Thursday, October 30, 2014
House of Representatives weighs its data center options
Several government agencies have been pushed to consolidate and streamline data center facilities. The Department of Defense released a widely reported request for proposal in early October, reaching out to the IT community for strategies and best practices. Now the U.S. House of Representatives is falling in the DOD's footsteps. A new RFP, this one for the House, was released on Oct. 29, according to Executive Gov. The IT community's response is likely to reflect the latest trends in the industry as companies identify sustainable, cost-effective solutions to the legislative branch's data center problems.
IT community skeptical
Experts in data center management have rarely spoken kindly of the U.S. government's storage operations. A survey by MeriTalk revealed that even the government's various IT staffs report minimal confidence in their own networks, according to Data Center Knowledge. Over 40 percent of respondents noted that downtime in data centers had hampered the facility's ability to meet reliability goals. It seems that long-term strategies for consolidation through the cloud are in conflict with staff recommendations for greater data center capacity in-house. With luck, the conversations held in response to the House's RFP will provide a middle ground for satisfying both of these needs.
ZDNet pointed out that while the RFP released by the House will receive countless applications, only a few will be considered for implementation. Proposals will have to simultaneously meet the requirements of the House and every agency that works directly with the Legislative branch. Any proposals must provide separate, unique environments for each agency, as well as a means for seamless communication between each data center. Additional requirements include a 100 percent uptime and availability guarantee, which may be difficult to facilitate if the federal government continues to press for more bare bones resources. The data center must be located within 350 miles of Capitol Hill, less than 100 miles away from a military facility and more than 100 miles from the coastline. Meaningful communication between government agencies and the implementation of redundancy technology like remote console servers will make huge strides in solving the government's IT problems.