The United States Department of Defense (DOD) recently finalized plans to reduce its IT infrastructure by nearly one third by 2015, a move that will shut down nearly 250 data centers and greatly increase the department's reliance on private cloud computing and multi-branch data environments. The move is expected to save more than $5 billion annually, according to reports.
The DOD program is actually part of a larger effort, spearheaded by the Office of Management and Budget, to reduce data infrastructure costs throughout the government. However, government officials say they expect to pull off the consolidation across the board, without diminishing IT capabilities or response times.
The program is expected to affect more than 800 government data centers around the world with the US Army expected to see the most dramatic changes.
A key element of the Pentagon's plan lies with the Defense Information Systems Agency (DISA), the heart of a private cloud service that is expected to serve as host for everything from infrastructure to operating systems, middleware and applications. The DOD has released a "DISA first" strategy in which branches and agencies will look into DISA hosting and service before implementing other solutions. So far, the Air Force, Army, and Defense Logistics Agency are said to have signed on.
Of course, there will likely be some problems with a consolidation project of this magnitude, but the Pentagon says it has already learned from watching the consolidation programs of other federal entities.
With so many private sector enterprises looking to consolidate their infrastructure as well, the DOD project will certainly be one to watch.