Government Uses Server Virtualization To Reduce Costs

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Among the goals of Green the Capitol, an initiative originating from the Speaker of the House's office several years ago, is the reduction of power consumption in the Capitol facility by 50 percent in the next 10 years. IT, not a small portion of this expense, was able to do it in one year with no additional capital expenditures.

Even more remarkable -- it delivered a savings of $2,000 per day in power and cooling. That's more than $700,000 in taxpayer money saved per year.

Virtualization played a pivotal role in making this possible.

With 441 member offices (that includes 23 committees offices as well as the office of House three officers) and 10,400 employees, in many ways the House's IT needs are similar to those of a midsize enterprise, with two key differences: Unlike most businesses, user numbers don't tend to fluctuate, and there was no centralization of computing resources.

The first difference no doubt made planning and implementing easier, the second was the heart of the problem.

Each of the 441 member offices on the Hill had its own server closet with its own IT policies, staff, software licenses, services contracts and so on. In addition, the main data center for the Capitol was at or near capacity, with little room form expansion, Nichols said. Architecturally, it was a mess as well. Subfloor airflow, for example, was impeded by an ever-expanding volume of cables below.

Read the rest at ServerWatch.

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