The US government has unveiled plans to close more than 800 of its datacentre facilities over the next five years.
The White House unveiled a consolidation plan on Wednesday which will see 195 datacentres shut down by the end of 2011 and 372 closed by the end of 2012.
Much of the effort will focus on consolidation. The government will look to make better use of storage facilities and adopt more efficient methods for computing, having estimated that its facilities use just 27 per cent of their computing capacity on average.
"Shrinking our datacentre footprint will save taxpayer dollars, cutting costs for infrastructure, real estate and energy," wrote federal chief performance officer Jeffery Zients in a blog post.
"At the same time, moving to a more nimble 21st century model will strengthen our security and the ability to deliver services for less."
The White House estimates that closing down the datacentres could trim as much as $3bn from the federal budget.
While no word was given on job losses, Pund-IT principal analyst Charles King said that previous consolidation efforts in the private sector show that the increase in computing capabilities can often negate IT staff cuts from the closed datacentres.
Those who do find themselves out of a job might be well served to specialise in the administration of less common platforms such as Unix systems, he said.
King told V3.co.uk that, while common platforms such as Windows Server may have a surplus of qualified administrators, companies that rely on specialised platforms often see a shortage of qualified applicants for administrator jobs.
"Having up-to-date top-end skills in products like VMware, and getting into data deduplication if you're a storage admin, are pretty critical," King said.
"If you're a system administrator in one of those highly populated markets it might be time to hone your skills in some of those areas where competition isn't as fierce but demand is still there."
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