Federal Data Centers

US Mandate for DCIM Software and PUE Requirement


You may have heard: all federal data centers are now required to install data center infrastructure software (DCIM) by the year 2018. Further, they are required to have a power usage effectiveness of 1.5 or lower. With this news, many federal data centers are looking to begin implementing DCIM and power monitoring as quickly as possible. Let’s take a look at what the mandate is, the reasons behind it, and how netTerrain DCIM and environmental monitoring can help federal data centers comply.

New Mandate for Federal Data Centers, Explained

The Office of Management and Budget has updated the Data Center Optimization Initiative (DCOI) to now require all existing federal data centers to achieve a power usage effectiveness (PUE) of 1.5 or better and to install DCIM by the year 2018. Previously, the DCOI required existing medium-to-large data centers to achieve that PUE of 1.5 or lower by 2018. Newly constructed data centers are subject to tighter guidelines, with a PUE of 1.4 required and a PUE of 1.2 encouraged. As research via the Uptime Institute indicates that the average data center PUE is 1.7, existing federal data centers should begin implementing DCIM and power monitoring immediately to meet these new requirements by 2018.

The Purpose of the DCOI & FDCCI
The Federal Data Center Consolidation Initiative (FDCCI) was first introduced in 2010; it’s mission is to promote the use of “green IT technology” and save government agencies money, reduce the geographical footprint of data centers, consolidate assets, increase overall security and boost efficiency. As a result, numerous federal data centers throughout the United States were shut down and consolidated in an effort to better manage assets and reduce costs. According to the Chief Information Officers Council, “OMB will monitor the energy efficiency of data centers through a Power Usage Effectiveness (PUE) metric. Energy metering tools shall enable the active tracking of PUE for the data center and shall be installed in all tiered Federal data centers by September 30, 2018. The first step in this initiative has already passed: all federal data centers were required to perform comprehensive reviews  of their data center inventories by February 28, 2016; ongoing maintenance of these inventories is also required.

How netTerrain Software Can Help Federal Data Centers Comply with DCIM / PUE Mandate
netTerrain offers the most flexible DCIM and power monitoring solutions on the market. Currently employed by NASA, the U.S. Army, the U.S. Navy, FEMA, the U.S. Air Force, and the U.S. Navy – netTerrain helps data centers better manage their assets. netTerrain DCIM is a multi-user, 100% browser-based platform that visualizes data centers – from site to port. Easy-to-use navigation generates powerful hierarchical and subcomponent diagrams of IT inventory, networks and data centers.  With enhanced visibility, control and governance – data center managers can improve capacity planning and energy consumption, while isolating trouble shooting and reducing downtime. netTerrain environmental monitoring gives data center manages the power to capture and monitor data over continuous operational time. Real time monitoring offers the ability to analyze server efficiency, power consumption and thermal conditions in the data center.  Ghost servers that are drawing power but not performing tasks can be easily located; the utilization of every single server can be mapped – and rational plans to coordinate business units with required performance levels can be drafted. Data center managers get the analytics they need to lower power consumption and improve PUE to 1.5 or lower.  Significantly lowering power consumption and use of cooling resources, the overall data center experience with netTerrain environmental monitoring is a marked decrease – up to 30%.

Though federal data centers have some hoops to jump through in the near future, the end results will be positive. The first stages – with federal data centers closing and being required to perform comprehensive inventories – are complete. Now, as data centers begin employing DCIM and environmental monitoring, the benefits will soon be felt: power consumption will be reduced, assets will be utilized  better with redundancies reduced, efficiency should improve and security will be enhanced.