The federal government plans to close 20 data centers in Maryland by the end of 2012, part of a nationwide effort to reduce redundancy and save money on electricity-hungry computer servers, the White House said Wednesday.
Officials plan to close 373 centers nationwide by the end of next year and 800 by 2025, moves that the Office of Management and Budget estimates will save taxpayers more than $3 billion.
The centers, which typically house computer equipment, can be as large as a building or as small as a closet.
In one example cited by the White House, the Treasury Department will close a roughly 13,000-square-foot facility in Lanham.
According to OMB, that data center hosts 250 servers and costs taxpayers more than $400,000 a year in leasing and electricity costs alone. In addition to the cost of powering the servers themselves, the equipment usually requires round-the-clock air conditioning and heating.
“With data centers that run as large as three and a half football fields, shutting down excess datacenters will save taxpayers billions of dollars by cutting costs for infrastructure, real estate and energy,” U.S. Chief Information Officer Vivek Kundra said in a statement.
The number of data centers managed by the federal government has increased from 432 to more than 2,000 since 1998, according to the OMB. Those facilities have been using only 27 percent of their computing capacity.
Data provided by OMB show that the federal government has already closed 13 sites in Maryland, most in Greenbelt and Bethesda. Those that remain to be closed include a Department of Transportation facility in Baltimore and a Department of Homeland Security center in Abingdon.
The government’s effort to cut down on server farms follows similar moves in the private sector, which has relied increasingly on cloud servers to store certain data on the internet.
Wednesday, July 20, 2011
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from the Baltimore Sun