The Social Security Administration isn't the only federal agency contemplating new data center digs as it prepares for an expansion of its mission. The Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) is looking at alternatives to its current primary data center in Ashburn, Virginia.
The SEC recently issued a request for information, hoping to gather pricing information for a "turnkey solution" to relocate the SEC's operation, which supports the EDGAR database of investor information for the U.S. financial markets. The agency's lease on its current data center expires in March 2010, and it is evaluating whether to renew its lease or migrate to another facility.
Gathering pricing data doesn't necessarily mean the SEC is preparing to migrate its EDGAR operation to a new site. It could simply be a step to research conditions in the northern Virginia data center market to equip itself for negotiations with its current provider, which is not identified.
At the same time, the Obama administration favors an expansion of the SEC's mission to provide increased oversight and monitoring of the hedge fund industry and markets in financial derivatives, which would likely be accompanied by expanded requirements for connectivity and data storage.
Data center migration can be a tricky task, even for companies that have previously consolidated operations, as illustrated by the major problems seen in 2007 migrations-gone-bad by ValueWeb and NaviSite.
"Given the checkered history of large government IT projects, I'm thinking the SEC might want to keep its backup data center where it is," writes Paul McDougall at Information Week, who first noticed the SEC initiative. "But this one is worth keeping an eye on."