DON Moving Toward Greater Efficiencies through Data and IT Consolidation
By Alison Dickson-Kozloski - Published, January 3, 2012
The Department of the Navy has a long history of effective information technology solutions that provide the highest level of service and security while being conscious of limited resources. Facing an increasingly resource-constrained future, this commitment to maximizing DON IT support using the most innovative, efficient and effective means will continue.
To achieve the DON goal of reducing business IT costs by 25 percent while maintaining current operational and security levels, several options will be used, including policy changes, standardized processes to support the effort, and a centralized/consolidated data and IT infrastructure that leverages the strength of DON and commercial IT providers.
"We must begin realizing savings in fiscal year 2013. Reducing the IT budget by 25 percent won't be easy. We must act more like an enterprise to become more effective and efficient, which ultimately enables us to better support the Sailors and Marines around the world to achieve our mission," said Terry Halvorsen, DON Chief Information Officer (DON CIO). "One of the things we will do in the department is to look at what are the best operating data centers in terms of mission sustainment, cost of operations and security, and those are the data centers that we will move stuff into."
The DON's Plan for Data Center Consolidation
One of the primary focuses is to close and consolidate data centers, reduce servers, and virtualize applications and systems into a few modern and efficient enterprise data centers. The intent is to increase efficiencies by combining computer, network, and storage resources from multiple organizations to deliver to a broad base of customers.
Currently, there are approximately 150 DON data centers in operation that have not been optimized for network structure and costs that include purchasing, manpower support, testing, certification, and operation and maintenance expenses.
What the DON Has Done so Far
To guide this effort, the Navy established a Navy Data Center Consolidation (DCC) Task Force to assess the current state and close as many data centers as feasible by fiscal year 2017 to realize the Navy's target of $1.4 billion net savings from DCC.
The Marine Corps is evaluating local computing centers and isolated server hosting facilities for opportunities to consolidate with plans to complete regionalization of IT infrastructure assets into its four enterprise and seven regional data centers. The Marine Corps Enterprise IT Services (MCEITS) Center in Kansas City, Mo., has opened and will be the centerpiece of the Marine Corps data center consolidation strategy. "SPAWAR engineers have done this sort of work before. In the last five years we've transitioned a number of applications out of existing data centers and into SPAWAR hosting facilities," said RADM Pat Brady, SPAWAR Commander. “In work for the Commander of the Navy Reserve Force, we realized over $31 million of life cycle savings, and a savings to the Reserve force of over $6 million that would have been spent on contractor services and license fees."
In July 2011, the DON CIO released formal DCC policy and guidance. It states that before purchasing additional data center capacity, the Navy and Marine Corps must determine that existing DON capacity is insufficient to meet storage needs and it is less cost effective to expand capacity in an existing DON enterprise or regional data center. The savings will result from reductions and increased efficiency across the DON in the following cost areas: electrical power consumption, facilities, infrastructure, cooling, bandwidth and circuits, as well as system acquisition, deployment, and refresh costs.
"We must work constantly to stay current with evolving technology and best practices to deliver IT at the lowest possible cost,” said CDR Randy Darrow, DON's Deputy Director of Enterprise Services and the DCC Lead Integrator. "For example, telecom prices are decreasing over time; so we should renegotiate and restructure our circuit contracts to take advantage. Also, today's hardware can run very reliably at very high temperatures, allowing us to simply raise the temperature settings in our data centers to significantly reduce cooling and power costs."
Consolidating DON data centers, reducing physical servers, and lowering costs is common sense and is also mandated by President Obama's Green Initiatives to reduce federal spending through a reduction in energy use and real estate footprint and the Office of Management and Budget's Federal Data Center Consolidation Initiative (FDCCI).
For more information on the DON's IT efficiency efforts, visit www.doncio.navy.mil/efficiencies.