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GAO: OMB Should Revise Server Utilization Metric in Data Center Optimization Guidance

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The Government Accountability Office (GAO) has recommended that the Office of Management and Budget (OMB) review its Data Center Optimization Initiative guidance and revise how it measures server utilization to better address server efficiency.

GAO made the recommendation after it reviewed the data center inventories of 24 participating agencies in OMB’s DCOI and found that agencies used “widely varying definitions” of underutilization and failed to report actual server use as a result of OMB’s move to revise the server utilization metric in June 2019, according to a report published Thursday.

The congressional watchdog also found that since May 2019, agencies have excluded from their inventories about 4,500 data centers after OMB made a change to the data center’s definition.

Based on data submitted, almost all of the 24 agencies met or planned to reach their goals for data center closures and cost savings for fiscal year 2019 and FY 2020. 

“As of August 2020, the agencies reported that they expected to achieve 230 data center closures, resulting in $1.1 billion in savings, over the 2-year period,” the report states.