The Federal Data Center Consolidation Initiative was announced in February of 2010 and underwent revisions through the beginning of October. The Initiative is closely linked to the Strategic Sustainability Performance Plan (SSPP) and Cloud Computing, two of the best funded government IT projects.[1]


In 1998 there were only 432 data centers owned by the federal government, by 2009 there were more than 1,100. This number increased by 90% percent to 2,094 as of December 2011 according to number published by CIO Council.[2]

The primary goal is to reduce costs by improving energy efficiency and square footage, though perhaps the greatest benefit will be the reallocation of IT resources within the government for new initiatives instead of maintenance.[3]

Virtualization and Cloud computing are two of the recommended ways to achieve consolidation by the 2012 deadline. With such a large project choosing where to begin can be daunting. Rutrell Yasin, a writer for Federal Computer Week, suggests that e-mail is one of the easiest applications to put in the cloud. It can be the first important step toward meeting the requirement of 3 applications moved to cloud within 18 months.[4]

Even with the changes in the government at the beginning of 2011 these deadlines press on. How will you be ready?

[1] CIO Council, Federal Data Center Consolidation FAQ,, Posted 06.30.2010.

[2] CIO Council, Update on Federal Data Center Consolidation,, Posted on 10.01.2010.

[3] CIO Council, Federal Data Center Consolidation FAQ.

[4] Rutrell Yasin. “Implementing the cloud-first Policy? Start with e-mail,” Federal Computer Week, Posted on 12.17.2010.