U.S. General Services Administration (GSA) Administrator Denise Turner Roth in early August announced that GSA’s Office of Government-wide Policy (OGP) will serve as the Managing Partner for OMB’s Data Center Optimization Initiative (DCOI). The initiative requires federal agencies to develop and report on data center strategies to consolidate infrastructure, improve existing facilities, achieve cost savings, and transition to more efficient infrastructure, such as cloud and shared services.
“GSA welcomes the opportunity to support OMB in its efforts to achieve government-wide data center optimization,” said Roth. “To champion agency efforts to modernize and optimize their data centers, we're building a robust shared services marketplace. The marketplace will ensure an even playing field for customers to learn about and negotiate services with providers.”
To date, OGP has made significant progress to empower agencies in creating their own path to data center optimization:
- Data Center Infrastructure Management (DCIM) Tool Assessment: Identifying and reviewing tools that agencies can use to monitor, measure, manage and/or control data center utilization and energy consumption of all IT-related equipment.
- Marketplace Breaking Ground: Drawing the blueprint for agencies to access shared services and acquire DCIM tools/products in a robust marketplace by collaborating with the Federal Acquisition Service (FAS) on contract vehicles and the Acquisition Gateway platform, and leveraging expertise from the Unified Shared Services Management (USSM).
- Identifying and Preparing Inter-Agency Shared Service Providers for Marketplace Participation: Creating a qualification process for agencies to become service providers (e.g. expression of interest, application process, operating standards), and developing common service models and financial models to help guide their marketplace activity.
- Moving to the Cloud: Investigating best practices to select cloud services to store data online vs. on-premise hardware that stores data within an organization's local network. OGP is collaborating with GSA’s FAS and FedRAMP to make available information on Cloud Service Providers (CSP.) OGP is also collaborating with NIST, along with FAS, to provide agencies with guidance on how to comply with mandates for transitioning to cloud services.
- Private Sector Partnering: Reaching out to industry to identify best practices for shared services and tools to support automated infrastructure management.
- Convening a Data Center Community of Practice: Putting plans in place to establish a forum for policy managers, data center program managers, facilities managers, and representatives from OMB to collaborate on optimizing strategies.
In December 2014, the President signed into law the Federal Information Technology Acquisition Reform Act (FITARA) which requires the Office of the Federal Chief Information Officer (OFCIO) to establish and publish goals for data center and optimization cost savings, provide public updates on agencies’ progress towards achieving these goals, and review agency data center inventories. The DCOI establishes these goals and other requirements for the management of the federal inventory of data centers.
OGP serves as a DCOI resource to help agencies implement optimization plans by facilitating participation in a robust data center shared services marketplace, sharing best practices and information about tools used to improve data center efficiency, and supporting agencies as they report on progress toward FITARA goals.