'Modernization is my hammer.' -- Michael Krieger, Deputy Chief Information Officer/G-6, Department of the Army. (Rob Curtis/Staff)
Army officials are preparing to issue a memo in the coming weeks that would order components to move all existing IT applications to Defense Department core data centers as part of plans to modernize and streamline IT operations.
The move comes as the Army is making strides in shutting data centers ahead of schedule. The service has shuttered 235 data centers to date – 107 percent of the fiscal 2014 goal – with an estimated cost savings of $32.5 million, according to Army Deputy CIO Mike Krieger.
“We’re aggressively shutting down data centers. I don’t think there’s anyone in the federal government that is shutting down as many data centers as the Army is,” Krieger said May 6 at the C4ISR & Networks conference in Arlington, Va. “But this is not a data center drill; this is about applications. This is about modernizing, virtualizing and moving.”
The forthcoming memo, which is being finalized, is part of a joint effort with the Air Force and the Defense Information Systems Agency, with whom the Army is working on several IT initiatives. The directive will “mandate that all applications modernize, virtualize and move to a core data center,” he said.
He added that the directive is being issued under a provision in the 2012 National Defense Authorization Act that requires DoD CIO approval for data center-related purchases.
“This is a shot over the bow to start turning the ship. This memo will have to be updated every year for about five years, but the Army knows it’s coming, DISA knows it’s coming and we’ve got to start moving applications,” Krieger said. “The problem we’re trying to solve is going after the applications that…are running on server 2003, applications that are 10 versions out of date. That’s not going to be allowed. Modernization is my hammer.”