Data consolidation, an inherent aspect of agency modernization efforts, is an even more viable option for agencies as cloud and super computing take IT to levels barely imaginable 30 years ago.
To speak to these advancements and how best to utilize them, Federal News Radio and Trezza Media recently brought together public and private sector experts to chat about modernization efforts in a panel titled, “Data Center Consolidation – Progress & Best Practices 2015.”
Joining Jim Flyzik were Zach Goldstein – National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) Chief Information Officer, Frank Konieczny- U.S. Air Force Chief Technology Officer, Tony McMahon – Internal Revenue Service (IRS) Deputy Director Enterprise Computer Center and Chris Steel – Software AG Government Solutions Chief Solutions Architect, among others.
At the outset, agency leaders gave a progress report of their current modernization efforts as well as priorities for the remainder of the fiscal year, lessons learned and where they see their agency’s IT efforts going in the future. The panel also shared recent and ongoing success stories, demonstrating that government IT culture is undergoing a much requested overhaul.
For example, Goldstein explained that NOAA had over 200 data centers across the U.S. yet once modernization plans were underway, NOAA was able to effectively reduce the number of data centers they encompass. He shared, “[w] e’ve made some great progress. Since fiscal year 2011, we’ve closed 41 data centers…and according to the OMB model, we’ve avoided future costs of $145 billion.” He also cited their burgeoning ideal- “put down the shovel” as a driver in data consolidation as well. Goldstein explained that “if you are in a hole, you need to put down the shovel.” He continued to explain that as an agency NOAA had too many data centers, and they will not be building any new installations unless there is a compelling reason to do so, literally and metaphorically putting down the shovel.
Frank Konieczny cites application portfolio management as a driver for Air Force’s progression in modernization. He shared that Air Force is currently performing an application’s inventory across all command sects to ensure that they eliminate redundancies and maintain consistency in applications across the board. Konieczny shared, “We’ve inventoried approximately 20 bases thus far, and we are getting a pretty good snapshot of what’s there and what’s duplicative as a result.”
To bolster demonstrated agency efforts, Chris Steel explained that at Software AG Government Solutions, he is seeing the same progress within agency provisioning. He explained, “We see a lot of progress made across these different agencies…we see them adopting a lot of new best practices. They’re taking a lot of their lessons learned from the cloud and other areas like dev-ops, and they’re incorporating it in.”
Yet, Steel also emphasized data consolidation aided by application portfolio management, saying, “Where we (SoftwareAG) try to fit in is taking inventory of not just the hardware but also the applications and really building those dependencies back to the mission.”
Want to hear more from public sector and industry experts on Modernization and Data Consolidation? Click here to view the entire show-“Data Center Consolidation – Progress & Best Practices 2015.”