Are Pentagon’s DC Data Centers First on the Chopping Block?

DC-area data centers are sitting on some of the most expensive land in the nation

Yevgeniy Sverdlik

September 7, 2016

1 Min Read
Are Pentagon’s DC Data Centers First on the Chopping Block?
A member of the U.S. Army Band salutes U.S. Defense Secretary Ash Carter and Afghan President Ashraf Ghani (standing at top of steps) during an honor cordon ceremony at the Pentagon, March 23, 2015 in Arlington, Virginia. (Drew Angerer/Getty Images)

The Pentagon’s newly re-energized data center consolidation push seeks to shut down 60 percent of the Defense Department’s data centers by 2018. The question now is which ones.

That question isn’t likely to have been answered at this point, since the team that will lead the effort has yet to be appointed, but the goal is to close the “costliest and least efficient facilities.”

According to Bloomberg Government, the DOD spent about $194 million on data centers in fiscal 2015 alone, and it clearly would like to see that number come down and come down quicker than it did after the department shut down 18 percent of its data centers instead of the planned 40 by last September (previous goal).

A Bloomberg Government blog post suggests that if the Pentagon is going to go after the costliest data centers, its facilities in the DC-Maryland-Virginia area may end up as the first ones on the chopping block because of the area’s high real estate costs:

“Using the maximum per diem rates for fiscal 2017 as a proxy for rent prices, the Washington metropolitan area is the costliest location with data centers.”

See also: Audit Finds DOD Cloud Use Poorly Defined, Tracked

The post’s author acknowledges there are other factors to consider, such as proximity of the data centers to the Pentagon. There are also factors that influence total cost of a data center to a greater degree than the cost real estate, such as energy rates.

If the DOD does decide to go after its DC-area data centers, the list of affected contractors would include Booz Allen Hamilton, General Dynamics, Northrop Grumman, Clark Enterprises, and Science Applications International.

Read the full Bloomberg Government article here

See also: Military Second-Biggest Buyer of Renewable Energy in US

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