Pentagon to establish data center closure team

Pentagon to establish data center closure team
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The Pentagon is planning to establish a new team to review hundreds of existing data centers for possible closure, in an effort to streamline its data network, officials said Thursday. 

"What we're looking to do here is to establish a data center closure team," said Randy Conway, principal director of the information team for the Pentagon's chief information officer.

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The plan was laid out in a new vision document from the Pentagon's CIO. 

Conway said the plan calls for experts from all military services to come together to review a list of the 50 worst-performing data centers to determine which would save the most money if closed or how give under-performers "some sort of jolt."

"We're going to launch that in the first quarter of 2017," Conway said. "We'll see what that does for us." 

A Pentagon inspector general report in March found that the Pentagon missed a broad federal requirement that agencies close 40 percent of their data centers by the end of fiscal 2015. It had only closed 18 percent of its 3,115 centers. 

Its internal goal is to close 60 percent of the data centers by fiscal 2018.

The team would also decide where the data from the various centers would go, said Terry Halvorsen, the Pentagon's chief information officer. 

Halvorsen acknowledged closing data centers could mean losing jobs but said the team's work would give "us a whole better set of facts we can lay before Congress." 

"When we close these data centers, even if most of the jobs are contracted, which in our case, most of our data center labor is contracted, it's still somebody's job and it's still somebody job that is going to vote," he said. 

"That's part of what we want to make sure we've done exactly right, so that people that have to explain that to voters can explain that this is what had to happen," he said.