US Gov't Data Centers to focus on being Efficient after closing down the excess capacity

NextGov has a post on the next move by the US Federal Gov't to create new metrics to asses the efficiency of remaining data centers after closing many.

The Office of Management and Budget wants to focus less on simply closing federal data centers and more on making sure the government’s existing data center stock is operating as efficiently as possible, an OMB official said Thursday.

That’s why federal Chief Information Officer Steven VanRoekel’s office plans to roll its three-year-old data center consolidation initiative into a separate program called PortfolioStat, which audits agencies’ commodity information technology budgets to root out waste and inefficiencies, said OMB Portfolio Manager Scott Renda, who works in VanRoekel’s office.

The strategy is to focus on metrics.

“You’re going to see more focus on the right kind of metrics, efficiency metrics” Renda said. “[We’ll be] thinking about PUE [an energy measurement], thinking about storage, thinking about density measures that really talk to how efficient your infrastructure is. The goal with PortfolioStat is an efficient infrastructure that’s serving the mission of the agency. Consolidation is done to support that program and mission.”

This is a strategy that probably got the consensus of many of the IT decision makers and the vendors who do a lot of consulting for these people.  Don't ever think a big move like this is not done without a vendor helping to say "yeh this is a great way to make you more efficient."  Meanwhile they are figuring out the initiatives that will replace the legacy systems and upgrade them to the latest technology.

Notice the idea is focused on metrics to make a more efficient infrastructure. 

If it was up to me, I would focus on the supply chain of who are the best performing vendors and where are the quality issues that cause huge wastes.  Then determine the metrics that support the monitoring of quality of the system including the quality of the vendors.

But, I don't do any federal gov't work and my partners have no desire to slow ourselves down by adding federal as a market segment.

The problem with metrics is it can take you down the wrong path.  

Much like the work that John Boyd to fight the bureaucracy in Washington that was building faster fighter jets and he was telling people no, you want jets that are more maneuverable.  The ability to change direction, add speed, dump speed is what wins.  The trouble is there were no metrics for that.  And the vendors liked a nice easy if it goes faster with less fuel then it is better approach.

Doesn't it kind of make sense that you want a more maneuverable infrastructure vs. an efficient metric driven machine?