CIO update fails to update progress reports

CIO update fails to update progress reports

While CIO.gov has recently updated the UI/UX of the cio.gov site, several links have become broken and a lot of, once up to date, content is now deprecated. An example of this is the FDCCI Public Plans and Progress Reports by Agency. These reports have not been updated since 2011 and from reading many agency reports, it’s clear that there are some challenges as yet to be addressed. An example of this is the cost estimates reported to congress for operating Federal Data Centers (something that requires larger and larger budgets) and the value of data center consolidation which seems to result in very little progress being made and very little desire to continue to invest in an area largely seen as un-funded mandates.

PUE targets, now at a 1.4 Target by OMB, have been largely misreported without access or ability to report live PUE measurements. Even agencies that began the process seem to have rolled back to spreadsheet based ‘guesstimates’ in terms of actual utilization of applications, missions, and projects (or programs) tied to IT assets.

Additionally, while consolidation was originally starting with an estimated 3,000 data centers, we now have uncovered an additional 3,000 data centers, bringing the total to roughly 6,000 data centers.

Live reporting of PUE level 3 or ultimately CADE is essential to measuring the current state of federal data centers and also to prevent good people from gaming PUE to meet the mandates (which can cost taxpayers an added $1.5B next year).

More to come…

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FDCCI Data Centers To Be Closed By Location

FDCCI Data Centers Closing

Here’s some 570 of 1,056 Federal Data Centers that are either closing or have been closed since FDCCI began (according to cio.gov). I’ve used espatial to map these so that you can all get a better feel for the locations, agencies, and numbers of data centers closing.

This 1,056 is not of the originally reported 2,094 data centers to OMB in 2010. It’s of the now estimated 6,000 data centers reported by OMB based upon reclassification efforts to try to determine the actual number of federal data centers.

PUE vs CADE

McKinsey CADE Score Breakout

Here is a screen capture from the McKinsey / Uptime Institute CADE

There has been a lot of debate lately over the validity of PUE. It’s an aging metric that we were all very interested in as a gross measure of efficiency; but that was seven years ago. At least that’s when I first can remember Christian Belady promoting it at Green Grid. Seven years is a long time in the recent data center space. In that time things like OpenCompute have gotten started, better and newer waterside and airside economizers have hit the scene along with better adoption of VFD and ECF in air handlers and a ton of new modular and containment rigs. The other big change is that there is no longer any debate or argument over the validity of hot/cold isolation or containment strategies and there is a lot more synergy going on when it comes to new and effective solutions for everything from mixed environments to homogenous environments to HPC all the way to colo and multitenancy setups. 

McKinsey released CADE, Corporate Average Data Center Efficiency, as a broad ranging concept to help data center operators understand not just IT and Cooling power usage but also resource efficiency and utilization with a holistic approach. 

The promise of CADE was that you’d be able to see, at a glance, your utilization and availability of power, space (floor, RUs, cable density, underfloor, overhead, etc), cooling (chiller, compressor, condenser, pump, water, and air handlers) along side IT metrics such as availability and utilization of compute resources (CPU, RAM, Network, Storage, IO, etc). The challenge was how difficult it was to measure in practice these variables. It’s only now, five years after CADE was originally introduced that we’re seeing traction where Facebook and Google are starting to look at it and DCIM providers are starting to build in the hooks to support it like Schneider, ABB, Emerson, and several others. There is talk that CA and Eaton will also be updating their DCIM suites to accommodate CADE. 

How will CADE impact Federal mandates on data center energy efficiency such as FDCCI and the associated EOs? Nobody knows. But speculation is that AMI will need to be augmented to also include a strategy for really understanding and taking a holistic approach to the complete compute environment.

This also has translated into thought shifts from EnergyStar to UL 2640 as metrics for measuring and understanding the efficiency of servers in terms of transactional capability (transactions per watt). This seems to fit nicely with OpenCompute and the timing couldn’t be better.

-Alex