There was all kinds of news when some of the first announcements were made that the federal gov't would reduce the number of its data centers. Virtualization vendors and consultants were excited. Data center companies joined in.
What I think almost everyone misses is this not a technology issue. Data Centers are socialist programs that keep lots of people employed who get paid really well, and can cripple an organization. When United Airlines cut over to the Continental reservation system there were all kinds of problems. People have little incentive to make things work smoothly when they are eliminating their jobs.
The GAO has their press release. The GAO recommends to solve the problem to get everyone to count things the same way with a standardized cost model.
What GAO Recommends
OMB’s Federal Chief Information Officer should ensure that agencies use a standardized cost model to improve consolidation planning, and the 5 selected agencies should implement recognized best practices when establishing schedules and cost estimates for their consolidation efforts. OMB and 3 agencies agreed with, and 2 did not agree or disagree with, GAO’s recommendations.
This situation will go on for years and years as people have little incentive to get ride of their job.
Monty Python has a skit on a failed execution. You could probably write a skit about the people who are asked to shut down their data center.
If you want some night time reading you can read the 124 page GAO report. http://www.gao.gov/assets/600/592696.pdf