power usage effectiveness, storage utilization, virtualization density and virtualized operating systems) through the new Data Center Optimization Initiative. The department expects to have a more detailed approach available through its forthcoming Data Center Strategy, which is expected before the end of fiscal year 2016. 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, and has taken initial steps to implement, our recommendation. In April 2016, the agency stated in correspondence to GAO that it is in the process of transitioning to a new data center. While it undergoes this transition, the agency stated that it is 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 expects to complete these steps by September 2016. 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: Social Security Administration

  20. Status: Open

    Comments: The Department of the Interior agreed with, and has taken initial steps to implement, our recommendation. 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 will become part of the 2016 OCIO Organizational Assessment, a scorecard used to measure bureau and office progress against predefined targets. 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 Initiative 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 from 1.92 to 1.80. 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, and has taken initial steps to implement, our recommendation. 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 performance data. The department also stated that it plans to continue towards measuring and making improvements to meet the Office of Management and Budget's data center optimization performance metric targets. Finally, Transportation noted that periodic updates provided to its Office of the Chief Information Officer leadership and the Chief Information Officer Council will identify challenges in meeting the Office of Management and Budget's optimization metric targets. 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 May 2016, the department had not provided evidence that it had improved the data center areas that we reported as not meeting the Office of Management and Budget's targets, such as facility utilization and power usage effectiveness. 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 has not yet taken steps to implement our recommendation. 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

    Comments: The Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) agreed with, but has not yet taken steps to implement, our recommendation. 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 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, VA stated that it will need to assess the impact on strategies already under way, which it plans to complete by mid-fiscal year 2017. 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, but has not yet taken steps to implement it. In June 2016, the department stated in correspondence to GAO that it plans to follow the Office of Management and Budget's guidance on optimizing data centers and will take action to improve the defined areas that Data Center Optimization Initiative identifies. 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, and has taken initial action to implement, our recommendation. In May 2016, the agency stated in correspondence to GAO that it has 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 will be determined after data consolidation plans are finalized. 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, and has taken initial steps to implement, our recommendation. 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 states that the agency plans 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 plans to create a new and better cost saving model and noted that it plans to refresh the cost model semi-annually. Finally, GSA intends to improve the required metrics set forth by the Office of Management and Budget by eliminating physical machines and increasing virtualization whenever possible. 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, but has not yet taken steps to implement it. In May 2016, NASA stated in correspondence to GAO that it plans to develop improvement strategies for each deficient metric and will 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. 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, but has not yet taken steps to implement it. In May 2016, NRC stated in correspondence to GAO that it is 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 targets (including those related to both cost savings and optimization) established by the Office of Management and Budget through the Data Center Optimization Initiative. 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, but has not yet taken steps to implement it. In May 2016, OPM stated in correspondence to GAO that it is committed to meeting the targets associated with the agency's data center optimization efforts. The agency added that challenges will be addressed as plans evolve to meet current targets and within current funding. 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: U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID) agreed with our recommendation, but has not yet taken steps to implement it. In May 2016, USAID stated in correspondence to GAO that it is 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 optimization targets (core to non-core physical server ratio and full time equivalent ratio), including addressing any identifying challenges. The agency noted that its target completion date for implementing our recommendation is February 2017. 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: United States Agency for International Development

 

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