back to article They live: The US government is not killing its zombie servers fast enough say its auditors

The US government is terrible at managing data centres: five years after the Federal Technology Acquisition Reform Act (FITARA) mandated the closure or consolidation of thousands of inefficient server farms, the federal agencies are nowhere close to meeting its goals. According to a report from the US Government Accountability …

  1. Mark 85 Silver badge

    Are they actually shutting down the zombies or just moving them (maybe even combining them) to a larger, more centralized data center? BOFH's are good at fooling the bean counters.

    1. creature.shock

      My understanding is that a lot of virtualization is going on so old servers can be shutdown.

  2. Doctor Syntax Silver badge

    Policy meets reality.

  3. Fatman Silver badge

    """Federal Data Centers"""

    <quote>A room needs just one server running government workloads in order to qualify as a federal data centre, in the latest definition created by the Office of Management and Budget.</quote>

    With such a broad definition, one must wonder why they exist in the first place.

    And, what do they do?

    Are caching servers included in this definition?

    It may be a case of a PHB that needs to justify their existence comes up with a banally stupid idea without recognizing the consequences of their ill-informed decision.

    Many of us have been there, and have had to 'push back'.

    1. bombastic bob Silver badge

      Re: """Federal Data Centers"""

      this sounds like the need of an 'OpenStack' cloud provider, particularly if it's replicated in different locations, for the entire ".gov" (except military, intelligence, and DOJ + law enforcement, who should have their own 'even more secure' systems, based on a similar concept).

      But leave to gummint to muck things up, add 'governmentium' to increase its cost and mass, and find a way to grease the pockets of specific civilian contractors who are politically favored at the moment...

      post-note: having the military maintain the servers is a good idea. Air Force or Army, most likely. And that nuke-proof compound in the Colorado mountains would be a good place for one of them, with backups etc. stored there as well.

  4. The Man Who Fell To Earth Silver badge

    US Government Accountability Office (GAO)

    Have them met the mandate themselves? I doubt it.

  5. Fed IT Geek

    DCOI in reality

    As someone who works in US federal sector and works heavily on reporting for DCOI, the non-tiered data center definition was a huge sticking point. For example, a field site that has a local server, running the file/print functions for the office, and domain control, and associated other functions that are for that office (like distribution point for patch deployment)...that is considered a non-tiered data center and DCOI says this should be consolidated to a centralized data center. The new definition and reporting metrics for DCOI excludes those from consolidation and reporting. And they have changed about the power and virtualization numbers as well.

    And no, GAO or OMB (Office of Management and Budget who sets these standards), have yet to meet these standards.

  6. ecofeco Silver badge

    I'm not surprised

    Having done a brief stint for a government body, the number one problem is under-staffing and lack of adequate funding.

    It's also why they keep getting successfully hacked.

    Government has yet to understand the critical role of computers in modern society, let alone how to use them efficiently. Been there, seen it.

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