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Federal CIO Vivek Kundra on the Federal Cloud
November 3, 2009 at 7:11 pm #84665
From Federal NewsRadio
Data center proliferation must end, Kundra says
Federal CIO Vivek Kundra says cloud computing is part of the answer to reducing the data center infrastructure.
By Jason Miller
All of this work to consolidate data centers comes as the Office of Management and Budget launched part two of its governmentwide survey trying to better understand how agencies are using these capabilities.
Federal CIO Vivek Kundra says Tuesday at ELC that over the last 10 years the number of data centers grew to more than, 1,200 from 493.
“Part of this effort will require looking at the details about what applications are running across the data centers,” Kundra says. “Clearly when you go from 498 to 1,200 there is an issue in terms of the fragmented nature of these investments. When you think about the Trusted Internet Connections (TIC) initiative, the focus is on network connections and we are not thinking about data centers. This growth is troubling because it shows greater investment in infrastructure yet it’s more fragmented over the last decade.”
Through the second governmentwide survey, Kundra says OMB wants to better understand just how well agencies use their data centers and what specific software is running in these buildings.
“What I can tell you based on my experience in Virginia and the District is we’ve noticed a lot of servers used at 7-to-10-to-15-to-20 percent of their capacities so there is an overbuild,” he says.
IBM found in a recent study that 80 percent of all data centers are underutilized, distributed servers cost almost $35,000 a year to maintain and 20 percent of all power costs come from servers.
Kundra said last month in announcing the administration’s cloud computing strategy that agencies have spent 20 percent more money on power consumption because of data centers over the last eight years.
Kundra says these factors and the potential for savings are among the reasons for OMB’s enthusiasm for cloud computing.
“When you think about elastic computing you can allocate resources on demand instead of putting out server after server,” he says. “In the long term, we need to dynamically allocate resources as we serve people through various channels.”
Kundra would not offer specifics about what the end goal is with the data center surveys except that there are too many and cloud computing is part of the answer.
He says OMB’s cloud computing strategy released in September offers some idea of how the administration wants to move forward, and the rest will come with the fiscal 2011 budget request next February.
“We are thinking through how to rationalize our IT investments so we don’t have more data centers than we need,” Kundra says.
OMB says it will oversee pilot projects around cloud computing in 2010 and agencies will be expected to make plans of moving certain applications to the cloud starting in 2011.
Kundra says the move to cloud computing is a 5-to-10-year process so these steps are really just the beginning.
“Two of the key things we need to address are data portability and interoperability,” he says. “After security, those are two of the biggest challenges.”
He adds that the General Services Administration and OMB are leading a cloud computing security working group to address security at all technology layers, data, application and Web server.
Copyright 2009 by FederalNewsRadio.com.
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