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OMB: Federal Data Centers Doubled Since 2011 Policy Change

DataCenterThe number of federal data centers in the country has doubled following a policy shift that redefined what can be considered a data center, Nextgov reported Monday.

Joseph Marks writes the Office of Management and Budget considers the count at 6,000, up from 3,000 within a few months.

Federal Chief Information Officer Steven VanRoekel expanded the definition of a data center to include smaller server rooms and closets beyond centers covered under the old definition, which set a minimum of 500 square feet

That change was intended to help the government continue efforts to move to virtualized data centers and transition to cloud computing environments, according to the report.

(UPDATE at 3:14 p.m.): Ari Astles, an Office of Management and Budget spokeswoman, provided this statement to ExecutiveGov:

“The integration of the Federal Data Center Consolidation Initiative (FDCCI) and PortfolioStat enables the Federal government to have a more comprehensive analysis of resources used, efficiencies realized, and also helps us to better protect our assets. Since the FDCCI began back in 2010, OMB has expanded the definition of a data center to include data centers of all types and sizes.

As a result, we have seen an increase in the number of data centers agencies have reported. Of note: the higher number of data centers cited by GAO during the HSGAC hearing on June 11 reflects this change in methodology and improved reporting by agencies, not a large increase in the actual number of data centers.

Under PortfolioStat, agencies are categorizing their data center populations into core and non-core data centers and examining how optimizing these assets will improve agency mission service delivery. Through this work, the administration has made significant progress in improving the efficiency and effectiveness of our data centers and will continue to work to make progress in this area in the months and years ahead.”

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