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Feds Now Plans To Close 1,200 Data Centers

timothy posted more than 2 years ago | from the hand-the-keys-to-carl-malamud dept.

Government 148

1sockchuck writes "The U.S. government now expects to shutter at least 1,200 data centers by the end of 2015 in its data center consolidation project. That's about 40 percent of the IT facilities identified in the latest update from federal CIO Steven VanRoekel. The number of government data centers has grown steadily — jumping from 1,100 to 2,094 and now to 3,133 — as the Obama administration has identified more facilities than expected, and expanded the initiative to target telecom closets. The CIO's office says it is on track to close 525 facilities by the end of this year, and has published a list of data centers targeted for closure."

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148 comments

And that's why (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38590620)

That's why I bought a Saturn.

Figures (5, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38590638)

Under a Republican administration government grows exponentially and it takes a Democratic president to get things back under control.

Re:Figures (5, Insightful)

TWX (665546) | more than 2 years ago | (#38590696)

Welcome to topsy-turvy land. We've actually been here for awhile, with "fiscal conservative" presidents and legislatures growing the national debt and supposedly "tax and spend liberal" presidents actually shrinking debt.

I support consolidating telecom facilities. Having facilities physically compromised is a bigger danger when there are more facilities, and having more facilities and presumably more equipment means more places one's information ends up, possibly leading to a greater chance that one's data won't remain secure to electronic penetration either.

Many years ago, Tennessee forced all of its state agencies on to one computer system for the bulk of State business. The agencies were very upset by this, but in the end it did save money and help keep records better because now agency X and agency Y were handling the same record, instead of having separate, different records that were never checked against each other. I'm sure there were problems, especially turf wars where agencies would fight over who "owned" the data and who could change things, but I'd bet it still worked better than having thirty individual agencies all with their own equipment that doesn't synchronize...

Re:Figures (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38590728)

Gee,

my initial comment got removed... go figure the ignorant /. moderators nixed it.

Re:Figures (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38590790)

my initial comment got removed... go figure the ignorant /. moderators nixed it.

There's no such thing. Not ignorant moderators, I mean comment removal.

Re:Figures (0, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38590852)

Umm, I don't know if you noticed or not, but Obama hasn't shrunk the debt at all--he's grown it at a pace worse than Bush.

Mind you, Bush was undeniably horrible. But the takeaway here is this: there is NO SUCH THING as a "small government Republican" anymore.

Re:Figures (4, Insightful)

Kenja (541830) | more than 2 years ago | (#38590900)

Sure there is. Small government Republicans just get the next administration to pay for things. Much like what's been going on for the past few years. If we ever get a Republican that is actually for small government and fiscal responsibility without being a total nut job they'll have my vote. Till then, I feel the Democrats have been doing the least damage.

Re:Figures (5, Insightful)

bussdriver (620565) | more than 2 years ago | (#38591056)

Obama put the wars into the budget for the 1st time; that made it appear spending went up more than it actually did!
The revenue went down because of the depression that started under Bush and continues today; that means less money coming in while spending continues and in most cases can not and should not instantly reflect revenue. Then you have tax cut extensions which also lowered revenue.
Plus do not forget inflation undermining the dollar's value; a number which is no longer reported because it got so bad (again under Bush, but Obama would have probably done it too.) While this makes the debt amount seem lower in value it actually does more harm than good.
The economy stimulus was way too weak and way too foolish (republican tax cuts) and that cost us a huge amount only to soften the downward spiral and couldn't dig us out-- you have to take a big step backwards so then you can build up enough momentum to escape...

Re:Figures (-1, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38591164)

Don't forget that every single one of those economic stupidities that you attribute to Bush was actually passed by Democrats in Congress. Bush was far from perfect, but Obama would destroy the constitution if he could.

They need to actually LOWER the budget (those "cuts" you hear about are cuts off the yearly increases, not cuts in relation to last year's numbers)

Economic "stimulus" funding big business was the dumbest idea ever. Want to stimulate the economy? Put that money into tax refunds instead. When that money goes to corporations, the people still don't have any money to spend.

I'm a "small gov't republican", but it will take massive change to shrink gov't. And I assure you there will be much resistance from Congress and corporations (who actually run the country). I think the best chance we have at shrinking gov't lies with Ron Paul.

*ducks*

Re:Figures (5, Insightful)

wygit (696674) | more than 2 years ago | (#38591322)

So if there something wrong under a Democrat administration, it's the President's fault, but if there's something under a Republican administration, it's Congress's fault.

OK, I get it.

Re:Figures (2, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38591584)

This.

It appears to me that Republicans engage in hypocrisy more than Democrats. I remember a common refrain "Why do you hate Bush so much?" whenever there was legitimate criticism of his policies. Those same people are now calling Obama a Nazi, a Communist (I am sure Hitler and Stalin would have a chuckle on that one), non-American, etc. etc.

Why do you hate Obama so much?

Re:Figures (1)

ragefan (267937) | more than 2 years ago | (#38591624)

No. When there is a Republican president, then it was the last Democrat president's fault, even 8 years later. When there is a Democrat president, its his fault.

Re:Figures (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38592222)

Right, Clinton [wikipedia.org] had nothing to do with it.

Re:Figures (1)

Nimey (114278) | more than 2 years ago | (#38592240)

Nah. The right's been on a blame-Carter kick since around the end of Bush the Lesser's presidency.

Re:Figures (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38591568)

Passed by Democrats?

Not really. They might have claimed to be Democrats, but they weren't representing the party, and so what if 10 or 20, or 40 Democrats got on board something, what's up with the 170 or so Republicans whose votes you are ignoring?

Re:Figures (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38592484)

Obama would destroy the constitution if he could.

It seems his priority was reforming health care financing when he had the chance.

BTW, it seems both Bush and Obama are OK with ignoring the constitution as presidents will never be prosecuted for violations given our dysfunctional Judicial and Legislative branches.

Re:Figures (3, Informative)

glodime (1015179) | more than 2 years ago | (#38592512)

inflation undermining the dollar's value

You should note that inflation has been historically low over the past 4 years.
Also, the USD has gained value relative to other widely circulated currencies since the Global economy turned downward in 2007.

Re:Figures (3, Interesting)

glodime (1015179) | more than 2 years ago | (#38592652)

I'm no Obama supporter.
He has expanded on the bad that Bush got started.
He's OK with ignoring due process for Citizens of the USA (which I think should be extended to all people that the USA's government agencies accuse of a crime).
He lent money to insolvent corporations without a penalty rate or equity participation but would not consider lending or granting funds to insolvent or solvent but illiquid individuals during a credit freeze.
His staff was informing corporate board members of the about to be announced free money that was going to be handed to them.
He gave up until recently on filling the vacant Fed Board position after a little push back initially (when the Fed could have saved many people from extended unemployment)
He hasn't pushed for effective regulations on financial leverage and size of financial intermediaries.
He hasn't pushed for easier formation of Mutual financial intermediaries.
He ignored the unemployment epidemic after the initial stimulus bill.
He never publicly entertained a single payer health care system.

But he still seems better suited to run the country than his predecessor or hopeful successors now in Iowa.

Re:Figures (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38593092)

A Republican that is for small government and fiscal responsibility?

You mean like Ron Paul?

Re:Figures (2)

Gideon Wells (1412675) | more than 2 years ago | (#38591412)

I used to say the same thing, but I plan on looking at it more closely in the coming months. I want to see how much of Obama's spending is investment and how much is "waste". The US's infrastructure is falling apart. Reducing to a household analogy, there is a difference between house debt and bar debt.

However, having to switch to walking/bicycling to your job because you refused to get your car repaired to save money hampers income prospects no matter which debt you are paying off.

Huh? (2, Insightful)

GoChickenFat (743372) | more than 2 years ago | (#38591000)

Wholly smokes...

...and supposedly "tax and spend liberal" presidents actually shrinking debt.

I don't know what the savings are with these DC closures...the article doesn't say. But tell me where in these numbers you see a liberal shrinking the debt http://www.treasurydirect.gov/govt/reports/pd/histdebt/histdebt_histo5.htm [treasurydirect.gov] - probably hosted on a server in one of the soon to be shuttered DCs...

Re:Huh? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38591610)

Wow, you considered two presidents and only one per party. Now that's a great sample size.

Re:Huh? (3, Insightful)

locketine (1101453) | more than 2 years ago | (#38592044)

You are aware that Bush was increasing the debt during an economic boom and Obama is increasing it during a recession, right? Tax revenue is the main difference between those two situations.

Also, debt only became an "important" issue to congress once Obama took office even though Bush's policies are responsible for a majority of the debt growth during Obama's term in office. If one wants to see an accurate accounting of who raised the debt and who lowered it they need to take into account the economic conditions and policy decisions made by each president as some decisions have longer lasting effects and longer delays before they impact the economy. A simple but rough accounting would be to look at the budget office's 10 year forecast during a president's term in office as those at least try to deal with the long term implications of policy decisions.

Re:Figures (3, Insightful)

ackthpt (218170) | more than 2 years ago | (#38591270)

Welcome to topsy-turvy land. We've actually been here for awhile, with "fiscal conservative" presidents and legislatures growing the national debt and supposedly "tax and spend liberal" presidents actually shrinking debt.

I support consolidating telecom facilities. Having facilities physically compromised is a bigger danger when there are more facilities, and having more facilities and presumably more equipment means more places one's information ends up, possibly leading to a greater chance that one's data won't remain secure to electronic penetration either.

Many years ago, Tennessee forced all of its state agencies on to one computer system for the bulk of State business. The agencies were very upset by this, but in the end it did save money and help keep records better because now agency X and agency Y were handling the same record, instead of having separate, different records that were never checked against each other. I'm sure there were problems, especially turf wars where agencies would fight over who "owned" the data and who could change things, but I'd bet it still worked better than having thirty individual agencies all with their own equipment that doesn't synchronize...

I've been witnessing the consolidation, or at least attempt at, in California. Sometimes they run out of money for the consolidation effort and it is shelved for short term budget reasons against the wisdom of getting it done now to save much more down the road. Turf wars, well, the try to conceal their turf, 'if we don't look after it it'll be a mess' which needs to be beaten back for the greater good. A little pain now for gain later. Government can't keep growing.

I wouldn't utter a blanket curse at 'Conservatives' growing government - I've lived long enough to see each side of the aisle has its pet projects and is fully capable of spending like "drunken other-side-of-the-aislers" Reagan and GWBush both grew the size of the federal government by significant amounts, without finding a source for the funding, while Clinton (social liberal/fiscal conservative) actully slashed over 100,000 (I think it may have been as high as 300,000 from federal payroll - through consolidation and weeding out things which had lived beyond their mandate.)

Good to see some of this attention coming back. This is how you cut spending, not by some trumpeted bill in the House or turning the budget screws, but by ferreting out the redundancy or unneeded and removing it.

Modern Monetary Theory (5, Insightful)

Nicolai Haehnle (609575) | more than 2 years ago | (#38591918)

Welcome to topsy-turvy land. We've actually been here for awhile, with "fiscal conservative" presidents and legislatures growing the national debt and supposedly "tax and spend liberal" presidents actually shrinking debt.

It's bizarre how perverted the discussion has become due to the focus on deficit and debt. There is a reasonable political debate to be had on the question of whether government should be small or large. Should the government be responsible for maintaining basic infrastructure? For education? And so on.

But these questions should not be confused with discussions about the deficit and debt, at least on the federal level. The deficit is mostly endogenous. That is economist-speak for saying that the deficit is not directly controlled by political decision. Instead, it is largely the result of what happens in the private sector. If the private sector produces a lot of activity, this automatically results in higher tax payments and therefore a lower government deficit. If the private sector is running idle, tax revenue drops while at the same time federal outlays in social programs increase, hence the government deficit increases. Therefore, it is best to just let the deficit be whatever it needs to be. That is the approach of Functional Finance [wikipedia.org], which greatly influenced Modern Monetary Theory [pragcap.com].

Stop worrying about the deficit or the debt. They are meaningless, red herrings. Start worrying about real things instead, like crumbling infrastructure or high unemployment - both are things that can very easily be fixed simultaneously at the federal level, if the deficit terrorists are finally silenced.

Re:Figures (4, Insightful)

mr1911 (1942298) | more than 2 years ago | (#38590762)

So, what is the national debt again? What was it last year, and the year before?

The government has grown wildly under all parties. Yeah, I know it is hard to troll when keeping reality in focus.

Re:Figures (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38590894)

Clinton had a budget surplus. Obama is only doing this badly because he inherited two wars and an economic meltdown from Bush.

Re:Figures (1)

berwiki (989827) | more than 2 years ago | (#38591134)

Clinton also had the most ridiculous economy in the last hundred years.

I'm not saying he doesn't deserve 'some' credit for not spending it all, but the surplus was more related to how fast the economy was growing than a cut-back in government spending.

Why the assumptions? (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38591200)

Clinton also had the most ridiculous economy in the last hundred years.

I'm not saying he doesn't deserve 'some' credit for not spending it all, but the surplus was more related to how fast the economy was growing than a cut-back in government spending.

Why should spending be cut and revenue not increased? Why is a smaller government superior to a larger government?

In a word (2, Insightful)

NotQuiteReal (608241) | more than 2 years ago | (#38591306)

Why is a smaller government superior to a larger government?

Freedom

Re:In a word (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38592232)

And the Republicans can take credit for fighting tirelessly for this on our behalf! (The Democrats, of course, passed the Patriot act, among other things.)

Re:Figures (1)

hondo77 (324058) | more than 2 years ago | (#38591348)

Really? [cato.org]

But perhaps we are being unfair to former President Clinton. After all, in inflation-adjusted terms, Clinton had overseen a total spending increase of only 3.5 percent at the same point in his administration. More importantly, after his first three years in office, non-defense discretionary spending actually went down by 0.7 percent.

Re:Figures (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38591704)

Say it with me, Clinton NEVER had a surplus. What he had was excess from Social Security and Medicare revenue added to the general fund which made spending for 4 years less than the general fund took in. BUT you remove that SS and Medicare excess, which is future debt, and he never had a surplus.

If I ran my business accounting books the way the Federal Government run theirs I would go to jail for failure to meet SOX compliance.

Re:Figures (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38592596)

He was the best one! Never pissed anyone off.

Re:Figures (1, Informative)

Rockoon (1252108) | more than 2 years ago | (#38591822)

Clinton had a budget surplus.

If you want to give credit to government figures for the nearly balanced budget, then you have to give it to the Republicans.

One of the first things the House did in 1995 was to vote on the Balanced Budget Amendment. The bill passed the House 300 to 132. [house.gov] 98% of the representatives that voted against it in the House were Democrats.

The Senate picked up the bill but their 65 to 35 vote failed the 2/3rd majority needed. [senate.gov] 94% of the representatives that voted against it in the Senate were Democrats.

The Republicans no longer take balancing the budge seriously, but back then they did. They controlled House and Senate at the time, so it was Republican budgets that were passed all through the Clinton years.

Stop listening to what the politicians are saying, and start watching what they are doing. And for fucks sakes if you are a liberal and you arent armed with stuff that you know are facts.. just shut the fuck up, because you guys are notorious for Big Lies.. for example, the guy I replied to and the army of liberals that say the exact same thing.

Re:Figures (0)

The Analog Kid (565327) | more than 2 years ago | (#38592084)

The debt never went down under Clinton and his budget surplus was an illusion since he raided the SS trust fund to cover the gap. Clinton also presided over a bubble economy and the productivity gains were fake.

Obama may have inherited a bad situation but hasn't done much to right the ship and taxing more and spending more are not the answer. Bashing business isn't going to create jobs and despite the rhetoric of the Democrats, jobs are created either directly or indirectly by wealthy people, poor and middle class people do not create the majority of the jobs. I doubt anyone here would want a job from a poor person anyway.

  He also expanded the war in Afghanistan and there are still thousands of contractors in Iraq.

Re:Figures (1)

Nicolai Haehnle (609575) | more than 2 years ago | (#38591958)

So, what is the national debt again?

Funny how distorted the discussion has become. The GP was talking about the size of the government, not the size of the national debt. You can have high deficit small government, and small deficit big government.

You have to understand that the government deficit is really just the mirror image of the private surplus plus the external surplus [creditwritedowns.com]. Once you understand the sectoral balances (as explained in the linked article), you can chill out about the deficit and debt and start worrying about the things that really matter.

Chicago politics ... (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38590778)

No. What is probably happening is that data centers are being consolidated to locations in Illinois. For some strange reason many of the President's projects favor that state.

Re:Chicago politics ... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38590890)

i'm sure the 113 DOD sites are not relocating to illinois.
government thought they needed a lot of data-centers like it would drive economy the way roads and dams etc. now they've found out that in fact they couldn't afford to run with doubling the capacity of America's data-centers, in only a few years.

Re:Chicago politics ... (1)

YrWrstNtmr (564987) | more than 2 years ago | (#38591120)

i'm sure the 113 DOD sites are not relocating to illinois.

By coincidence, guess where a major USAF data center is...Scott AFB [wikipedia.org]

Re:Chicago politics ... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38590908)

Datacenters in general favor Illinois as they have A LOT of trunk lines for the internet.

Grammar Police (1)

scubamage (727538) | more than 2 years ago | (#38590680)

FEDS NOW PLAN! Argh!! Double check subby, its not that friggen hard!

Re:Grammar Police (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38590774)

For a typo? Call the Typing Janitors instead.

Re:Grammar Police (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38590872)

The moneys we're savings from closings all the datas centers we're spendings on eses.

(What is the plural of S anyhow?)

A chance to buy (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38590736)

Are they selling them cheap?

How do I get one of those contracts? (1)

slashpot (11017) | more than 2 years ago | (#38590738)

No seriously - how would one go about getting one of those government contracts?

And the beat goes on (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38590740)

I'm counting down the days until the "Feds Now Plan to Open 1,200 Data Centers" Slashdot story when the consolidate/separate pendulum swings back the other way. And don't get me wrong, I'm all for maximizing resource utilization and reducing unnecessary duplication, but do wonder what's being sacrificed in the process. Hopefully just unnecessary PHBs...

What qualifies as a "Data Center"? (2)

sirwired (27582) | more than 2 years ago | (#38590788)

3,133 Data Centers? Does some computer-savvy worker taking some initiative to back up the PC's in the Outer Podunk Forestry Station by sticking a cheap NAS box in the closet underneath the shelves of tree-climbing gear count as a "Data Center"?

Re:What qualifies as a "Data Center"? (1)

Sollord (888521) | more than 2 years ago | (#38590834)

Since they include "telcom closets" now the answer is likely yes. I've lots of dumb stuff labeled as a telcom closet

Re:What qualifies as a "Data Center"? (5, Informative)

Entrope (68843) | more than 2 years ago | (#38590858)

The memos that talk about the data centers make the criteria clear. A "data center is defined as: *Any room that is greater than 500 square feet and devoted to data processing; and, * Meets one of the tier (I, II, III & IV) classifications defined by the Uptime Institute."

If you are surprised that the US Federal government has more than 3,000 of those -- welcome to the (not-so-)new bureaucracy, trying hard to pretend it is a technocracy.

Re:What qualifies as a "Data Center"? (1)

WalkingBear (555474) | more than 2 years ago | (#38590974)

With that kind of criteria,the room in my house with my firewall, nas, media server and telecom equipment is a data center. It's just over 500sq feet and I haven't had more that 8 hours of power or network outage in all of 2011.

It's also my photo studio, but the criteria doesn't say you can't do more than just computing in the room. :)

Re:What qualifies as a "Data Center"? (1)

oneiros27 (46144) | more than 2 years ago | (#38591090)

It's also my photo studio, but the criteria doesn't say you can't do more than just computing in the room

Yes it does. It must be 'devoted to data processing'. Of course, they never define 'data processing', so maybe it it were a digital camera, they'd still consider it.

Re:What qualifies as a "Data Center"? (1)

afidel (530433) | more than 2 years ago | (#38590864)

You think 3,133 datacenters across 1,300 agencies is a lot? No, this is just the number of redundant facilities they are planning to close I'm sure there are five times as many remaining open. Heck even then that's only one datacenter per 150 employees which is high but only about double what my S&P 500 employer has (two for 600 employees).

Re:What qualifies as a "Data Center"? (1)

Firehed (942385) | more than 2 years ago | (#38590930)

There's a big difference between "two for 600 employees" and "one per 300 employees". The former is (likely) 1+backup for all employees, whereas the latter is just wasteful stupidity. I'm guessing if your employer doubles its headcount, it will not expand to four datacenters to support them.

Re:What qualifies as a "Data Center"? (2)

afidel (530433) | more than 2 years ago | (#38591014)

Correct though if it was not for virtualization we would be at three as we were at about 110% of design capacity a few years ago prior to starting a serious VMWare deployment (we had grown from 60 to 170 servers at the primary datacenter, today we're down to 87 and might be at 60 or fewer by the end of the year if we have enough time to virtualize everything we want to in between all our other projects).

Re:What qualifies as a "Data Center"? (2)

Pharmboy (216950) | more than 2 years ago | (#38590978)

Maybe the problem is that the federal government has too many employees to start with. They don't generate wealth or create jobs, so maybe we could start with getting rid of a bunch of those jobs. Starting with the TSA. Next we move to the Drug Czar's office, then the Department of Education.

Re:What qualifies as a "Data Center"? (3, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38592020)

Sure, the government doesn't generate any wealth whatsoever, they just:

1) Allow wealth generation to happen at all (by maintaining roads, public transit, police forces, fire departments, and other services necessary to the functioning of a modern society)
2) Encourage wealth generation indirectly (by providing free or subsidized education that creates a more knowledgeable population, by providing libraries, museums, and other cultural institutes that extend that availability of education (artistic, cultural, and technical) to interested adults, etc.)
3) Encourage wealth generation directly (by investing in research and public works projects that corporations are unwilling or unable to fund, but which corporations often directly benefit from)
4) Provide social services which aim to keep people as contributing members of society, rather than let them slide into (nigh-irrecoverable) homelessness. (And, while it is easy and sometimes correct to say that individuals in such a position are there because of their own poor decisions, the reality is that they will, without alternative opportunities, likely turn to a life of crime that costs us -- either our safety if we let them continue to perpetrate crime, or a larger sum of money if we imprison them securely.)

Re:What qualifies as a "Data Center"? (1)

MacDork (560499) | more than 2 years ago | (#38592812)

The government generates plenty of wealth. They print money and hand it out to bankers on wallstreet in bailouts. They like to call it "Quantitative Easing" I believe. "Printing money and giving it to the wealthy ruling class while making everyone else collectively poorer via inflation" is so much more difficult to say.

Re:What qualifies as a "Data Center"? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38590876)

Having worked with the government for years now and after looking at the list of "data centers" to be closed, probably yes. In my experience, a lot of government "data centers" consist of three or four servers stuffed in a closet with the building's teleco equipment.

I work on this effort and it's horribly misguided (5, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38590898)

I applaud the efforts to consolidate and streamline government to prevent waste. However, the government, at least in Homeland Security, has no idea what they are doing when it comes to managing the data centers. They want to consolidate ALL Homeland Security assets into TWO data centers. Firstly, from a security perspective, two isn't really enough...need a bit more diversity than that (though certainly not the hundreds out there).

Worse yet is that one is not even owned by the government, but rather a Fortune computer company...which means that when the contract is up, they can increase the rates exorbitantly so, and the government has nothing they can do about it. Why? Because otherwise they would need to migrate all of these systems, which takes several years, at least. Way to go.

The contracts are already so screwed up...e.g. if we need to recable a government system, and we go and do the work, the company which owns the datacenter contract still gets paid as if they did the work. But we have to do it, because they always screw it up. Whoever wrote those contracts should be shot by us tax-payers.

Further, both are in flood zones, one is in a frequent hurricane zone (lightning/wind already took out our power systems once), and both are relatively east coast...really poor choices, geographically.

Oh right, and let's not forget that with all these systems migrating over, we are now seeing significant power and space concerns in the data centers. Shocked? Did the government ever determine the combined, used square footage of existing data centers and compare that with the data centers we are migrating to? I doubt it, or we wouldn't have such stupid issues. I'm sorry, but these data centers the government is migrating to are large, but by no means the largest I've ever seen. And they expect over 3000 data centers to roll up in them.

It's like they never went to kindergarten and are trying to jam a massive round ball into a tiny square hole with a big plastic hammer.

Re:I work on this effort and it's horribly misguid (2, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38590960)

Guy's dead on. I see it, too. For extra fun, sometimes "closing" a data center means throwing away all the working equipment and buying completely new equipment to replace it in a different data center. I have no earthly idea how they think they're going to save any money. They just get a metric in their head and run with it. Fewer data centers is better, no matter what, right?

Re:I work on this effort and it's horribly misguid (2)

roc97007 (608802) | more than 2 years ago | (#38591336)

I feel your pain.

> if we need to recable a government system, and we go and do the work, the company which owns the datacenter contract still gets paid as if they did the work. But we have to do it, because they always screw it up.

It's not just governments that trap themselves into this kind of contract.

Re:I work on this effort and it's horribly misguid (1)

Cylix (55374) | more than 2 years ago | (#38592520)

Indeed, at a previous employer one group of our data centers or co-locations had some pretty lousy techs. I had worked over the phone to remotely have some one off equipment cabled up and it was complete fail sauce. Eventually, I decided to stop wasting our money as I was scheduled to go out to do maintenance anyway. My cabling worked quite fine and the time they wasted would have paid for the flight and hotel.

Oddly, they had to borrow my onsite equipment to do the work as well. We kept fully stocked shelves for virtually every need. Even so far as to providing our own server lift. (I felt bad for the guys so my thoughts were you can borrow it, but I don't want to know in case you hurt yourselves.)

Re:I work on this effort and it's horribly misguid (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38591376)

It's like they never went to kindergarten and are trying to jam a massive round ball into a tiny square hole with a big plastic hammer.

This is like, the most accurate description of most governments in control right now.
They are clueless as to how to manage resources correctly most of the time, typically ignoring even the most basic points around said resources.
Such as the fact that a war could break out any time, or flood, or hell, a supervolcano. Yellowstone is certainly a lot weaker that it has been previously, and we did survive it back in the extremely early stages of human development, but it would still do some serious damage to North America.
It's like they are completely ignoring some of the best research we have done the past decade, ARPAnet. Use the same methods, no less than 5 around NON vital areas of the country, sorted. Better if it is in that mountain, in fact. If the Stargate can survive in there, damn it so can whatever these data centers hold.

Re:I work on this effort and it's horribly misguid (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38591398)

Are you sure the Clarksville DC is in a floodzone? Lake Kerr has a dam you know...

Re:I work on this effort and it's horribly misguid (1)

shentino (1139071) | more than 2 years ago | (#38591578)

Actually if the data centers contracted do shoddy work can't they be pursued for breach or a false claims act?

Just because it's the feds doesn't mean its magically ok to screw them.

Re:I work on this effort and it's horribly misguid (1)

mtmra70 (964928) | more than 2 years ago | (#38591828)

Same thing is happening at my work. They are doing massive DC consolidation to the east coast. The fail-over DC is also on the east coast. Smart thinking!!!

What also gets me is part of the consolidation is for possible company divestitures. The only thing is they want to close a DC in a bldg where the potential divestiture will occur. So we close a DC only to sell the business in the bldg requiring them to reopen a DC and migrate everything back into it.

Re:I work on this effort and it's horribly misguid (1)

locketine (1101453) | more than 2 years ago | (#38592060)

Please please anonymously submit a complaint to your congressman about this issue. I'm absolutely sick of seeing the government write horrible contracts. How the hell do they manage to do this with so many lawyers working for them?

Re:I work on this effort and it's horribly misguid (1)

Nimey (114278) | more than 2 years ago | (#38592250)

Because some powerful senator's got the benefiting private company in his district.

Re:I work on this effort and it's horribly misguid (1)

Ramin_HAL9001 (1677134) | more than 2 years ago | (#38592644)

Further, both are in flood zones, one is in a frequent hurricane zone (lightning/wind already took out our power systems once), and both are relatively east coast...really poor choices, geographically.

What are you talking about? The state representative who chose that location received a solemn promise of a stable consulting job at a tech company with an outrageously large salary, and as a result created jobs in his/her district by offering the most tax breaks to the private company to set up that data center in that flood zone. It is in a perfect location geographically.

Or when you said "perfect" you meant they could have found safer geographic location to run data processing equipment? Phffft. What do you know about politics?

Lobbying is heavily involved here too. (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38590914)

Sadly I wish we knew 100% for sure these closures and other initiatives were about really saving money. Look at the very one-sided, corporate-commercial-cloud-services-or-die Defense bill recently signed into law. Someone just got a huge lobbying bonus.

Now there's a great idea, let's put highly sensitive DoD traffic into the same data centers as any other person can buy space into... instead of using the DoD's own cloud computing centers that are located in secure facilities, have dedicated staff with clearances, and have already consolidated hundreds of systems.

I wonder how these Congrescritters figure we're supposed to safely outsource all the highly classified email and data traffic that they just decided to no longer consolidate within the DoD's management. Or worse, how do they intend for all this to comply with the mountain of security protocols they have to follow even for unclassified traffic -- let alone stop another WikiLeaks from happening?

Colo? (2)

aaronb1138 (2035478) | more than 2 years ago | (#38590924)

Please lie to me and tell me this will be followed by government auction colos, with fat pipes already laid. Might be a good time to pick up rack space cheap. Or we might be just looking at lists of broom closets with two poweredge 1850s in them.

Seriously though, federal auctions are the best place to get used, yet reasonably current hardware cheap. I got a laptop a year ago which still has warranty left that way (had to add a hdd).

FAA (1)

JBMcB (73720) | more than 2 years ago | (#38590926)

The FAA has it's headquarters in DC (makes sense) major offices in Seattle (Boeing/Aerospace) and Chicago (Boeing and major flight hub) - all make sense. The FAA's big data center is in... Oklahoma City.

Re:FAA (3, Interesting)

NetRanger (5584) | more than 2 years ago | (#38590956)

Every plane registered is stored there, the logistics center is there, and their academy is located there too.

Why did OKC reach this prominence? Of all the lower 48 states, it has the best flying weather for most of the year.

and SABRE, and Tinker, and Douglas Aircraft, (2)

decora (1710862) | more than 2 years ago | (#38591766)

and a crapload of other aviation stuff that has been in oklahoma historically.

anyways.

Re:FAA (1)

Frank T. Lofaro Jr. (142215) | more than 2 years ago | (#38591198)

Oklahoma City is where their Aeromedical Division is, those are the folks that make sure you aren't allowed to be a pilot if you aren't perfectly healthy or haven't been all your life - e.g. if you had hay fever as a child or something.

Auction (1)

zero0ne (1309517) | more than 2 years ago | (#38591066)

So, anyone know where I can go to try and purchase some of this hardware? My guess is it will be sold off extremely cheap.

Need a few more dev servers!

Inflating numbers much? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38591072)

"1,200 data centers" sounds more impressive until you also "target telecom closets".

Possibly not as good as it sounds... (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38591108)

I assume most of those DoD sites will be moving to DISA. Having priced the cost to move our server farm to the OKC DISA site, I can tell you that it is far from a cost savings move, as it would actually increase costs by a factor of 10, as well as decrease response time to system events due to a lack of direct server access (software not physical).

Consolidation within the Govt. is rarely as clean and smart as in the private sector, and never as cost effective.

Useless data centers (5, Insightful)

lucm (889690) | more than 2 years ago | (#38591274)

They are not needed anymore because:

1) the big hardware vendors already made their money
2) the contractors who installed and configured the hardware already made their money
3) the corrupt purchasing officials have already made their money from the bribes they got from the hardware vendors and the contractors
4) the software vendors will keep racking up software maintenance fees since all those physical servers will become VMs

It's called "greed computing".

Re:Useless data centers (1)

berashith (222128) | more than 2 years ago | (#38591514)

wow, this is painful. There truly is no money to be made from letting a sleeping dog lie. As government budgets must be spent, and there is rarely anyone that actually avoids useless spending of this money, then obviously the thing to do when all installations are done and running is not maintain and monitor, but to scrap it all and rebuild a new way. If this initiative is brought to large scale public attention, we will get to see a lot of spin on job creation and "green-ness".

Fake closures (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38591538)

Just look at the list, this isn't a closing of data centers, it's pretending to close them and over counting the same site multiple times. For example, The Department of Commerce has half a dozen "data centers" on the list. Guess what, they are all at the same address! 1401 Constituion Ave, they are ROOMS in the same building in some cases on the same floor! And yet they each get counted as a data center. This isnt closing anything down, its moving things ino less rooms and counting each room as a center. This is just playing numbers and claiming a result that isn't real, hoping no one will look at the details. Moving gear from one room to another isn't closing a data CENTER. And the list goes on and on, they are overcounting like crazy. This is like claiming you had a 3200% increase in dental hygine at a School because one student brushed their teeth, and counting each tooth separately.

efficiency theatre (0)

decora (1710862) | more than 2 years ago | (#38591620)

sure, they close down a lot. but have you seen any budgets shrink? no, we are at a massive, mind boggling record. if you asked people in the 80s if we would ever get this deep, 10 trillion plus, they would have said we were insane. but its happened.

TARP, the iraq war, etc etc etc. who got the money? who owns the debt?

Obama should have shut down Citigroup, JP Morgan, Goldman Sachs, and the other bailed-out banks that have IT operations scattered all over the planet. Ask JP Morgan if it has fully integrated and 'streamlined' all of the crap it bought with Bear Stearns? Ask one division of Citigroup if it has any idea how to communicate with another - ask Citigroup's IT managers if they even have a half-decent estimate of what kinds of software licenses their massive, behemoth organization has. They won't be able to give you an answer. And yet, our tax dollars bailed them out and continue to do so.

So Obama closed a bunch of federal IT shops. Sorry, not impressed.

IT seems like... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38591976)

This is a good thing IMAO. I know several people hired from the private sector to make this happen. The people that i know are well qualified. The consolidation will reduce cost and allow for a more centralized management approach. I am convinced this is what we need, and for once can keep my tinfoil hat safely off. Lets put our collective focus back to defeating SOPA...

What Waste (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38592728)

Seems this /Federal-Government-Finances-and-Employment site is a labryth of broken code and malfunctioning daemons on "servers" that should have never been given the task of "serving".

No wonder the GAO had such a slog to find the amonut of real USA taxpayer money funneled by the Executive Branch i.e. phoney-baloney Presidential White House Committees into the UN's IPCC.

I'll wager that Al Cappone would have wanted such as this.

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