In a report released on Dec. 7, the Government Accountability Office (GAO) reported that while Veterans Affairs (VA) has made some progress on key IT initiatives under Federal Information Technology Acquisition Reform Act (FITARA) requirements, it has nonetheless fallen short of Office of Management and Budget (OMB) targets regarding consolidating and optimizing its data centers.
For enterprise IT teams seeking ways to deliver on-premises IT services with the speed and operational efficiency of public cloud services, the General Services Administration (GSA) announced the availability of the Nutanix’s Hyperconverged Cloud Infrastructure (HCI) platform to agencies.
As Federal agencies struggle to meet Office of Management and Budget’s data center optimization targets, the General Services Administration has stepped up its efforts to support agencies as they work to consolidate, migrate and close data centers.
The Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms, and Explosives is in the process of moving to a 100 percent cloud-enabled agency. “It’s a bit of a journey at the moment,” Walter Bigelow, chief of the IT systems management division in the Office of Science and Technology at ATF, said at MeriTalk and NetApp’s Cloud Connect. “We will see some solid benefits out of making this move.”
Agencies are looking at ways to secure the edge of their systems in order to support a more mobile workforce. “The edge is where the mission happens,” said Max Everett, CIO of the Department of Energy. “We’re in the midst of a transformation. It’s modernization with a plan.”
In order for agencies to meet Data Center Optimization Initiative requirements, many are choosing Data Center Infrastructure Management Solutions to help them visualize what’s going on inside their data centers. “We were looking at optimization before DCOI and DCIM was cool,” said Pruitt Hall, project manager for NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory’s DCIM implementation.
Johnson Joy, CIO of the Department of Housing and Urban Development, said that he came to the Federal government hoping to use his private sector expertise to disrupt the public sector. “I’m a disruptor so I want to bring what the private sector has to offer to the government,” Joy said.
Rep. Will Hurd, R-Texas, said that he almost turned down then-Rep. Jason Chaffetz when he asked him to head up the IT Subcommittee in his freshman year in Congress. But “my mama said don’t be a part of the problem, be part of the solution,” Hurd said at Hewlett Packard Enterprise’s Roadmap: Tomorrow’s Data Center in a Cloud-Driven Digital World event, produced by MeriTalk, on Oct. 24.
The new administration has left little doubt that consolidation is a top priority. The first budget calls for deep cuts across most agencies. If achieved, these reductions are likely to put the squeeze on already stressed IT budgets. The search for creative solutions can and must intensify. The U.S. Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives is pursuing a hybrid cloud model that will simultaneously address optimization, security and budget priorities—blazing a trail for other Federal agencies to follow.