The General Services Administration’s Office of Government-wide Policy (OGP) released its goals for how it will serve as the managing partner for the Data Center Optimization Initiative (DCOI).

The DCOI requires agencies to report on the consolidation and optimization of data centers, cost savings, and move to a more efficient infrastructure.

“Few would debate that if we had the opportunity to build the Federal government’s IT infrastructure from the ground up today, it would certainly look very different than the current state,” OGP official Dominic Sale wrote in a blog post. “The DCOI is an ambitious effort to optimize and innovate more than 10,000 data centers operated by Federal agencies.”

The OGP will find the most efficient data centers to accommodate information for multiple agencies, create a Federal marketplace for data center services, and push agencies toward the cloud.

The OGP believes that agencies that focus on the security and cost of optimizing data centers have less time to spend on realizing their agencies’ missions. By finding efficient data centers, the OGP hopes that agencies have more time to accomplish their goals.

The OGP hopes that a marketplace atmosphere will facilitate the selection of data centers and services available in the public and private sector that will accommodate each agency’s specific needs.

President Obama’s fiscal year 2017 budget goals include modernizing information technology, decreasing spending, and increasing cybersecurity by moving away from physical infrastructure and converting to the cloud.

“To date, OGP has made great progress in this new role to empower agencies in creating their own path to data center optimization,” Sale wrote.

The OGP has used the Data Center Infrastructure Management (DCIM) Tool Assessment to identify tools that agencies can use to track data center use and energy consumption. Also, the OGP has begun planning which data centers can be shared among agencies, and giving qualifications for Inter-Agency Shared Service Providers (ISSPs).

The OGP is looking into the best way to convert data to the cloud, reaching out to the private sector to find the best shared methods to support automated infrastructure management.

The OGP is compiling a team of policy makers, data center program managers, facilities managers, and sustainability officers at executive agencies to discuss topics related to DCOI.

“With the aggregate cost of operations, changing hosting options, and the ever-increasing need for better information security, optimizing our infrastructure is a sound investment and the right thing to do,” Sale wrote.

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Morgan Lynch
Morgan Lynch
Morgan Lynch is a Staff Reporter for MeriTalk covering Federal IT and K-12 Education.