USPS Data Center Consolidation to Reduce Energy Use, Redundancy

Tue Apr 12, 2011 1:00am EDT

The U.S. Postal Service Office of Inspector General (USPS OIG) plans to consolidate four of its data centers into a single, energy efficient facility.

All USPS OIG IT assets will be relocated to the new facility, which will be built in a scant 10 months. It will boast a new voice/data network, modular power systems and high density in-row cooling.

The chilly winter months will also provide free cooling for the facility, saving the government -- and taxpayers -- thousands of dollars in electrical energy costs per year.

USPS OIG has hired Compu Dynamics for the project. The mid-Atlantic-based firm will build out the new facility in two phases to avoid disruptions. Uninterruptible power systems and back-up emergency power generation will be installed to keep the facility online during a utility power outage.

"This new data center will serve as a great example of how governmental agencies and organizations can preserve control over their IT infrastructure by consolidating and right-sizing their data centers," Stephen B. Altizer, Compu Dynamics President, said in a statement. "A program like this one can help many government technology managers comply with the federal data center consolidation and energy performance improvement directives."

Altizer is referring to the Federal Data Center Consolidation Initiative President Barack Obama launched last year to curb redundant infrastructure costs and investment. According to the Office of Management and Budget, there were 1,100 Federal data centers in 2009, up from 432 in 1998. Without a fundamental shift in the way Federal data centers are managed, related energy use was projected to top 12 billion kilowatt hours in 2011, compared to consumption of more than 6 billion kWh in 2006.

The USPS is an independent agency of the U.S. government.

Underlying image CC licensed by Flickr user bugeaters.