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News Article

Federal IT Swamped by Redundant Copies of Data

July 2, 2014

By 2024, government agencies will spend as much as $16.5 billion storing redundant copies of non-production data, working directly against the Federal Data Center Consolidation Initiative (FDCCI), according to a report sponsored by MeriTalk, a public private partnership focusing on government IT.eweek-logo

The study, underwritten by Actifio, found that key barriers to consolidation, including overall resistance, data management challenges and data growth, are preventing data center optimization and actually driving copy data growth, resulting in increased storage costs.

While federal agencies have prioritized consolidation and transitioned to more efficient and agile cloud-based systems, 72 percent of federal IT managers said their agency has maintained or increased their number of data centers since FDCCI launched in 2010.

The survey revealed one in three agencies admit that they do not vary the number of copies based on an original copy’s significance or the likelihood that it will be used again, and a whopping 40 percent of federal data assets exist four or more times.

On average, more than one in four agencies utilize 50 to 88 percent of agency data storage to store copy or non-primary data, and the survey strong indicated storing these copies is costly.

More than one-quarter (27 percent) of the average agency’s storage budget went toward non-primary data in 2013, and this year, agencies expect that number to grow to 31 percent.

“With the public flogging that is, agencies’ IT departments have a siege mentality,” Steve O’Keeffe, founder of MeriTalk, said in a statement. “Leaders like Terry Halverson, the new CIO for the Department of Defense, are showing real leadership – going at the root causes for today’s federal IT malaise. Data and application sprawl are the enemies of government IT efficiency. We need leadership to empower Federal IT innovators to change the failing equation. We need a cultural and acquisition shift to enable new models and the shared services that will unlock new efficiencies and real savings.”

The majority of survey respondents said that better management of copy data would help make their agency’s consolidation efforts under FDCCI successful, though just 9 percent of agencies have implemented projects to better manage storage and data growth today.

The FDCCI was created to reverse the historic growth of federal data centers, seeking to curb unsustainable increases by reducing the cost of data center hardware, software, and operations, shifting IT investments to more efficient computing platforms.

Other objectives of the FDCCI are promoting the use of green IT by reducing the overall energy and real estate footprint of government data centers and increasing the IT security posture of the government.

“We’ve seen the dramatic impact of a more holistic approached to copy data management in the private sector for years now,” Ash Ashutosh, founder and CEO of Actifio, said in a statement. “Frankly I’m not surprised by the magnitude of the potential savings at the federal level, or that this has now come to light as a significant barrier to FDCCI. Copy data virtualization is today where server virtualization was 10 years ago. We’re thrilled it’s now been identified as a strategy that can dramatically accelerate the process of data center consolidation, and get FDCCI back on track.”