The recently established Data Center Optimization Initiative (DCOI) is an important mandate for federal data centers that encourages the sharing of information to encourage optimization of infrastructure and reduce inefficiency in data centers. Nothing is more of a hot topic in data centers than the need to improve efficiency on all levels to remain sustainable and effective. The White House describes the requirements of DCOI as follows, “The DCOI, as described in this memorandum, requires agencies to develop and report on data center strategies to consolidate inefficient infrastructure, optimize existing facilities, improve security posture, achieve cost savings, and transition to more efficient infrastructure, such as cloud services and inter-agency shared services.”
This initiative focuses on data center consolidation and optimization of existing data centers to reduce redundancy. These measures will help make data centers more eco-friendly which benefits the environment but by improving efficiency also provides significant cost savings. Further, DCOI recognizes and encourages the utilization of the cloud to improve efficiency and scale operations without expanding physical footprint. Undoubtedly, plans and goals will have to be established to meet the demands of DCOI so early adoption is the best approach. Schneider Electric explains the importance of complying with DCOI, “ One of the key requirements for existing data centers is to “achieve and maintain” a PUE score of 1.5 or less…new, proposed data centers must be designed and operated at 1.4 or less with 1.2 being “encouraged”. Another key requirement is deployment of data center infrastructure management tools (DCIM) in all Federal data centers since manual collection of PUE data will no longer be acceptable. If Agency CIOs fail to achieve these scores and implement DCIM by September 30th, 2018, “Agency CIOs shall evaluate options for consolidation or closure…”. In other words, comply or be assimilated. Fortunately for these CIOs, legacy data centers often have plenty of room to improve infrastructure efficiency by reducing power and cooling energy losses to bring PUE scores within these limits. In addition, DCOI targets are expected to result in the closure of approximately 52% of the overall Federal Data Center inventory1. So it’s important to try to make as many improvements as is feasible even if you’re meeting the required 1.5 (or 1.4 for new) …i.e., increase your odds of survival by being as good as you can be. Agencies should start with an efficiency assessment of the site in question. Find out where you’re at now and identify areas for improvement.” DCIM technology should be implemented to monitor energy usage and improve energy consumption and every effort should be made by federal data centers to comply with DCOI going forward.