Traditionally, federal government computing resources have been deployed at geographically distributed headquarters, data centers, and field offices to ensure end user performance. The downsides are the inefficient use of energy and computing resources, as well as the expense and the difficulty of managing a large number of data centers. IT consolidation projects allow civilian, military and intelligence organizations to reduce the number of data centers to cut costs, promote green IT, increase security posture, shift IT funds to more efficient computing platforms, and boost productivity. The trick is to consolidate without hurting performance for government employees and war-fighters.
Specific government initiatives like the US Federal Data Center Consolidation Initiative (FDCCI) lay out best practice guidelines and objectives for departments and agencies to follow as the plan IT strategy for their own service requirements. This is further supported by the “25 Point Implementation Plan to Reform Federal Information Technology Management” and efforts around Defense base realignment and closure (BRAC).
Although data center consolidation may reduce operation costs and improve data security, it often causes performance problems that make users frustrated about application performance across a wide area network (WAN). Optimizing network infrastructure to compensate for problems that will be induced by “chatty” protocols operating over long distances BEFORE data centers are consolidated can prevent application performance problems and avoid end-user complaints and objections to the initiatives. Understanding IT assets and their dependencies before, during, and after consolidation can reduce risks and prevent unforeseen outages during consolidation.
Three Ways Riverbed® Helps Government Consolidation Initiatives:
- Identify service dependencies and targets for consolidation.
- Optimize the number and cost of data centers.
- Leverage public cloud infrastructure.
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- Compliance with FDCCI targets for a reduction in number of data centers globally
- Awareness of application dependencies for reduced risk of data center migrations
- Significantly reduced capital and operating expenses for hardware, software, energy consumption, support, and administration
- Local-like application performance for workers and warfighters around the globe to meet Service Level Agreements (SLAs)
- Increased security through reduction of distributed sites hosting sensitive data