'DISA first' for data center consolidation, says Army and Air Force

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The Defense Information Systems Agency will be the provider of first choice for Air Force, Army and Defense Logistics Agency data centers, says a Nov. 8 consolidation plan from the DoD chief information officer.

The report, posted online before Thanksgiving, says the two services and the DLA have instituted policy to consider DISA enterprise computing centers before pursuing other options in their quest to reduce the total number of data centers within the Defense Department. DISA operates 14 DECCs, one of which recently suffered a hardware failure, causing the DISA website to go offline for about 6 days and affecting other services, too.

When it comes to specific goals, the report says the Army has a goal to close at least 185 data centers by the end of fiscal 2015 and the Air Force to reduce its data centers by 47 percent, also by the end of fiscal 2015. DLA plans to close 90 percent of its data centers and eliminate 75 percent of its servers by the end of fiscal 2015, the report adds, a goal the report says is "aggressive, but achievable." (When using a percentage, report authors have eschewed the use of absolute numbers.)

In addition, the Navy says it will reduce more than half of its data centers by fiscal 2014 and the Military Health System will cut down its centers by 70 percent "over a 5-year time frame," although the report doesn't specify when the 5 years begin.

The report doesn't estimate cost savings directly as a result of data center consolidation, but says that the DoD efficiencies initiative, "of which data center consolidation is a significant part," will create savings of more than $1 billion annually by fiscal 2016 and more than $3 billion over a 5-year period.

However, the savings estimates do not account for the upfront costs of consolidation, the report warns--something the Defense Department may have in common with the Homeland Security Department, which apparently didn't include constructions costs of a massive data center in Clarksville, Va. when calculating savings estimates.

For more:
- download the DoD CIO data center consolidation report (.pdf)

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