- To save money, the U.S. government will shut down hundreds of data centers across the country and consolidate their services into its remaining data centers.The White House Office of Management and Budget recently announced that it would be shutting down 373 U.S. government data centers by 2012.
Over the last two years, the number of U.S. data centers has quadrupled, and yet they are running at only about 27 percent utilization, according to the Office of Management and Budget. The maintenance costs of these data centers, including backup power supplies, air conditioning, fire-suppression and special security devices, has been astronomical, causing them to consume 200 times more power than the typical office space. By more fully utilizing the remaining data centers, the White House hopes to maintain current service levels while drastically cutting costs.
The bulk of the U.S. government data center shutdowns will be on the East Coast, but a total of 30 states will have at least one data center plug pulled.So far the Administration has shut down 81 of these data centers already this year, and has a goal of shutting down another 195 during 2011, and 97 more by the end of 2012 for a total of 373. Beyond 2012, its overall goal will be to shut down 800 data centers by the end of 2015, which it claims will save taxpayers over $3 billion annually. The shutdowns are a part of the Obama Administration's attempts to cut government costs called the Campaign to Cut Waste.
The data centers range in size from a 195,000-square-foot Department of Homeland Security facility in Alabama that is bigger than three football fields, all the way down to four tiny 1,000-square-foot Department of Agriculture data centers all in the same zip code.
The 373 data centers to be shut down by the end of 2012 include 113 used by the U.S. Department of Defense, 44 used by the U.S. Department of Agriculture, 36 used by the U.S. Justice Department, 25 used by the U.S. Department of the Interior, 24 used by the U.S. Department of Homeland Security, 22 used by the U.S. Department of Transportation, 22 used by the U.S. Department of Commerce, 19 used by the U.S. Department of Human and Health Services, 15 used by NASA, 12 used by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, 10 used by the U.S. Department of Treasury, six used by the U.S. Department of State, six used by the U.S. Veterans Administration, five used by the U.S. Department of Energy, five used by the U.S. General Services Administration, four used by the U.S. Academic Decathlon, and two each used by the U.S. Labor Department and the U.S. Small Businesses Administration.