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Navy eyes commercial facilities for data hosting

Nov. 4, 2013 - 05:29PM   |  
By NICOLE BLAKE JOHNSON   |   Comments
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The Navy is developing a more aggressive plan for closing legacy data centers and moving military data to secure commercial facilities.

Specifically, the service is evaluating a modified strategy to consolidate more than 12,000 servers and expand its original scope of 67 facility closures that currently host Navy business applications and systems, according to a recent request for information. The RFI does not specify the Navy’s revised goal for data center closures through fiscal 2019.

“In order to achieve the anticipated cost savings, the Navy seeks to leverage commercial industry [data center consolidation] experience and expertise, improve the efficiency and effectiveness of Navy data centers, and expand the use of commercial hosting opportunities,” according to the RFI. “The future execution strategy will maximize commercial industry skills, capabilities, and competition.”

The Space and Naval Warfare Systems Command is leading the effort in support of the chief of naval operations.

The Navy’s ability to meet its cost savings goals over the next five years will be the main metric of success for data center consolidation. The RFI doesn’t say how much the Navy expects to save but noted that accelerated savings will be achieved through manpower reductions, standardizing and consolidating information technology systems and applications, and using alternate data hosting environments.

In addition to commercial facilities, the Navy is also considering what applications can migrate to Navy Enterprise Data Centers, Defense Information Systems Agency facilities and Navy-Marine Corps Intranet (NMCI) hosting sites. Any system engineering and integration efforts used by industry must align with NMCI and Next Generation Enterprise Network (NGEN) environments, according to the RFI.

The Navy’s original data center plan entailed consolidating 4,932 servers by fiscal 2017, but now the service wants to nearly triple that number.

Industry has until Nov. 12 to respond to the RFI. Questions include:

■ What are your recommended methods and/or mechanisms for the transition of Navy applications into a commercial, Navy or other government hosting environment?

■ How does industry manage security vulnerabilities to meet Navy and Department of Defense hosting standards?

■ What tools are available to ensure the security of Navy applications hosted in commercial environments?

■ What are the cost and security benefits of hosting applications in a commercial environment?

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