Report | March 29, 2016

DoD's Efforts to Consolidate Data Centers Need Improvement DODIG-2016-068


Our audit objective was to determine whether selected DoD Components were effectively consolidating their data centers in accordance with the Federal Data Center Consolidation Initiative (FDCCI). Specifically, we planned to verify the status of the consolidations and determine whether actual efficiencies gained met the estimated efficiencies reported to the Office of Management and Budget (OMB). Because DoD acknowledged the significant challenges to realizing efficiencies, we focused on determining whether DoD effectively consolidated data centers in accordance with FDCCI and DoD requirements for data center consolidation.


DoD did not meet the FDCCI requirement to consolidate 40 percent of its data centers by yearend FY 2015. Of the 3,115 data centers reported in DoD’s Data Center Inventory Management (DCIM) system, only 568 (18 percent) were closed by fiscal yearend. This occurred because the DoD Chief Information Officer (CIO) did not revise DoD’s strategy to meet the 40-percent goal for data center reduction after OMB revised the definition of a data center to include smaller facilities. In addition, the DoD CIO did not enforce compliance with the DoD requirement for one installation processing node per installation. As a result, DoD will not reduce its energy and real estate footprint or achieve the cost savings outlined in the FDCCI. Even with planned closures, DoD will not reach its internal goal to reduce the number of data centers by 60 percent by FY 2018.

We nonstatistically reviewed 119 of 1,501 data centers owned by the Army, Marine Corps, Navy, and the Defense Information Systems Agency (DISA). We did not include the Air Force in the sample because an Air Force CIO official acknowledged the Air Force severely underreported the number of data centers the Air Force owns and operates. We determined that 68 of the 119 data centers did not report accurate DCIM information. This occurred because the DoD CIO did not issue clear guidance on recording and updating data center information in DCIM. In addition, the DoD CIO and Component CIOs did not implement an effective process to validate the accuracy of DCIM data. As a result, there is an increased risk that Congress and other stakeholders could inappropriately assess DoD’s cost savings and efficiencies gained through data center reduction.


We recommend that the DoD CIO revise its strategy to include a plan for meeting its 60-percent data center reduction goal by FY 2018 and a process for monitoring Component progress toward meeting the data center consolidation goals. We also recommend that the Military Service CIOs and the DISA CIO revise their process for validating DCIM information to ensure accuracy and completeness. Additional recommendations appear in the full report.

Management Comments and Our Response:

Based on management comments, we redirected one recommendation to the Department of the Navy CIO. The DoD CIO; Army Deputy CIO, responding for the Army CIO; Navy CIO; and Air Force Chief, Information Dominance and CIO addressed all specifics of the recommendations, and no further comments are required. Although the DISA CIO partially agreed with Recommendation B.2, we disagree with his assertion that two DISA facilities are not data centers and should not be included in DCIM. We request that the DISA CIO provide additional comments on this report by April 29, 2016.

This report is a result of Project No. D2015-D000RC-0137.000.