We are living in an era where the rise of natural disasters, whether in the form of hurricanes, “Derechos,” or epic snow storms that we dub “snowmageddon,” can seriously impact a federal agency’s ability to meet mission goals.
With massive power outages and road closings being very common in the aftermath of these types of storms, it is very difficult for government employees to remain productive during these challenging times.
During Hurricane Sandy, which impacted our region in late October, one federal agency fully embraced virtualization in a way that allowed its employees to remain productive, while also reducing overall costs, during and after the devastating storm.
Although the federal government was shut down for two days during the storm, the Interior Department rapidly set up virtual servers to accommodate the network and bandwidth needs of employees working from home.
In addition to providing the flexibility that government employees need in these types of situations to remain productive, server virtualization has many tangible cost-savings benefits.
For the Interior Department, the agency was able to more easily move towards cloud-based solutions by allowing on-demand provisioning for storage and other computing resources. Virtualization also allowed for the Interior Department to reduce spending on IT hardware.
From a power usage perspective, other agencies are seeing tremendous benefits as well. For example, by implementing the right virtualization strategies, the Bureau of Indian Affairs has achieved a 17 percent reduction in power usage costs through the virtualization of 188 servers onto 20 virtual servers.
As we head into 2013, we imagine that virtualization will grow in use across many more federal agencies. The combination of cost savings and enhanced productivity is something that will resonate across the entire government during these more austere times.