Energy-Savings Behind Recent Initiatives with Federal Data Centers

With the federal government getting more aggressive about tackling its own data centers that aren’t energy efficient, more companies may soon follow its lead in determining if it’s time to shift to more energy-efficient models. In a move to drive down spending and waste, the Office of Management and Budget announced that it is streamlining its federal data center operations under its new Data Center Policy. Under the plan, experts say, about 52 percent of all federal data centers will close by 2018.

As part of the initiative, federal agencies are being called upon to close 25 percent of all “tiered” data centers and 60 percent of non-tiered data centers. The tiered data centers are those that require separate physical spaces for IT structure, independent cooling systems, a backup power generator for power outages, and an uninterruptible power supply.

Energy-Savings Behind Recent Initiatives with Federal Data CentersThe projected is expected to decrease overall floor space occupied by federal governments by 31 percent. In addition, federal agencies will not be able to allocate funds for new data centers or data center expansion without permission from OMB CIO Tony Scott.

On another front, legislation has been proposed and recently approved by the House of Representatives to require all federal data centers to take measures to run more efficiently. Under the Energy Efficient Government Technology Act, the Department of Energy would be required to revise its baseline for data center energy efficiency. Those guidelines date back to 2007.

According to the Center for Climate and Energy Solutions, those initiatives by the federal government could lead to $5 billion in savings on energy expenses within a 7-year period.

Here are some of the options agencies are considering for their move away from older, less energy-efficient data centers, according to reports:

  • Provisioned services like Software as a Service (SaaS), Platform as a Service (PaaS), and Infrastructure as a Service (IaaS).
  • Inter-agency shared services or co-location data centers.
  • Optimized data centers within the agency’s inventory.

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Alex Carroll

Alex Carroll

Managing Member at Lifeline Data Centers
Alex, co-owner, is responsible for all real estate, construction and mission critical facilities: hardened buildings, power systems, cooling systems, fire suppression, and environmentals. Alex also manages relationships with the telecommunications providers and has an extensive background in IT infrastructure support, database administration and software design and development. Alex architected Lifeline’s proprietary GRCA system and is hands-on every day in the data center.