data centers

For the fourth straight year, federal IT spending was about even with the prior year’s budget – and it seems very clear that trend will come to an abrupt halt in 2013. The Professional Services Council (PSC) stated the “Addressable IT Budgets” in Fiscal Year 2012 added up to $121.7 billion – a total the Council estimates will drop to $115.5 in FY13, with budgets for IT equipment expected to drop 19% in FY13.

With the so-called “fiscal cliff” looming, the new year began promptly with a deal that largely addressed the tax portion of the so-called “fiscal cliff” equation, but delayed measures addressing the spending portion of the “cliff” that include raising the debt ceiling and sequestration spending cuts. Keep reading →

The U.S. Treasury has always been a place where people could find something green, but this time the term is not referring to money. The U.S. Treasury building has obtained a green environmental designation, probably the oldest federal building to earn one. It has reduced its operating costs by $3.5 million annually as a result.

If the Treasury, built first in 1836, can go green and utilize smarter systems management, then most of the rest of government should be relatively easy, according to experts in the field. All it takes is a little ingenuity, a great deal of effort and a desire. And a presidential executive order helps too. Keep reading →

Congressman Darrell Issa (R-Calif) is proposing legislation that would provide sweeping reforms in the way technology is managed and acquired at federal agencies in an effort to eliminate duplication and waste.

The provisions would grant significantly more power to federal chief information officers to control the technology that agencies acquire. Keep reading →

The new computing generation has burst on the federal scene in a big way. The latest manifestation is solicitations coming from two cabinet agencies.

But they remind me of a scene many years ago. I spoke at the retirement party of a federal executive who had briefly worked on a program called seat management. I joked that more people were attending the party than had signed up for seat management, and got a roar of laughter.

“Seat”, as people called it, meant a contractor would supply to federal agencies a PC and all of the required software and services, charging a per-user, per-month fee.

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Seat management, touted as the biggest thing since computers, went over like a lead balloon. But it turns out, the concept might have simply been ahead of its time.

Today, agencies one by one are putting their productivity applications in the cloud. Separately, they are providing mobile devices or letting employees bring their own under BYOD plans.

Marry cloud and BYOD and you have the 21st century version of seat management. The difference today is the seat can be in someone’s car or kitchen, at the beach or in an airplane.

About those two new request proposals demonstrating what is going on: Keep reading →

The explosion of mobile devices and technologies can be overwhelming to many organizations, especially federal agencies concerned with saving money through increased efficiency while maintaining network security.

A newly released desktop virtualization system focused on the government sector seeks to resolve these issues by providing a scalable, secure, end-to-end capability that can allow organizations to manage a variety of devices across networks. Keep reading →

The Department of Veterans Affairs recently committed to a continued partnership with Microsoft Corp. to use emerging tools and technologies to harness the power of big data and drive efficiency, mobility and better service.

Spanning from the desktop to the data center and mobile devices, the renewed agreement will allow the VA to analyze big data the department has been unable to evaluate in the past. It also means continued investment in a groundbreaking data warehousing/big data analytics initiative. Keep reading →

Colorado U.S. Senator Michael Bennet and Senator Tom Coburn (R-OK) have filed a bipartisan amendment to the Cybersecurity Act of 2012 to conserve energy, save taxpayer dollars and reduce government waste by requiring federal agencies to shut down needlessly duplicative federal data centers.

Agencies have been instructed to develop consolidation plans under the administration’s Federal Data Center Consolidation Initiative (FDCCI), which would save over $2 billion according to the Government Accountability Office (GAO). However, a number of agencies have been slow to begin to implement the plans – or, in some cases, to even take stock of the total number of centers they currently manage. The proposed amendment to the cybersecurity bill seeks to remedy that. Keep reading →

With cloud computing becoming an integral part of the business of government, the recent Derecho storm raised legitimate concerns about the increasing reliance on large, grid-dependent data centers.

As smart, self-healing grids are still years out, cloud service providers are starting to see a new selling point in offering grid-independent solutions. Keep reading →

A new, enterprise-class IT backbone in a box has become the latest solution for a highly digitized U.S. military and first responders to access tactical data networks quickly and maintain connectivity wherever they are.

Developed to operate in a variety of environments where infrastructure is lacking or nonexistent, Dell’s Tactical Mobile Data Center (TMDC), is a completely customizable, air deployable data center that can be loaded onto transport planes, ships, trucks or slung under helicopters. Keep reading →

FORTUNE — The global economy has arranged itself around a short list of dominant cities, the endpoints for movement of all kinds: goods, people, money, and, increasingly, packets of digital information. These packets — some trillion bytes a second — travel primarily as light through fiber-optic cable. E-mails, images, streaming movies, and money: millions and millions every millisecond.

We take it for granted that the Internet, as much as any city, has a physical reality. Tracing the movement of a packet of information throughout this geography of fiber-optic cables and data centers casts the global economy in a different light. Keep reading →

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