Army App Migration Process Focuses on Data Center Optimization

Cloud sprawl isn't just an issue for today's enterprise IT departments - federal agencies including military branches are struggling to keep their many apps and storage units from eating up precious budget while ensuring productivity. According to an Army press release, the organization has launched a data center optimization effort aimed at consolidating applications onto a set of core network assets. In a June memo, Under Secretary of the Army Brad R. Carson ordered the initiative, expecting the migration to be complete by the end of fiscal 2018.

Consolidate to succeed

Department of Defense IT decision-makers knew it was time for a change when its more than 1,100 data centers were causing inefficiencies and resulting in wasted resources throughout its many subdivisions. The Army had its tech assets spread across a range of disparate locations and lacked a cohesive structure, meaning that a great deal of computing power was going untapped. By standardizing and centralizing these systems, the organization expects to gain not only improved network performance, but also a simplified maintenance process that will further reduce costs.

A major part of this project phase has been eliminating unused data centers and selecting the most efficient systems to keep in the mix. As the Army embraces cloud computing in an effort to provide its personnel with greater mobility and in-field resources, its consolidation efforts could not have occurred at a better time.

Finding best of breed apps

Aside from refining and optimizing its infrastructure, cutting down on the 11,000 apps currently used by the organization has also become a priority. Neal Shelley, chief of the Army Data Center Consolidation Division, reportedly said that the organization has already seen cost savings after terminating only 800 applications. Decision-makers also expect that with fewer apps to manage, licensing and updating processes will be better streamlined with the data center consolidation efforts underway.

Identifying and eliminating redundant apps has been one of the most difficult aspects of this project, according to an article from Defense Systems. IT leaders must manually sort through the many applications that have been aggregated through the years in an effort to keep only the most useful resources in place. Once the initiative gains momentum, however, the Army anticipates that improved bandwidth and app accessibility will be well worth the hard work. A future-proof data center profile will undoubtedly prove a crucial step forward for the Department of Defense overall.