Despite troubles at the Pentagon trying to procure two enterprise-level cloud solutions, the second-ever audit of the Department of Defense found significant gains in cloud migration in the department’s components.
The DoD’s fourth estate agencies, the 27 agencies that provide services to the war fighter, led the way on the information technology reform front in fiscal 2019: In all, they moved 244 systems to enterprise-level cloud environments.
The migrations resulted in the closure of 17 data centers. The DoD assessed around 800 fourth estate systems to find opportunities for data center consolidation and cloud migration. These results were bright spots for the DoD, which failed the audit for the second year in a row.
There are over 500 different clouds in DoD. The DoD’s cloud strategy calls for a mix of enterprise and fit-for-purpose clouds. But in recent months, the DoD has struggled significantly in procuring enterprise cloud. The Pentagon’s Joint Enterprise Defense Infrastructure (JEDI) cloud, potentially worth $10 billion over 10 years, has been delayed for months due to several protests to the Government Accountability Office and in federal court. Microsoft beat out Amazon last month, but Amazon recently protested the award.
The Pentagon’s other enterprise cloud, Defense Enterprise Office Solutions, a $7.6 billion cloud contract, is undergoing corrective actions after originally being awarded to General Dynamics Information Technology.
The Pentagon audit praised the acquisition strategy for the DEOS cloud, stating that it would create a collaboration platform for the 3.1 million users on its unclassified network and 600,000 people on its secret network.
The audit also highlighted the Pentagon’s plan to migrate 14 fourth estate networks onto a single service provider as an important reform step. Also notable was the DoD request for quotes in the last fiscal year to create an enterprise-level solution to the fourth estate’s 17 disparate help desks.
The DoD’s network and data center consolidation is part of a larger trend across government to harness commercial capabilities and modernize.
Andrew Eversden covers all things defense technology for C4ISRNET. He previously reported on federal IT and cybersecurity for Federal Times and Fifth Domain, and worked as a congressional reporting fellow for the Texas Tribune. He was also a Washington intern for the Durango Herald. Andrew is a graduate of American University.