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Metric Target Values

OMB will measure agency progress for this initiative using the following optimization, cost savings, and closure metrics and goals on a quarterly basis, by way of agencies' quarterly data center inventory submissions.

Optimization, cost-savings, and closure metrics and goals apply to all federally-owned data centers, except high-performance computing (HPC) nodes.

Goal 1: Optimization

The following optimization metrics are listed in order of priority. Agencies shall achieve and maintain all listed target values by the end of fiscal year 2018:22

Table 1. Government-wide Optimization Targets for Tiered Data Centers

Metric Definition Calculation Data Fields Utilized FYE 2018 Target Value
Energy Metering23 (%) Percent of total gross floor area (GFA) in an agency's data center inventory located in data centers that have power metering. GFA of Energy Metered Data Centers / GFA of All Data Centers
  • Electricity is Metered
  • GFA
  • 100%
    Power Usage Effectiveness (PUE)24 (Ratio) Proportion of total data center energy used to power the IT infrastructure Total Data Center Energy Used / Total IT Equipment Energy Used
  • Avg. electricity Usage
  • Avg. IT electricity Usage
  • ≤ 1.5 (≤ 1.4 for new data centers)
    Virtualization (Ratio) Portion of operating systems that are fully virtualized. Total OS 25 / Total Physical Servers
  • OS Count
  • Total (Physical) Server Count
  • ≥ 4
    Server Utilization & Automated Monitoring (%) Percent of time busy (measured as 1 – percent of time spent idle), measured directly by continuous, automated monitoring software, discounted by the fraction of data centers equipped with automated monitoring. Average Server Utilization * Percent of Physical Servers Equipped with Automated Monitoring
  • [new] Automated Monitoring
  • [new] Server Utilization
  • ≥ 65%
    Facility Utilization (%) Portion of total gross floor area26 that is actively utilized for racks that contain at least one physical server. Total Active Rack Count 27 * 30 sq. ft. / Total Gross Floor Area
  • Gross Floor Area (GFA)
  • Rack Count
  • ≥ 80%

    Only the Server Utilization & Automated Monitoring optimization metric shall apply to non-tiered data centers.

    Goal 2: Cost Savings and Avoidance

    Agencies shall, by the end of fiscal year 2018, reduce government-wide annual costs attributable to physical data centers by at least 25%, relative to the fiscal year 2016 IT Infrastructure Spending data submitted to the Federal IT Dashboard. Agencies shall collectively achieve the following amounts of savings (combined cost savings and cost avoidance)28 in each of fiscal years 2016, 2017, and 2018:

    Table 2. Cost Savings Targets ($ millions)

    FY2014 Physical Data Center Spending FYE 2016 Savings Target FYE 2017 Savings Target FYE 2018 Savings Target Total Savings
    $5,396.89 $269.84 $461.43 $629.86 $1,361.14

    Within 30 days after publication of this document, OMB OFCIO will set individual cost savings and cost avoidance goals for each agency.

    Goal 3: Closed Data Centers

    In all cases, the term "closed" for data centers shall refer exclusively to tiered or non-tiered data centers that: a) no longer consume power; or b) no longer house physical servers (whether in a production, test, stage, development, or any other environment).

    Based on the number of data centers designated by the agencies as already undergoing some part of the closure process, agencies currently plan to close 22% of tiered data centers and 50% of non-tiered, non-cloud data centers, for a total of 44% of all Federal data centers. OMB's goal for the DCOI is informed by, but exceeds, agencies' existing closure plans.

    By the end of fiscal year 2018, agencies shall close at least 25% of tiered data centers government-wide, excluding those approved as inter-agency shared services provider data centers. Furthermore, agencies must close at least 60% of non-tiered data centers government-wide.29 This target will result in the closure of 52% of the overall Federal data center inventory and a reduction of approximately 31% 30 in the gross floor area occupied by data centers, government-wide. Agencies shall prioritize the closure of data centers that are unable to meet applicable PUE optimization targets and/or pose management or security challenges due to age.

    In the long term, all agencies should continually strive to close all non-tiered data centers. Server rooms and closets pose security risks and management challenges and are an inefficient use of resources. As such, although at least 60% of non-tiered data centers are required to be closed before the end of fiscal year 2018, OMB expects that agencies will consider all such facilities as temporary and work to close them.

    Within 30 days after publication of this document, OMB OFCIO will share with each agency its individual goal for data centers closures, specifying the respective number of tiered and non-tiered data centers the agency must close.


    • 23Established by the March 19, 2015, Executive Order, "Planning for Federal Sustainability in the Next Decade," Section 3(a)(ii)(B).
    • 24Ibid.
    • 25Excludes virtual desktops.
    • 26"Total gross floor area" is defined as total square footage available for IT equipment.
    • 27"Active" racks are those that have at least one system consuming electricity.
    • 28Consistent with OMB Circular A-131, the term "cost savings" refers to "a reduction in actual expenditures below the projected level of costs to achieve a specific objective," and the term "cost avoidance" refers to "an action taken in the immediate time frame that will decrease costs in the future."
    • 29The baseline number of data centers is based on the agencies' August 31, 2015, data center inventory submissions, as collected by OMB OFCIO through the Integrated Data Collection.
    • 30Estimated reduction in gross floor area of data centers is approximate and has been based on the average size, in square feet, of the data centers of each type to be closed.