Page 2 of 2
While 95 percent of respondents said they used specific metrics to monitor their data centers, they disagree on which metrics to use.
Of the respondents, 61 percent used the number of physical servers to quantify their data center consolidation, 43 percent used storage utilization, 41 percent used network bandwidth, 39 percent used annual hardware spending, 38 percent used actual storage capacity, and 35 percent used total operations and maintenance costs.
There also appears to be no consensus in terms of how to identify data center consolidation opportunities. While 98 percent of respondents said their agencies have an approved set of criteria to identify consolidation opportunities, those criteria varied widely.
Physical server count was cited by 39 percent of respondents as a way to identify such opportunities, followed by 34 percent citing annual hardware spending, 28 percent maintenance and operations costs, 26 percent storage utilization, 24 percent annual software spending, 23 percent energy consumption, 22 percent storage capacity, and 20 percent the amount of square feet utilized.
About 41 percent of respondents said their agencies have a clear picture of the costs related to consolidating data centers, while 39 percent said they have estimates. Of those who have a clear picture of those costs, 60 percent said they have the budget needed to meet their data reduction goals by 2015.
The respondents said their agencies can on the average cut 24 percent of their total IT budget by data center consolidation, resulting in a total annual Federal government IT savings of $18.8 billion.
Savings across different budget categories resulting from consolidation are pretty consistent across the board, ranging from 18 percent to 24 percent in terms of budgets allocated to hardware, operations and maintenance, power consumption, storage, software, and real estate budgets, according to the survey.
Mark Weber, president of the U.S. public sector business at NetApp, said he is not surprised to see the broad range of metrics used to measure data center consolidation.
"By definition, metrics are not constant," Weber said. "Ninety-eight percent of the people said they are using metrics. But when you drive down, you see different metrics being used. Like anything in life, you can only see the results on things that can be measured."
Weber said NetApp underwrote the survey because of the importance of both storage and virtualization in terms of driving data center consolidation, despite the fact that consolidation will result in vendors selling less equipment to the government.
"Even though there will be fewer dollars sold, some companies will be the winners," he said. "And NetApp is one of them. This is only the very beginning of what government is doing. No matter what party is in office, there are going to be cuts."