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1/18/2011
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Navy Halts Server Buys To Facilitate Consolidation

The service aims to reduce its data centers by 25%, increase server utilization by 40%, and boost server virtualization by at least 50%.

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The Navy has halted new server purchases to pave the way for the military service's data center consolidation plans.

A Navy directive issued last week puts a moratorium on spending on server hardware or other data center infrastructure unless the Navy's deputy CIO specifically gives the go-ahead.

David Dorsett, the deputy chief of naval operations for information dominance, issued the directive, which also sets goals for consolidation. According to Dorsett, the Navy should reduce the number of data centers by 25%, increase server utilization by 40% if not more, and boost server virtualization by at least 50%.

The directive encourages different Navy departments to share IT systems and resources where they can to "save Navy resources in hardware, software, manpower, and to promote Navy green IT efforts." The Navy's deputy CIO has until Feb. 25 to submit data center consolidation targets to the Navy's CIO.

To facilitate its larger consolidation effort, the Navy also has set up a pilot project within the Naval Installation Command that will help it "identify the level of effort and efficiencies" gained through cutting down on data centers, according to the directive. The Navy also is conducting a business case analysis for consolidation that, combined with the results of the pilot, will help the military service come up with its enterprise data center consolidation strategy by March.

The Navy's moratorium on infrastructure purchases is similar to one the Army made last summer to support its own consolidation plans. Federal agencies across the board have instituted a broad data center consolidation strategy mandated by the Obama administration about a year ago. According to one research firm, MeriTalk, the plan could save the government $14.6 billion over the next five years.

In addition to cutting costs, the White House also hopes to reduce energy consumption, support green IT initiatives, and improve IT security by reducing its data center footprint.

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