The U.S. government has 2,094 data centers, nearly 1,000 more than previous estimates, according to an updated inventory by federal agencies. The finding underscores the scope of the challenge facing the Obama administration as it seeks to streamline the government’s IT infrastructure.
For months, Federal CIO Vivek Kundra has cited the existence of 1,100 federal data centers as evidence of government waste and inefficiency. Kundra has repeatedly used this data point to drive home the need for a major data center consolidation that will consolidate servers and drastically reduce the number of U.S. government facilities.
It turns out Kundra was massively underestimating the extent of the redundancy. The new total was included in a memo from Kundra and Department of Homeland Security CIO Richard Spires, who is coordinating the government consolidation effort.
How could the government lose track of 1,000 data centers? It’s not uncommon for consolidation-related inventories to uncover more servers and IT rooms than expected. The U.S. government’s effort looms as the largest data center consolidation in history, so the disconnect between initial estimates and the final count was equally epic.
The process defined a data center as any room larger than 500 square feet dedicated to data processing that meets the one of the four tier classifications defined by The Uptime Institute.
Which agencies have the most data centers? Not surprisingly, those with the most distributed operations:
- Department of Defense (772)
- State Department (361)
- Department of the Interior (210)
- Health and Human Services (185)
- Department of Education (89)
- Veteran’s Administration (87)