Why the US Navy has been slow to consolidate data centers

And what it's doing to facilitate a more rapid pace.

Dealing with a culture that sees data as something that needs to be kept close at hand, the US Navy has been slow to meet its goals in consolidating data centers and applications as part of the ongoing Federal government consolidation efforts. Despite having addressed this issue in mid-2014 with the creation of the Data Center and Application Optimization program (DCAO), the pace of change still hasn't come up to an acceptable level.

US Navy

Speaking at this year's Navy IT Day, John Zangardi, the Navy's deputy assistant secretary for command, control, computers, intelligence, information operations and space and acting CIO took the Navy to task for their slow rate of progress, going so far as to picking three of the worst performing data centers and singling them out for special attention for their consolidation efforts.

In the next month or so the DCAO program will move from its current home, the Space and Naval Warfare Systems Command, to its own program under the auspices of Program Executive Office-Enterprise Information Systems (PEO-EIS). Among other responsibilities the DCAO will handle establishing a working model of a cloud hosting brokerage for the Navy that will incorporate application delivery via both government and commercial entities.

This central brokerage is hoped to ramp up the consolidation of data centers and services within the Nacy-centric IT. Though almost 300 systems and applications have already been consolidated across 45 of the sites that fall in this area of responsibility, the effort to get various bases and commands to move on with the consolidation has dragged on as it has hit cultural inertia in adopting new technologies that move applications and data out of the direct control of the various organizations. The biggest obstacle that will be faced by the DCAO program will continue to be this cultural one, as the technologies involved continue to be proven in operation by other branches of the DoD.