The U.S federal government is planning to close down a massive 40% of its data centres over the course of the next four years. This means that 800 of the 2000 data centres which exist across the country will be decommissioned.
The hope is that the strategy will drastically reduce the hefty federal budget which is spent on technology every year, freeing up billions of dollars as well a substantial amount of real estate.
“With data centres that run as large as three and a half football fields, shutting down excess data centres will save taxpayers billions of dollars by cutting costs for infrastructure, real estate and energy,” commented Vivek Kundra, who is overseeing the implementation.
One obvious concern which has been raised is that of employment termination. Despite data centres not employing a huge number of people (relative to their size), potentially tens of thousands of jobs could be lost according to a number analysts.
The Obama administration has assured people however that they will attempt to re-locate people rather than let them go.
“Part of what we’re doing is making sure government employees are retooled,” said Kundra.
Another potential concern will be that held by the vendors supplying such data centres. The federal government is the largest buyer of information technology in the world, spending approximately $80 billion every year.
As Kundra explained, the project is just one aspect of an overall plan to embrace more efficient, internet era computing, a large portion of which will be the government’s move to more cloud-based applications.
“We’re cracking down on duplicative, underutilised assets across the federal government.”