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Highlights

Over time, the federal government's demand for information technology has led to a dramatic rise in the number of federal data centers and an increase in operational costs. Recognizing this increase, the Office of Management and Budget (OMB) has launched a governmentwide initiative to consolidate data centers. GAO was asked to (1) assess whether agency consolidation documents include adequate detail for agencies to consolidate their centers, (2) identify the key consolidation challenges reported by agencies, and (3) evaluate whether lessons learned during state government consolidation efforts could be leveraged at the federal level. To address these objectives, GAO assessed the completeness of agency inventories and plans, interviewed agencies about their challenges, and evaluated the applicability of states' consolidation lessons to federal challenges.

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Recommendations

Recommendations for Executive Action

Agency Affected Recommendation Status
Office of Management and Budget 1. To better ensure that the federal data center consolidation initiative improves governmental efficiency and achieves cost savings, the Director of the Office of Management and Budget should direct the Federal Chief Information Officer to require that agencies, when updating their data center inventories in the third quarter of each fiscal year, state what actions have been taken to verify the inventories and to identify any limitations of this information.
Closed - Implemented
In July 2011, OMB issued guidance to the 24 Federal Data Center Consolidation Initiative agencies requiring them to submit complete consolidation plans by the end of September 2011, and to also provide a signed verification letter from their CIO which attests to the completeness of agency and subordinate organization consolidation plans, actions agencies took to verify their asset inventories, and any limitations of inventory and consolidation plan information. In March 2012, OMB further expanded on this guidance by requiring that all agencies, by the end of the fourth quarter of every fiscal year, submit an updated consolidation plan along with a signed verification letter similar to what was required in 2011.
Office of Management and Budget 2. To better ensure that the federal data center consolidation initiative improves governmental efficiency and achieves cost savings, the Director of the Office of Management and Budget should direct the Federal Chief Information Officer to require that agencies complete the missing elements in their respective plans and submit complete data center consolidation plans, or provide a schedule for when they will do so, by September 30, 2011.
Closed - Implemented
In July 2011, OMB issued guidance to the 24 Federal Data Center Consolidation Initiative agencies requiring them to submit complete consolidation plans by the end of September 2011. In March 2012, OMB further expanded on this guidance by requiring that all agencies, by the end of the fourth quarter of every fiscal year, complete all elements missing from their consolidation plans and to submit an updated consolidation plan.
Office of Management and Budget 3. To better ensure that the federal data center consolidation initiative improves governmental efficiency and achieves cost savings, the Director of the Office of Management and Budget should direct the Federal Chief Information Officer to require agencies to consider consolidation challenges and lessons learned when updating their plans.
Closed - Implemented
In July 2011, OMB issued guidance to the 24 Federal Data Center Consolidation Initiative agencies requiring them to submit complete consolidation plans by the end of September 2011, which were to reflect consolidation challenges experienced to date and to integrate lessons learned.
Office of Management and Budget 4. To better ensure that the federal data center consolidation initiative improves governmental efficiency and achieves cost savings, the Director of the Office of Management and Budget should direct the Federal Chief Information Officer to utilize the existing accountability infrastructure by requiring the Data Center Consolidation Task Force to assess agency consolidation plans to ensure they are complete and to monitor the agencies' implementation of their plans.
Closed - Implemented
The Office of Management and Budget (OMB) has taken steps to implement our recommendation, including assigning key responsibilities to the Data Center Consolidation Task Force related to assisting agencies with their consolidation efforts. In 2012, to help improve the completeness of agency's consolidation plans, the Data Center Consolidation Task Force conducted a peer review process. The purpose of the peer review process was for agencies to get feedback on their consolidation plans and potential improvement suggestions from a partner agency with a data center environment of similar size and complexity. The Task Force also held monthly meetings to, among other things, communicate and coordinate consolidation best practices, discuss lessons learned, and disseminate new OMB guidance. Subsequently, in March 2013, OMB issued a memorandum that made significant changes to the Federal Data Center Consolidation Initiative's reporting requirements, including eliminating the requirement for agencies to submit the previously-required data center consolidation plans. However, OMB's memorandum stated that agencies are still required to submit yearly updates of their data center inventories--a key component of the previously-required consolidation plans. As of August 2015, all of the 22 agencies that we had previously identified as having an incomplete inventory had substantially addressed the missing elements, such as information related to data center network storage, power capacity and usage, and information technology servers. As a result, agencies are better positioned to implement their consolidation activities, improve infrastructure utilization, and realize expected cost savings.
Department of Education 5. The secretaries and agency heads of the Departments of Agriculture, Commerce, Defense, Education, Energy, Health and Human Services, Homeland Security, Interior, Justice, Labor, State, Transportation, Treasury, and Veterans Affairs; the Environmental Protection Agency, the General Services Administration, the National Aeronautics and Space Administration, the National Science Foundation, the Nuclear Regulatory Commission, the Office of Personnel Management, the Small Business Administration, the Social Security Administration, and the U.S. Agency for International Development should direct their component agencies and their data center consolidation program managers to complete the missing elements in their respective data center consolidation inventories and plans.
Closed - Implemented
The Department of Education agreed with, and has taken steps to implement, our recommendation. In March 2013, the Office of Management and Budget issued a memorandum that made significant changes to the Federal Data Center Consolidation Initiative's reporting requirements, including eliminating the requirement for agencies (including the Department of Education) to submit the previously required data center consolidation plans. However, the memorandum stated that agencies were still required update their data center inventories yearly. As of May 2014, the Department of Education's updated inventory substantially addressed previously missing elements, such as information related to power capacity information, phases of closure for its targeted facilities, and staffing information and related costs.
Department of Agriculture 6. The secretaries and agency heads of the Departments of Agriculture, Commerce, Defense, Education, Energy, Health and Human Services, Homeland Security, Interior, Justice, Labor, State, Transportation, Treasury, and Veterans Affairs; the Environmental Protection Agency, the General Services Administration, the National Aeronautics and Space Administration, the National Science Foundation, the Nuclear Regulatory Commission, the Office of Personnel Management, the Small Business Administration, the Social Security Administration, and the U.S. Agency for International Development should direct their component agencies and their data center consolidation program managers to complete the missing elements in their respective data center consolidation inventories and plans.
Closed - Implemented
The Department of Agriculture agreed with, and has taken steps to implement, our recommendation. In March 2013, the Office of Management and Budget issued a memorandum that made significant changes to the Federal Data Center Consolidation Initiative's reporting requirements, including eliminating the requirement for agencies (including the Department of Agriculture) to submit the previously required data center consolidation plans. However, the memorandum stated that agencies were still required to update their data center inventories yearly. As of May 2014, the Department of Agriculture's updated inventory addressed previously missing elements, such as information related to IT servers and power usage and capacity.
National Science Foundation 7. The secretaries and agency heads of the Departments of Agriculture, Commerce, Defense, Education, Energy, Health and Human Services, Homeland Security, Interior, Justice, Labor, State, Transportation, Treasury, and Veterans Affairs; the Environmental Protection Agency, the General Services Administration, the National Aeronautics and Space Administration, the National Science Foundation, the Nuclear Regulatory Commission, the Office of Personnel Management, the Small Business Administration, the Social Security Administration, and the U.S. Agency for International Development should direct their component agencies and their data center consolidation program managers to complete the missing elements in their respective data center consolidation inventories and plans.
Closed - Implemented
The National Science Foundation (NSF) has taken steps to implement our recommendation. In March 2013, the Office of Management and Budget (OMB) issued a memorandum that made significant changes to the Federal Data Center Consolidation Initiative's reporting requirements, including eliminating the requirement for agencies (including NSF) to submit the previously required data center consolidation plans. However, the memorandum stated that agencies were still required to update their data center inventories yearly. As of May 2014, NSF's updated inventory provided complete information on physical servers, virtualization, energy usage, network storage, and data center information.
Department of Energy 8. The secretaries and agency heads of the Departments of Agriculture, Commerce, Defense, Education, Energy, Health and Human Services, Homeland Security, Interior, Justice, Labor, State, Transportation, Treasury, and Veterans Affairs; the Environmental Protection Agency, the General Services Administration, the National Aeronautics and Space Administration, the National Science Foundation, the Nuclear Regulatory Commission, the Office of Personnel Management, the Small Business Administration, the Social Security Administration, and the U.S. Agency for International Development should direct their component agencies and their data center consolidation program managers to complete the missing elements in their respective data center consolidation inventories and plans.
Closed - Implemented
The Department of Energy has taken steps to implement our recommendation. In March 2013, the Office of Management and Budget (OMB) issued a memorandum that made significant changes to the Federal Data Center Consolidation Initiative's reporting requirements, including eliminating the requirement for agencies (including the Department of Energy) to submit the previously required data center consolidation plans. However, the memorandum stated that agencies were still required update their data center inventories yearly. As of May 2015, the Department of Energy had implemented our recommendation by substantially addressing previously missing elements, such as information related to power capacity, power usage, and facility staffing costs.
Department of Homeland Security 9. The secretaries and agency heads of the Departments of Agriculture, Commerce, Defense, Education, Energy, Health and Human Services, Homeland Security, Interior, Justice, Labor, State, Transportation, Treasury, and Veterans Affairs; the Environmental Protection Agency, the General Services Administration, the National Aeronautics and Space Administration, the National Science Foundation, the Nuclear Regulatory Commission, the Office of Personnel Management, the Small Business Administration, the Social Security Administration, and the U.S. Agency for International Development should direct their component agencies and their data center consolidation program managers to complete the missing elements in their respective data center consolidation inventories and plans.
Closed - Implemented
The Department of Homeland Security agreed with, and has taken steps to implement, our recommendation. In March 2013, the Office of Management and Budget issued a memorandum that made significant changes to the Federal Data Center Consolidation Initiative's reporting requirements, including eliminating the requirement for agencies (including the Department of Homeland Security) to submit the previously required data center consolidation plans. However, the memorandum stated that agencies were still required update their data center inventories yearly. As of July 2014, the Department of Homeland Security's updated inventory substantially addressed previously missing elements, such as information related to IT server types, virtualization, and network storage.
Department of Justice 10. The secretaries and agency heads of the Departments of Agriculture, Commerce, Defense, Education, Energy, Health and Human Services, Homeland Security, Interior, Justice, Labor, State, Transportation, Treasury, and Veterans Affairs; the Environmental Protection Agency, the General Services Administration, the National Aeronautics and Space Administration, the National Science Foundation, the Nuclear Regulatory Commission, the Office of Personnel Management, the Small Business Administration, the Social Security Administration, and the U.S. Agency for International Development should direct their component agencies and their data center consolidation program managers to complete the missing elements in their respective data center consolidation inventories and plans.
Closed - Implemented
The Department of Justice agreed with, and has taken steps to implement, our recommendation. In March 2013, the Office of Management and Budget issued a memorandum that made significant changes to the Federal Data Center Consolidation Initiative's reporting requirements, including eliminating the requirement for agencies (including the Department of Justice) to submit the previously required data center consolidation plans. However, the memorandum stated that agencies were still required update their data center inventories yearly. As of May 2014, the Department of Justice's updated inventory substantially addressed previously missing elements, such as information related to physical servers, virtualization, and network storage.
Department of the Treasury 11. The secretaries and agency heads of the Departments of Agriculture, Commerce, Defense, Education, Energy, Health and Human Services, Homeland Security, Interior, Justice, Labor, State, Transportation, Treasury, and Veterans Affairs; the Environmental Protection Agency, the General Services Administration, the National Aeronautics and Space Administration, the National Science Foundation, the Nuclear Regulatory Commission, the Office of Personnel Management, the Small Business Administration, the Social Security Administration, and the U.S. Agency for International Development should direct their component agencies and their data center consolidation program managers to complete the missing elements in their respective data center consolidation inventories and plans.
Closed - Implemented
The Department of the Treasury has taken steps to implement our recommendation. In March 2013, the Office of Management and Budget issued a memorandum that made significant changes to the Federal Data Center Consolidation Initiative's reporting requirements, including eliminating the requirement for agencies (including Treasury) to submit the previously required data center consolidation plans. However, the memorandum stated that agencies were still required update their data center inventories yearly. As of May 2015, Treasury's updated inventory substantially addressed previously missing elements, such as information related to network storage, electricity usage, and facility staffing.
Department of the Interior 12. The secretaries and agency heads of the Departments of Agriculture, Commerce, Defense, Education, Energy, Health and Human Services, Homeland Security, Interior, Justice, Labor, State, Transportation, Treasury, and Veterans Affairs; the Environmental Protection Agency, the General Services Administration, the National Aeronautics and Space Administration, the National Science Foundation, the Nuclear Regulatory Commission, the Office of Personnel Management, the Small Business Administration, the Social Security Administration, and the U.S. Agency for International Development should direct their component agencies and their data center consolidation program managers to complete the missing elements in their respective data center consolidation inventories and plans.
Closed - Implemented
The Department of the Interior agreed with, and has taken steps to implement, our recommendation. In March 2013, the Office of Management and Budget issued a memorandum that made significant changes to the Federal Data Center Consolidation Initiative's reporting requirements, including eliminating the requirement for agencies (including the Department of the Interior) to submit the previously required data center consolidation plans. However, the memorandum stated that agencies were still required to update their data center inventories yearly. As of May 2014, the Department of the Interior's updated inventory substantially addressed previously missing elements, such as information related to power metering, electricity usage, and data center types.
Office of Personnel Management 13. The secretaries and agency heads of the Departments of Agriculture, Commerce, Defense, Education, Energy, Health and Human Services, Homeland Security, Interior, Justice, Labor, State, Transportation, Treasury, and Veterans Affairs; the Environmental Protection Agency, the General Services Administration, the National Aeronautics and Space Administration, the National Science Foundation, the Nuclear Regulatory Commission, the Office of Personnel Management, the Small Business Administration, the Social Security Administration, and the U.S. Agency for International Development should direct their component agencies and their data center consolidation program managers to complete the missing elements in their respective data center consolidation inventories and plans.
Closed - Implemented
The Office of Personnel Management agreed with, and has taken steps to implement, our recommendation. In March 2013, the Office of Management and Budget issued a memorandum that made significant changes to the Federal Data Center Consolidation Initiative's reporting requirements, including eliminating the requirement for agencies (including the Office of Personnel Management) to submit the previously required data center consolidation plans. However, the memorandum stated that agencies were still required to update their data center inventories yearly. As of May 2014, the Office of Personal Management's updated inventory substantially addressed previously missing elements, such as information related IT servers, facility information, and network storage.
Department of Health and Human Services 14. The secretaries and agency heads of the Departments of Agriculture, Commerce, Defense, Education, Energy, Health and Human Services, Homeland Security, Interior, Justice, Labor, State, Transportation, Treasury, and Veterans Affairs; the Environmental Protection Agency, the General Services Administration, the National Aeronautics and Space Administration, the National Science Foundation, the Nuclear Regulatory Commission, the Office of Personnel Management, the Small Business Administration, the Social Security Administration, and the U.S. Agency for International Development should direct their component agencies and their data center consolidation program managers to complete the missing elements in their respective data center consolidation inventories and plans.
Closed - Implemented
The Department of Health and Human Services has initial steps to implement our recommendation. In March 2013, the Office of Management and Budget issued a memorandum that made significant changes to the Federal Data Center Consolidation Initiative's reporting requirements, including eliminating the requirement for agencies (including the Department of Health and Human Services) to submit the previously required data center consolidation plans. However, the memorandum stated that agencies were still required to update their data center inventories yearly. As of May 2015, the Department of Health and Human Services had implemented our recommendation by substantially addressing previously missing elements, such as information related to power capacity and facility staffing.
United States Agency for International Development 15. The secretaries and agency heads of the Departments of Agriculture, Commerce, Defense, Education, Energy, Health and Human Services, Homeland Security, Interior, Justice, Labor, State, Transportation, Treasury, and Veterans Affairs; the Environmental Protection Agency, the General Services Administration, the National Aeronautics and Space Administration, the National Science Foundation, the Nuclear Regulatory Commission, the Office of Personnel Management, the Small Business Administration, the Social Security Administration, and the U.S. Agency for International Development should direct their component agencies and their data center consolidation program managers to complete the missing elements in their respective data center consolidation inventories and plans.
Closed - Implemented
The U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID) agreed with, and has taken steps to implement, our recommendation. In March 2013, the Office of Management and Budget issued a memorandum that made significant changes to the Federal Data Center Consolidation Initiative's reporting requirements, including eliminating the requirement for agencies (including USAID) to submit the previously required data center consolidation plans. However, the memorandum stated that agencies were still required to update their data center inventories yearly. As of July 2015, USAID's updated inventory substantially addressed previously missing elements, such as information related to physical servers, data center types, and closure plans.
Social Security Administration 16. The secretaries and agency heads of the Departments of Agriculture, Commerce, Defense, Education, Energy, Health and Human Services, Homeland Security, Interior, Justice, Labor, State, Transportation, Treasury, and Veterans Affairs; the Environmental Protection Agency, the General Services Administration, the National Aeronautics and Space Administration, the National Science Foundation, the Nuclear Regulatory Commission, the Office of Personnel Management, the Small Business Administration, the Social Security Administration, and the U.S. Agency for International Development should direct their component agencies and their data center consolidation program managers to complete the missing elements in their respective data center consolidation inventories and plans.
Closed - Implemented
The Social Security Administration (SSA) has taken steps to implement our recommendation. In March 2013, the Office of Management and Budget issued a memorandum that made significant changes to the Federal Data Center Consolidation Initiative's reporting requirements, including eliminating the requirement for agencies (including SSA) to submit the previously required data center consolidation plans. However, the memorandum stated that agencies were still required to update their data center inventories yearly. As of May 2014, SSA's updated inventory provided complete information on physical servers, virtualization, energy usage, network storage, and data center information.
General Services Administration 17. The secretaries and agency heads of the Departments of Agriculture, Commerce, Defense, Education, Energy, Health and Human Services, Homeland Security, Interior, Justice, Labor, State, Transportation, Treasury, and Veterans Affairs; the Environmental Protection Agency, the General Services Administration, the National Aeronautics and Space Administration, the National Science Foundation, the Nuclear Regulatory Commission, the Office of Personnel Management, the Small Business Administration, the Social Security Administration, and the U.S. Agency for International Development should direct their component agencies and their data center consolidation program managers to complete the missing elements in their respective data center consolidation inventories and plans.
Closed - Implemented
The General Services Administration (GSA) agreed with, and has taken steps to implement, our recommendation. In March 2013, the Office of Management and Budget issued a memorandum that made significant changes to the Federal Data Center Consolidation Initiative's reporting requirements, including eliminating the requirement for agencies (including GSA) to submit the previously required data center consolidation plans. However, the memorandum stated that agencies were still required to update their data center inventories yearly. As of July 2015, GSA's updated inventory substantially addressed previously missing elements, such as information related to physical servers, virtualization, and network storage.
Department of Commerce 18. The secretaries and agency heads of the Departments of Agriculture, Commerce, Defense, Education, Energy, Health and Human Services, Homeland Security, Interior, Justice, Labor, State, Transportation, Treasury, and Veterans Affairs; the Environmental Protection Agency, the General Services Administration, the National Aeronautics and Space Administration, the National Science Foundation, the Nuclear Regulatory Commission, the Office of Personnel Management, the Small Business Administration, the Social Security Administration, and the U.S. Agency for International Development should direct their component agencies and their data center consolidation program managers to complete the missing elements in their respective data center consolidation inventories and plans.
Closed - Implemented
The Department of Commerce has taken steps to implement our recommendation. Specifically, Commerce submitted an updated consolidation plan in September 2011 and, in July 2012, we found that the plan to be complete. Regarding Commerce's data center inventory, as of June 2015, the department had implemented our recommendation by addressing previously missing elements, such as information related to power capacity, electricity usage, and facility staffing costs.
Department of Homeland Security 19. The secretaries and agency heads of the Departments of Agriculture, Commerce, Defense, Education, Energy, Health and Human Services, Homeland Security, Interior, Justice, Labor, State, Transportation, Treasury, and Veterans Affairs; the Environmental Protection Agency, the General Services Administration, the National Aeronautics and Space Administration, the National Science Foundation, the Nuclear Regulatory Commission, the Office of Personnel Management, the Small Business Administration, the Social Security Administration, and the U.S. Agency for International Development should require their data center consolidation program managers to consider consolidation challenges and lessons learned when updating their consolidation plans.
Closed - Implemented
The Department of Homeland Security (DH) submitted an updated consolidation plan in September 2011 and this plan discusses consolidation challenges and lessons learned. For example, the plan discusses the challenges in obtaining planned congressional funding and the immense amount of stakeholder coordination involved in consolidation. Further, the plan discusses how DH has built the collection of lessons learned into the fifth and final closeout stage of the department's documented consolidation approach.
Environmental Protection Agency 20. The secretaries and agency heads of the Departments of Agriculture, Commerce, Defense, Education, Energy, Health and Human Services, Homeland Security, Interior, Justice, Labor, State, Transportation, Treasury, and Veterans Affairs; the Environmental Protection Agency, the General Services Administration, the National Aeronautics and Space Administration, the National Science Foundation, the Nuclear Regulatory Commission, the Office of Personnel Management, the Small Business Administration, the Social Security Administration, and the U.S. Agency for International Development should require their data center consolidation program managers to consider consolidation challenges and lessons learned when updating their consolidation plans.
Closed - Implemented
The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) submitted an updated consolidation plan in September 2011, and the plan discusses both consolidation challenges and lessons learned. Specifically, the plan discusses consolidation delays due to technology and resource constraints and how EPA consulted a range of IT consolidation practitioners and experts from government and industry to identify proven practices and lessons learned.
Department of Veterans Affairs 21. The secretaries and agency heads of the Departments of Agriculture, Commerce, Defense, Education, Energy, Health and Human Services, Homeland Security, Interior, Justice, Labor, State, Transportation, Treasury, and Veterans Affairs; the Environmental Protection Agency, the General Services Administration, the National Aeronautics and Space Administration, the National Science Foundation, the Nuclear Regulatory Commission, the Office of Personnel Management, the Small Business Administration, the Social Security Administration, and the U.S. Agency for International Development should require their data center consolidation program managers to consider consolidation challenges and lessons learned when updating their consolidation plans.
Closed - Implemented
The Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) submitted an updated consolidation plan in September 2011, and the plan discusses both consolidation challenges and lessons learned. Specifically, the plan discusses changes in consolidation strategy mandated at the executive level and delays in the procurements required for consolidations. The plan also discusses the department's review of commercial and public best practices in developing VA's 2011 consolidation plan.
Department of Education 22. The secretaries and agency heads of the Departments of Agriculture, Commerce, Defense, Education, Energy, Health and Human Services, Homeland Security, Interior, Justice, Labor, State, Transportation, Treasury, and Veterans Affairs; the Environmental Protection Agency, the General Services Administration, the National Aeronautics and Space Administration, the National Science Foundation, the Nuclear Regulatory Commission, the Office of Personnel Management, the Small Business Administration, the Social Security Administration, and the U.S. Agency for International Development should require their data center consolidation program managers to consider consolidation challenges and lessons learned when updating their consolidation plans.
Closed - Implemented
The Department of Education has taken steps to implement our recommendation. In March 2013, the Office of Management and Budget issued a memorandum that made significant changes to the Federal Data Center Consolidation Initiative's reporting requirements, including eliminating the requirement for agencies (including the Department of Education) to submit the previously required data center consolidation plans. However, the department has continued to consider challenges and lessons learned in executing its data center consolidation effort. Specifically, in November 2013, officials from Education's Office of the Chief Information Officer, who had responsibility for the department's data center consolidation effort, described consolidation challenges faced by the department. For example, these officials stated that, due to the significant time that has elapsed since the department started its consolidation effort in 1998, it has been difficult to identify and quantify cost savings from its data center consolidation activities. Further, officials added that the department has operated in a contactor-owned infrastructure-as-a-service model since 2007, which has also presented challenges in identifying savings. Education's data center consolidation officials also described consolidation lessons learned. Specifically, officials stated that, because Education previously consolidated its data centers and centralized information technology infrastructure, the department has focused instead on consolidating storage capabilities to its primary data center and increasing the use of virtualization technologies to reduce the overall physical footprint within outsourced facilities.
Small Business Administration 23. The secretaries and agency heads of the Departments of Agriculture, Commerce, Defense, Education, Energy, Health and Human Services, Homeland Security, Interior, Justice, Labor, State, Transportation, Treasury, and Veterans Affairs; the Environmental Protection Agency, the General Services Administration, the National Aeronautics and Space Administration, the National Science Foundation, the Nuclear Regulatory Commission, the Office of Personnel Management, the Small Business Administration, the Social Security Administration, and the U.S. Agency for International Development should require their data center consolidation program managers to consider consolidation challenges and lessons learned when updating their consolidation plans.
Closed - Implemented
The Small Business Administration (SBA) has taken steps to implement our recommendation. In March 2013, the Office of Management and Budget issued a memorandum that made significant changes to the Federal Data Center Consolidation Initiative's reporting requirements, including eliminating the requirement for agencies (including SBA) to submit the previously required data center consolidation plans. However, the agency has continued to consider challenges in executing its data center consolidation effort. Specifically, in November 2013, SBA officials with responsibility for the agency's data center consolidation-related efforts discussed challenges related to ensuring funding is made available for its data center consolidation efforts. In addition, the officials also described lessons learned that the agency plans to take advantage of as it moves forward with consolidation, such as reducing hosting and managed services costs where consolidation reduces major data center hosting sites or contracts and improving cyber-security, disaster recovery, and continuity of operations capabilities.
Office of Personnel Management 24. The secretaries and agency heads of the Departments of Agriculture, Commerce, Defense, Education, Energy, Health and Human Services, Homeland Security, Interior, Justice, Labor, State, Transportation, Treasury, and Veterans Affairs; the Environmental Protection Agency, the General Services Administration, the National Aeronautics and Space Administration, the National Science Foundation, the Nuclear Regulatory Commission, the Office of Personnel Management, the Small Business Administration, the Social Security Administration, and the U.S. Agency for International Development should require their data center consolidation program managers to consider consolidation challenges and lessons learned when updating their consolidation plans.
Closed - Implemented
The Office of Personnel Management (OPM) agreed with, and has taken steps to implement, our recommendation. In March 2013, the Office of Management and Budget issued a memorandum that made significant changes to the Federal Data Center Consolidation Initiative's reporting requirements, including eliminating the requirement for agencies (including OPM) to submit the previously required data center consolidation plans. However, the agency has continued to consider challenges and lessons learned in executing its data center consolidation effort. Specifically, in November 2013, OPM officials with responsibility for the agency's data center consolidation-related efforts described challenges related to tailoring its consolidation effort to the Office of Management and Budget's guidance. For example, the officials noted that the agency only has four primary data centers and did not have plans to consolidate them, in part, because a cost-benefit analysis performed on migrating one of the agency's data centers showed that the costs outweighed the resulting savings over a 10-year period. The OPM officials also described lessons learned from their consolidation effort, including that the agency has instead focused on virtualizing its systems and moving to a public cloud infrastructure in order to reduce costs and gain efficiencies in managing its information technology infrastructure.
National Aeronautics and Space Administration 25. The secretaries and agency heads of the Departments of Agriculture, Commerce, Defense, Education, Energy, Health and Human Services, Homeland Security, Interior, Justice, Labor, State, Transportation, Treasury, and Veterans Affairs; the Environmental Protection Agency, the General Services Administration, the National Aeronautics and Space Administration, the National Science Foundation, the Nuclear Regulatory Commission, the Office of Personnel Management, the Small Business Administration, the Social Security Administration, and the U.S. Agency for International Development should require their data center consolidation program managers to consider consolidation challenges and lessons learned when updating their consolidation plans.
Closed - Implemented
The National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) agreed with, and has taken steps to implement, our recommendation. In March 2013, the Office of Management and Budget issued a memorandum that made significant changes to the Federal Data Center Consolidation Initiative's reporting requirements, including eliminating the requirement for agencies (including NASA) to submit the previously required data center consolidation plans. However, the agency has continued to consider challenges in executing its data center consolidation effort. Specifically, in November 2013, NASA officials, including the Service Executive for Computing Services, who had responsibility for the agency's data center consolidation effort, reported that the agency had identified challenges related to identifying specific data center costs, noting that the agency's complex organizational structure which includes multiple centers with multiple missions and multiple IT contractors utilizing data centers within multipurpose facilities make efforts to determine actual cost saving and or cost avoidances extremely complex and impractical. The officials also reported that a lack of electrical metering in aging facilities makes it difficult to determine electricity usage for its data centers. In addition, the officials also identified lessons learned related to focusing on virtualization at its core data centers and reducing power consumption at several facilities. For example, they reported that NASA had achieved a 45 percent virtualization rate across 11 core data centers and that it had led to reductions in power consumption in multiple facilities.
Department of the Treasury 26. The secretaries and agency heads of the Departments of Agriculture, Commerce, Defense, Education, Energy, Health and Human Services, Homeland Security, Interior, Justice, Labor, State, Transportation, Treasury, and Veterans Affairs; the Environmental Protection Agency, the General Services Administration, the National Aeronautics and Space Administration, the National Science Foundation, the Nuclear Regulatory Commission, the Office of Personnel Management, the Small Business Administration, the Social Security Administration, and the U.S. Agency for International Development should require their data center consolidation program managers to consider consolidation challenges and lessons learned when updating their consolidation plans.
Closed - Implemented
The Department of the Treasury has taken steps to implement our recommendation. In March 2013, the Office of Management and Budget issued a memorandum that made significant changes to the Federal Data Center Consolidation Initiative's reporting requirements, including eliminating the requirement for agencies (including the Treasury) to submit the previously required data center consolidation plans. However, the department has continued to consider challenges in executing its data center consolidation effort. Specifically, in December 2013, officials from Treasury's Office of the Deputy Assistant Secretary for Information Systems and Chief Information Officer, who had responsibility for the department's data center consolidation effort, described consolidation challenges the department had identified. For example, the officials noted challenges related to identifying and tracking cost savings at the data center level, as well as both increasing demand for services and rising vendor costs serving to offset consolidation cost savings. In addition, the officials also identified lessons learned related to focusing on virtualization and cloud services, as well as a need to improve the granularity of the department's information technology infrastructure-related investments.
Department of Defense 27. The secretaries and agency heads of the Departments of Agriculture, Commerce, Defense, Education, Energy, Health and Human Services, Homeland Security, Interior, Justice, Labor, State, Transportation, Treasury, and Veterans Affairs; the Environmental Protection Agency, the General Services Administration, the National Aeronautics and Space Administration, the National Science Foundation, the Nuclear Regulatory Commission, the Office of Personnel Management, the Small Business Administration, the Social Security Administration, and the U.S. Agency for International Development should require their data center consolidation program managers to consider consolidation challenges and lessons learned when updating their consolidation plans.
Closed - Implemented
The Department of Defense submitted an updated consolidation plan in November 2011 and this plan discusses consolidation challenges and lessons learned. For example, the plan discusses challenges such as continuing budget resolutions delaying the implementation of consolidation plans and funding, as well the required investment in labor, new and more efficient hardware, upgrades to computer facilities, and increased operating costs, associated with consolidation. The plan also discusses lessons learned, such as the value of adopting a strategy to transfer applications and infrastructure to a shared services provider. The plan also discusses the importance of establishing moratorium on the construction of new data centers and hardware acquisition, which when combined with streamlined acquisition practices, have helped rein in the growth of data centers.
Department of Labor 28. The secretaries and agency heads of the Departments of Agriculture, Commerce, Defense, Education, Energy, Health and Human Services, Homeland Security, Interior, Justice, Labor, State, Transportation, Treasury, and Veterans Affairs; the Environmental Protection Agency, the General Services Administration, the National Aeronautics and Space Administration, the National Science Foundation, the Nuclear Regulatory Commission, the Office of Personnel Management, the Small Business Administration, the Social Security Administration, and the U.S. Agency for International Development should require their data center consolidation program managers to consider consolidation challenges and lessons learned when updating their consolidation plans.
Closed - Implemented
The Department of Labor has taken steps to implement our recommendation. In March 2013, the Office of Management and Budget issued a memorandum that made significant changes to the Federal Data Center Consolidation Initiative's reporting requirements, including eliminating the requirement for agencies (including the Department of Labor) to submit the previously required data center consolidation plans. However, the department has continued to consider challenges in executing its data center consolidation effort. Specifically, in November 2013, officials from Labor's Office of the Chief Information Officer, who had responsibility for the department's data center consolidation effort, described consolidation challenges. For example, these officials stated that, due to Labor's historically federated information technology environment the department has faced difficulties in developing a reliable baseline of the costs of its existing information technology services from which to calculate related savings. The officials stated that the department is taking corrective action to address this issue, including developing a baseline of costs as each data center or system is consolidated and relocated to the department's enterprise data center. Other challenges cited by the officials were related to the need to update physical hardware before savings from virtualizing legacy systems can be realized, and consolidating operations and maintenance contracts. Labor's data center consolidation officials also described consolidation lessons learned. For example, the officials stated that, in May 2013 a building fire occurred at the Labor's national headquarters, which rendered several of the department's data centers housed in the building inoperable. The department subsequently moved these data centers to an outsourced data center facility, which has had several non-monetary benefits including improved disaster recovery capabilities and the ability to utilize and leverage enterprise-wide cloud computing solutions in the future. Finally, the officials also described lessons learned related to the consolidation and virtualization of servers prior to the relocation of infrastructure and the closure of data centers. As an example, the officials cited a data center that was consolidated from 43 to 27 server racks prior to its relocation resulting in a cost avoidance of approximately 37 percent of the previously planned square footage and rental space costs.
Department of Transportation 29. The secretaries and agency heads of the Departments of Agriculture, Commerce, Defense, Education, Energy, Health and Human Services, Homeland Security, Interior, Justice, Labor, State, Transportation, Treasury, and Veterans Affairs; the Environmental Protection Agency, the General Services Administration, the National Aeronautics and Space Administration, the National Science Foundation, the Nuclear Regulatory Commission, the Office of Personnel Management, the Small Business Administration, the Social Security Administration, and the U.S. Agency for International Development should require their data center consolidation program managers to consider consolidation challenges and lessons learned when updating their consolidation plans.
Closed - Implemented
The Department of Transportation agreed to consider, and has taken steps to implement, our recommendation. In March 2013, the Office of Management and Budget issued a memorandum that made significant changes to the Federal Data Center Consolidation Initiative's reporting requirements, including eliminating the requirement for agencies (including Transportation) to submit the previously required data center consolidation plans. However, the department has continued to consider challenges in executing its data center consolidation effort. Specifically, in November 2013, Transportation's Director for IT Compliance indicated that the department had identified challenges related to: budgeting for data center operations in a federated environment (because data centers were budgeted for individually); a lack of electrical metering to determine electricity usage and associated costs for data centers in multipurpose spaces; and realizing little savings from closing smaller data centers when non-data center-related equipment would remain operational. In addition, this official indicated that the department also identified lessons learned related to improving its data center inventory, and consolidating and virtualizing servers to reduce the number of physical servers and associated operating and maintenance costs. For example, Transportation reported that one organization was able to reduce its number of physical servers from 88 to 34 in fiscal year 2013.
Department of the Interior 30. The secretaries and agency heads of the Departments of Agriculture, Commerce, Defense, Education, Energy, Health and Human Services, Homeland Security, Interior, Justice, Labor, State, Transportation, Treasury, and Veterans Affairs; the Environmental Protection Agency, the General Services Administration, the National Aeronautics and Space Administration, the National Science Foundation, the Nuclear Regulatory Commission, the Office of Personnel Management, the Small Business Administration, the Social Security Administration, and the U.S. Agency for International Development should require their data center consolidation program managers to consider consolidation challenges and lessons learned when updating their consolidation plans.
Closed - Implemented
The Department of the Interior submitted an updated consolidation plan in September 2011 and this plan discusses consolidation challenges and lessons learned. For example, the plan discusses procedural and cultural challenges relating to consolidation, as well as challenges related to validating and implementing organizational change. Further, the plan discusses lessons learned about the complexities and constraints related to cross-component hosting and migration, data center cost drivers and limitations of legacy accounting systems and processes, and aligning infrastructure refresh with consolidation needs at the component organization level.
Department of State 31. The secretaries and agency heads of the Departments of Agriculture, Commerce, Defense, Education, Energy, Health and Human Services, Homeland Security, Interior, Justice, Labor, State, Transportation, Treasury, and Veterans Affairs; the Environmental Protection Agency, the General Services Administration, the National Aeronautics and Space Administration, the National Science Foundation, the Nuclear Regulatory Commission, the Office of Personnel Management, the Small Business Administration, the Social Security Administration, and the U.S. Agency for International Development should require their data center consolidation program managers to consider consolidation challenges and lessons learned when updating their consolidation plans.
Closed - Implemented
The Department of State submitted an updated consolidation plan in September 2011 and this plan discusses consolidation challenges and lessons learned. For example, the plan discusses a primary consolidation challenge of balancing resources between equipment operation and consolidation and the relationship of this issue to securing and prioritizing funding. The plan also discusses lessons learned related to customer outreach and focusing on data center-by-data center closure.
Department of Health and Human Services 32. The secretaries and agency heads of the Departments of Agriculture, Commerce, Defense, Education, Energy, Health and Human Services, Homeland Security, Interior, Justice, Labor, State, Transportation, Treasury, and Veterans Affairs; the Environmental Protection Agency, the General Services Administration, the National Aeronautics and Space Administration, the National Science Foundation, the Nuclear Regulatory Commission, the Office of Personnel Management, the Small Business Administration, the Social Security Administration, and the U.S. Agency for International Development should require their data center consolidation program managers to consider consolidation challenges and lessons learned when updating their consolidation plans.
Closed - Implemented
The Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) submitted an updated consolidation plan in September 2011 and this plan discusses consolidation challenges and lessons learned. For example, the plan discusses the difficulty with projecting electricity cost savings because of the very small percentage of HHS data centers that are currently metered to measure electricity usage and that this number was insufficient for projecting corresponding cost savings with any degree of confidence. Further, the plan notes that the department has evaluated lessons learned from the implementation of previous consolidations and incorporated that evaluation into a model to calculate the projected cost benefits to be achieved from consolidating HHS data centers.
United States Agency for International Development 33. The secretaries and agency heads of the Departments of Agriculture, Commerce, Defense, Education, Energy, Health and Human Services, Homeland Security, Interior, Justice, Labor, State, Transportation, Treasury, and Veterans Affairs; the Environmental Protection Agency, the General Services Administration, the National Aeronautics and Space Administration, the National Science Foundation, the Nuclear Regulatory Commission, the Office of Personnel Management, the Small Business Administration, the Social Security Administration, and the U.S. Agency for International Development should require their data center consolidation program managers to consider consolidation challenges and lessons learned when updating their consolidation plans.
Closed - Implemented
The U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID) agreed with, and has taken steps to implement, our recommendation. In March 2013, the Office of Management and Budget issued a memorandum that made significant changes to the Federal Data Center Consolidation Initiative's reporting requirements, including eliminating the requirement for agencies (including USAID) to submit the previously required data center consolidation plans. However, the agency has continued to consider challenges in executing its data center consolidation effort. Specifically, in November 2013, USAID officials with responsibility for the agency's data center consolidation-related efforts described challenges related to achieving cost savings as the consolidation costs required to upgrade services and infrastructure have exceeded the savings achieved to date. In addition, the officials also identified lessons learned related to focusing on virtualization to increase system availability and also to reduce future cost growth.
Social Security Administration 34. The secretaries and agency heads of the Departments of Agriculture, Commerce, Defense, Education, Energy, Health and Human Services, Homeland Security, Interior, Justice, Labor, State, Transportation, Treasury, and Veterans Affairs; the Environmental Protection Agency, the General Services Administration, the National Aeronautics and Space Administration, the National Science Foundation, the Nuclear Regulatory Commission, the Office of Personnel Management, the Small Business Administration, the Social Security Administration, and the U.S. Agency for International Development should require their data center consolidation program managers to consider consolidation challenges and lessons learned when updating their consolidation plans.
Closed - Implemented
The Social Security Administration (SSA) has taken steps to implement our recommendation. In March 2013, the Office of Management and Budget issued a memorandum that made significant changes to the Federal Data Center Consolidation Initiative's reporting requirements, including eliminating the requirement for agencies (including SSA) to submit the previously required data center consolidation plans. However, the agency has continued to consider challenges in executing its data center consolidation effort. Specifically, in November 2013, SSA officials with responsibility for the agency's data center consolidation-related efforts discussed challenges related to measuring actual electrical usage in multipurpose facilities, such as their National Computer Center. They noted that the lack of metering has made it difficult for the agency to calculate possible savings related to reduced electricity usage resulting from the agency's virtualization efforts. In addition, the officials also described lessons learned related to the agency's focus on virtualization and the resulting reduction of hardware and software maintenance.
General Services Administration 35. The secretaries and agency heads of the Departments of Agriculture, Commerce, Defense, Education, Energy, Health and Human Services, Homeland Security, Interior, Justice, Labor, State, Transportation, Treasury, and Veterans Affairs; the Environmental Protection Agency, the General Services Administration, the National Aeronautics and Space Administration, the National Science Foundation, the Nuclear Regulatory Commission, the Office of Personnel Management, the Small Business Administration, the Social Security Administration, and the U.S. Agency for International Development should require their data center consolidation program managers to consider consolidation challenges and lessons learned when updating their consolidation plans.
Closed - Implemented
The General Services Administration (GSA) submitted an updated consolidation plan in September 2011, and the plan discusses both consolidation challenges and lessons learned. Specifically, the plan discusses such construction challenges as vendors not meeting schedules, non-responsive vendors, and IT equipment delivery delays. The plan also describes how lessons learned from data center organization allowed GSA to realize greater space and energy efficiencies.
Department of Commerce 36. The secretaries and agency heads of the Departments of Agriculture, Commerce, Defense, Education, Energy, Health and Human Services, Homeland Security, Interior, Justice, Labor, State, Transportation, Treasury, and Veterans Affairs; the Environmental Protection Agency, the General Services Administration, the National Aeronautics and Space Administration, the National Science Foundation, the Nuclear Regulatory Commission, the Office of Personnel Management, the Small Business Administration, the Social Security Administration, and the U.S. Agency for International Development should require their data center consolidation program managers to consider consolidation challenges and lessons learned when updating their consolidation plans.
Closed - Implemented
The Department of Commerce submitted an updated consolidation plan in September 2011 and this plan discusses consolidation challenges, as well as lessons learned. For example, the plan discusses challenges such as providing complete inventory information and deploying shared services, and also discusses the accompanying lessons learned of the need for full power metering and the importance of reviewing inventory data, as well as fully defining and understanding shared services requirements.
Nuclear Regulatory Commission 37. The secretaries and agency heads of the Departments of Agriculture, Commerce, Defense, Education, Energy, Health and Human Services, Homeland Security, Interior, Justice, Labor, State, Transportation, Treasury, and Veterans Affairs; the Environmental Protection Agency, the General Services Administration, the National Aeronautics and Space Administration, the National Science Foundation, the Nuclear Regulatory Commission, the Office of Personnel Management, the Small Business Administration, the Social Security Administration, and the U.S. Agency for International Development should require their data center consolidation program managers to consider consolidation challenges and lessons learned when updating their consolidation plans.
Closed - Implemented
The Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC) submitted an updated consolidation plan in September 2011, and the plan discusses both consolidation challenges and lessons learned. Specifically, the plan discusses challenges related to budgeting, resources, and managing the level of coordination required given the number of internal and external entities involved in facilities, data center, and IT planning. The plan also states that NRC uses lessons learned and best practices from states and other Federal agencies, as well as private industry.
Department of State 38. The secretaries and agency heads of the Departments of Agriculture, Commerce, Defense, Education, Energy, Health and Human Services, Homeland Security, Interior, Justice, Labor, State, Transportation, Treasury, and Veterans Affairs; the Environmental Protection Agency, the General Services Administration, the National Aeronautics and Space Administration, the National Science Foundation, the Nuclear Regulatory Commission, the Office of Personnel Management, the Small Business Administration, the Social Security Administration, and the U.S. Agency for International Development should direct their component agencies and their data center consolidation program managers to complete the missing elements in their respective data center consolidation inventories and plans.
Closed - Implemented
The Department of State agreed with, and has taken steps to implement, our recommendation; however, additional actions are needed. In March 2013, the Office of Management and Budget issued a memorandum that made significant changes to the Federal Data Center Consolidation Initiative's reporting requirements, including eliminating the requirement for agencies (including State) to submit the previously required data center consolidation plans. However, the memorandum stated that agencies were still required to update their data center inventories yearly. As of June 2015, State's updated inventory substantially addressed previously missing elements, such as information related to information technology servers, electricity usage and cost, and network storage.
Nuclear Regulatory Commission 39. The secretaries and agency heads of the Departments of Agriculture, Commerce, Defense, Education, Energy, Health and Human Services, Homeland Security, Interior, Justice, Labor, State, Transportation, Treasury, and Veterans Affairs; the Environmental Protection Agency, the General Services Administration, the National Aeronautics and Space Administration, the National Science Foundation, the Nuclear Regulatory Commission, the Office of Personnel Management, the Small Business Administration, the Social Security Administration, and the U.S. Agency for International Development should direct their component agencies and their data center consolidation program managers to complete the missing elements in their respective data center consolidation inventories and plans.
Closed - Implemented
The Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC) has taken steps to implement our recommendation. In March 2013, the Office of Management and Budget issued a memorandum that made significant changes to the Federal Data Center Consolidation Initiative's reporting requirements, including eliminating the requirement for agencies (including NRC) to submit the previously required data center consolidation plans. However, the memorandum stated that agencies were still required to update their data center inventories yearly. As of May 2014, NRC's updated inventory addressed previously missing elements, such as data center-related staffing information.
Department of Labor 40. The secretaries and agency heads of the Departments of Agriculture, Commerce, Defense, Education, Energy, Health and Human Services, Homeland Security, Interior, Justice, Labor, State, Transportation, Treasury, and Veterans Affairs; the Environmental Protection Agency, the General Services Administration, the National Aeronautics and Space Administration, the National Science Foundation, the Nuclear Regulatory Commission, the Office of Personnel Management, the Small Business Administration, the Social Security Administration, and the U.S. Agency for International Development should direct their component agencies and their data center consolidation program managers to complete the missing elements in their respective data center consolidation inventories and plans.
Closed - Implemented
The Department of Labor has taken steps to implement our recommendation. In March 2013, the Office of Management and Budget issued a memorandum that made significant changes to the Federal Data Center Consolidation Initiative's reporting requirements, including eliminating the requirement for agencies (including Labor) to submit the previously required data center consolidation plans. However, the memorandum stated that agencies were still required to update their data center inventories yearly. As of June 2015, Labor's updated inventory substantially addressed previously missing elements, such as information related to electricity usage, power capacity, and facility staffing.
Small Business Administration 41. The secretaries and agency heads of the Departments of Agriculture, Commerce, Defense, Education, Energy, Health and Human Services, Homeland Security, Interior, Justice, Labor, State, Transportation, Treasury, and Veterans Affairs; the Environmental Protection Agency, the General Services Administration, the National Aeronautics and Space Administration, the National Science Foundation, the Nuclear Regulatory Commission, the Office of Personnel Management, the Small Business Administration, the Social Security Administration, and the U.S. Agency for International Development should direct their component agencies and their data center consolidation program managers to complete the missing elements in their respective data center consolidation inventories and plans.
Closed - Implemented
The Small Business Administration (SBA) agreed with, and has taken initial steps to implement, our recommendation; however, additional actions are needed. In March 2013, the Office of Management and Budget (OMB) issued a memorandum that made significant changes to the Federal Data Center Consolidation Initiative's reporting requirements, including eliminating the requirement for agencies (including SBA) to submit the previously required data center consolidation plans. However, the memorandum stated that agencies were still required to update their data center inventories yearly. As of May 2014, SBA's updated inventory provided complete information on physical servers, virtualization, and network storage, and substantially complete information for other previously incomplete key elements, such as data center power capacity, electricity usage, and facility staffing.
Environmental Protection Agency 42. The secretaries and agency heads of the Departments of Agriculture, Commerce, Defense, Education, Energy, Health and Human Services, Homeland Security, Interior, Justice, Labor, State, Transportation, Treasury, and Veterans Affairs; the Environmental Protection Agency, the General Services Administration, the National Aeronautics and Space Administration, the National Science Foundation, the Nuclear Regulatory Commission, the Office of Personnel Management, the Small Business Administration, the Social Security Administration, and the U.S. Agency for International Development should direct their component agencies and their data center consolidation program managers to complete the missing elements in their respective data center consolidation inventories and plans.
Closed - Implemented
The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has taken steps to implement our recommendation. In March 2013, the Office of Management and Budget issued a memorandum that made significant changes to the Federal Data Center Consolidation Initiative's reporting requirements, including eliminating the requirement for agencies (including EPA) to submit the previously required data center consolidation plans. However, the memorandum stated that agencies were still required to update their data center inventories yearly. As of July 2015, EPA's updated inventory substantially addressed previously missing elements, such as information related to electricity usage, facility staffing information, and data center costs.
National Aeronautics and Space Administration 43. The secretaries and agency heads of the Departments of Agriculture, Commerce, Defense, Education, Energy, Health and Human Services, Homeland Security, Interior, Justice, Labor, State, Transportation, Treasury, and Veterans Affairs; the Environmental Protection Agency, the General Services Administration, the National Aeronautics and Space Administration, the National Science Foundation, the Nuclear Regulatory Commission, the Office of Personnel Management, the Small Business Administration, the Social Security Administration, and the U.S. Agency for International Development should direct their component agencies and their data center consolidation program managers to complete the missing elements in their respective data center consolidation inventories and plans.
Closed - Implemented
The National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) agreed with, and has taken steps to implement, our recommendation. In March 2013, the Office of Management and Budget (OMB) issued a memorandum that made significant changes to the Federal Data Center Consolidation Initiative's reporting requirements, including eliminating the requirement for agencies (including NASA) to submit the previously required data center consolidation plans. However, the memorandum stated that agencies were still required to update their data center inventories yearly. As of May 2015, NASA's updated inventory addressed previously missing elements, such as information related to electricity usage, power capacity, and facility staffing costs.
Department of Transportation 44. The secretaries and agency heads of the Departments of Agriculture, Commerce, Defense, Education, Energy, Health and Human Services, Homeland Security, Interior, Justice, Labor, State, Transportation, Treasury, and Veterans Affairs; the Environmental Protection Agency, the General Services Administration, the National Aeronautics and Space Administration, the National Science Foundation, the Nuclear Regulatory Commission, the Office of Personnel Management, the Small Business Administration, the Social Security Administration, and the U.S. Agency for International Development should direct their component agencies and their data center consolidation program managers to complete the missing elements in their respective data center consolidation inventories and plans.
Closed - Implemented
The Department of Transportation agreed to consider, and has taken steps to implement, our recommendation. In March 2013, the Office of Management and Budget issued a memorandum that made significant changes to the Federal Data Center Consolidation Initiative's reporting requirements, including eliminating the requirement for agencies (including Transportation) to submit the previously required data center consolidation plans. However, the memorandum stated that agencies were still required to update their data center inventories yearly. As of May 2014, Transportation's updated inventory substantially addressed previously missing elements, such as information related to power capacity, electricity usage, and electricity costs.
Department of Veterans Affairs 45. The secretaries and agency heads of the Departments of Agriculture, Commerce, Defense, Education, Energy, Health and Human Services, Homeland Security, Interior, Justice, Labor, State, Transportation, Treasury, and Veterans Affairs; the Environmental Protection Agency, the General Services Administration, the National Aeronautics and Space Administration, the National Science Foundation, the Nuclear Regulatory Commission, the Office of Personnel Management, the Small Business Administration, the Social Security Administration, and the U.S. Agency for International Development should direct their component agencies and their data center consolidation program managers to complete the missing elements in their respective data center consolidation inventories and plans.
Closed - Implemented
The Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) agreed with, and has taken steps to implement, our recommendation. In March 2013, the Office of Management and Budget issued a memorandum that made significant changes to the Federal Data Center Consolidation Initiative's reporting requirements, including eliminating the requirement for agencies (including VA) to submit the previously required data center consolidation plans. However, the memorandum stated that agencies were still required to update their data center inventories yearly. As of July 2015, VA's updated inventory substantially addressed previously missing elements, such as information related to electricity usage, power capacity, and facility staffing.
Department of Defense 46. The secretaries and agency heads of the Departments of Agriculture, Commerce, Defense, Education, Energy, Health and Human Services, Homeland Security, Interior, Justice, Labor, State, Transportation, Treasury, and Veterans Affairs; the Environmental Protection Agency, the General Services Administration, the National Aeronautics and Space Administration, the National Science Foundation, the Nuclear Regulatory Commission, the Office of Personnel Management, the Small Business Administration, the Social Security Administration, and the U.S. Agency for International Development should direct their component agencies and their data center consolidation program managers to complete the missing elements in their respective data center consolidation inventories and plans.
Closed - Implemented
The Department of Defense has taken steps to implement our recommendation. In March 2013, the Office of Management and Budget issued a memorandum that made significant changes to the Federal Data Center Consolidation Initiative's reporting requirements, including eliminating the requirement for agencies (including the Department of Defense) to submit the previously required data center consolidation plans. However, the memorandum stated that agencies were still required update their data center inventories yearly. As of May 2014, the Department of Defense's updated inventory addressed previously missing elements, such as information related to physical servers, virtualization, and network storage.
Department of Justice 47. The secretaries and agency heads of the Departments of Agriculture, Commerce, Defense, Education, Energy, Health and Human Services, Homeland Security, Interior, Justice, Labor, State, Transportation, Treasury, and Veterans Affairs; the Environmental Protection Agency, the General Services Administration, the National Aeronautics and Space Administration, the National Science Foundation, the Nuclear Regulatory Commission, the Office of Personnel Management, the Small Business Administration, the Social Security Administration, and the U.S. Agency for International Development should require their data center consolidation program managers to consider consolidation challenges and lessons learned when updating their consolidation plans.
Closed - Implemented
The Department of Justice submitted an updated consolidation plan in September 2011 and this plan discusses consolidation challenges and lessons learned. For example, the plan discusses funding challenges, the need to implement change to efficiently address consolidation, and the challenges of consolidating in a federated organization. Further, the plan addresses the department's interaction with other government and commercial organizations to build knowledge and leverage consolidation lessons learned.
Department of Agriculture 48. The secretaries and agency heads of the Departments of Agriculture, Commerce, Defense, Education, Energy, Health and Human Services, Homeland Security, Interior, Justice, Labor, State, Transportation, Treasury, and Veterans Affairs; the Environmental Protection Agency, the General Services Administration, the National Aeronautics and Space Administration, the National Science Foundation, the Nuclear Regulatory Commission, the Office of Personnel Management, the Small Business Administration, the Social Security Administration, and the U.S. Agency for International Development should require their data center consolidation program managers to consider consolidation challenges and lessons learned when updating their consolidation plans.
Closed - Implemented
The Department of Agriculture agreed with, and has taken steps to implement, our recommendation. In March 2013, the Office of Management and Budget issued a memorandum that made significant changes to the Federal Data Center Consolidation Initiative's reporting requirements, including eliminating the requirement for agencies (including the Agriculture) to submit the previously required data center consolidation plans. However, the department has continued to consider challenges and lessons learned in executing its data center consolidation effort. Specifically, in November 2013, Agriculture's Acting Associate Chief Information Officer (CIO) for Data Center Operations described the department's consolidation challenges. For example, the official noted that department has faced difficulties in gathering information technology-related cost data (e.g., building rent, utilities, and salaries) from component agencies in order to calculate cost savings and avoidances. To overcome this challenge, the official stated that the department has relied on industry best practices to estimate these costs. The official further noted that the department has faced challenges in overcoming resistance to change from its component agency CIOs and in getting staff accustomed to cloud computing. Agriculture's Acting Associate CIO also described the department's efforts to leverage lessons learned in the implementation of best practices to support data center migration projects. For example, the official stated that the department procured and employed a "mobile data center," which has allowed Agriculture's Data Center Consolidation Program Office to expedite the process of virtualizing applications and closing data centers. In addition, the official added that the department developed a set of tools to identify network, server, and storage utilization statistics, and formed a full-time team from a broad mix of IT backgrounds whose sole functions are to migrate and close data centers.
National Science Foundation 49. The secretaries and agency heads of the Departments of Agriculture, Commerce, Defense, Education, Energy, Health and Human Services, Homeland Security, Interior, Justice, Labor, State, Transportation, Treasury, and Veterans Affairs; the Environmental Protection Agency, the General Services Administration, the National Aeronautics and Space Administration, the National Science Foundation, the Nuclear Regulatory Commission, the Office of Personnel Management, the Small Business Administration, the Social Security Administration, and the U.S. Agency for International Development should require their data center consolidation program managers to consider consolidation challenges and lessons learned when updating their consolidation plans.
Closed - Implemented
The National Science Foundation (NSF) has taken steps to implement our recommendation. In March 2013, the Office of Management and Budget issued a memorandum that made significant changes to the Federal Data Center Consolidation Initiative's reporting requirements, including eliminating the requirement for agencies (including NSF) to submit the previously required data center consolidation plans. However, the agency has continued to consider challenges in executing its data center consolidation effort. Specifically, in November 2013, officials from NSF's Office of Information and Resource Management/Division of Information Systems, who had responsibility for the department's data center consolidation effort, described consolidation challenges related to ensuring funding is available for its data center consolidation efforts and measuring actual electrical usage in multipurpose facilities. In addition, the officials also identified lessons learned related to focusing on virtualization to reduce the number of servers and power consumption. They also noted that the reduction in the number of servers resulted in reduced labor required to support the servers, less funding needed for hardware maintenance renewals, and lower costs to implement future hardware upgrades.
Department of Energy 50. The secretaries and agency heads of the Departments of Agriculture, Commerce, Defense, Education, Energy, Health and Human Services, Homeland Security, Interior, Justice, Labor, State, Transportation, Treasury, and Veterans Affairs; the Environmental Protection Agency, the General Services Administration, the National Aeronautics and Space Administration, the National Science Foundation, the Nuclear Regulatory Commission, the Office of Personnel Management, the Small Business Administration, the Social Security Administration, and the U.S. Agency for International Development should require their data center consolidation program managers to consider consolidation challenges and lessons learned when updating their consolidation plans.
Closed - Implemented
The Department of Energy submitted an updated consolidation plan in September 2011 and this plan discusses consolidation challenges and lessons learned. For example, the plan discusses the need for significant upfront investment to implement consolidation, which can be difficult as budgets continue to be reduced. Further, the plan discusses consolidation lessons learned, such as the need to assign a certified Data Center Energy Practitioner to each facility who is responsible for the accuracy of data calls and tracking and reporting on consolidation activities. The plan also discusses the establishment of a data center dashboard system to address conflicting interpretation of data call criteria. This dashboard allows the department to report consistent metrics, project status and other data without maintaining multiple data sources.

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