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DoD outlines data center consolidation plan

Nov. 25, 2011 - 06:00AM   |  
By NICOLE BLAKE JOHNSON   |   Comments
The Defense Department is consolidating information technology and hundreds of data centers and expects to save more than $1 billion annually by fiscal 2016, according to DoD's data center consolidation plan released this week. Above, the Pentagon.
The Defense Department is consolidating information technology and hundreds of data centers and expects to save more than $1 billion annually by fiscal 2016, according to DoD's data center consolidation plan released this week. Above, the Pentagon. (Air Force)

The Defense Department is consolidating information technology and hundreds of data centers and expects to save more than $1 billion annually by fiscal 2016, according to DoD's data center consolidation plan released this week.

In addition, DoD projects to save more than $3 billion between 2013 and 2018, the report said. But that doesn't include upfront costs needed to shut down servers and migrate IT applications to existing and new, state-of-the-art data centers, which will have increased operational costs.

Savings include:

$58 million annually in energy costs.

$511 million in operational costs.

$111 million in construction and expansion costs by fiscal 2015.

Fewer support staff needed to maintain servers.

So far, DoD has shuttered 55 data centers; its initial goal was to close 52 data centers in fiscal 2011. In July 2010, DoD had 772 data centers, according to a memo from former Chief Information Officer Vivek Kundra.

In its plan, DoD did not cite an overall reduction goal. The Army has an initial goal to close 185 data centers by the end of fiscal 2015. The Navy plans to close 50 percent of its data centers by 2015, and the Military Health System plans to reduce its data center count by more than 70 percent in the next five years.

But DoD's consolidation efforts this fiscal year may be threatened by lack of funding.

Continuing budget resolutions have delayed consolidation efforts, and "funding is a major risk factor to data center consolidation," the report said. Future savings won't be available in time to pay for upfront investment costs.

The military services and DoD agencies "are considering all options for achieving consolidation," such as migrating applications and IT infrastructure to the Defense Information Systems Agency computer centers, commercial data center centers and co-hosting. The Air Force, Army and Defense Logistics Agency adopted a "DISA first" strategy for data and application hosting, the report said.

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