Consolidating Federal Data Centers Won’t Be Easy

Map of planned data center closings
Planned data center closings (from

Derrick Harris at GigaOm offers an enlightening look at why the Office of Management & Budget’s plan to close 800 of the federal government’s 2,094 data centers (map) isn’t likely to happen. The problem: Federal agencies run tons of legacy apps that are going to resist the push for consolidation and virtualization.

Federal IT is a mess. Much of the software ranges from old to ancient. On workstations, Windows XP and Office 2003 is often still the rule. May agencies run multiple, tiny data centers.

The budget situation is not making things any easier. Data center consolidation, done right, could save a lot of money in the long run. But it will cost up front and the squeeze on agency funding makes that sort of investment difficult.

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Steve Wildstrom

Steve Wildstrom is veteran technology reporter, writer, and analyst based in the Washington, D.C. area. He created and wrote BusinessWeek’s Technology & You column for 15 years. Since leaving BusinessWeek in the fall of 2009, he has written his own blog, Wildstrom on Tech and has contributed to corporate blogs, including those of Cisco and AMD and also consults for major technology companies.

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