Feds to shut down 800 data centers by 2012

Tina Nguyen Contributor
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In an effort to cut government waste, the Obama administration today announced plans to close 178 federally-owned data centers across the country by 2012.

This is the first step in a larger plan to eliminate more than 800 such data centers by 2015, saving an estimated $3 billion.

President Obama set this goal as part of the larger Campaign to Cut Waste, which targets unnecessary government spending. In a conference call with reporters, White House chief information officer Vivek Kundra noted that the nation’s 2,000 data centers currently utilize only 27 percent of their potential computing power and 40 percent of their overall storage capacity.

American taxpayers foot the entire bill, however, paying for energy costs, real estate and an increasingly outdated infrastructure.

The shuttered data centers, which Kundra said occupy space equivalent to “nearly fourteen football fields,” will be replaced with more efficient servers utilizing cloud computing.

Additionally, shutting down near-obsolete data servers will cut down on unnecessary energy costs: Kundra added that each data center consumes as much energy as 200 average households. (Congress creeps closer to FAA shutdown)

For now, the administration plans on shutting down 195 data centers by the end of 2011. The number of redundant servers has quadrupled over the past twelve years, ballooning to 2,000 this year from 470 in 1998.

Tina Nguyen