Defense bill threatens data center, enterprise e-mail efforts

DOD data center consolidation, enterprise email plans at risk in authorization legislation

Provisions in the 2012 National Defense Authorization Act could hamper ongoing Defense Department efforts to consolidate data centers and move to a cloud-based enterprise e-mail program hosted by the Defense Information Systems Agency.

The legislation calls on DOD CIO Teri Takai to provide comprehensive reporting on data center consolidation efforts, savings and in particular performance, including the use of commercial technologies.

According to the bill, DOD must migrate its data from government-administered cloud services, such as those currently being provided by the Defense Information Systems Agency, and instead use private-sector offerings “that provide a better capability at a lower cost with the same or greater degree of security.”

Related story

DOD taking "DISA first" strategy in data center consolidation

The bill also strips fiscal 2012 funding from the Army’s enterprise e-mail program pending a report from the Army secretary detailing acquisition strategy and showing that fair competition was used in the implementation of the enterprise e-mail program, on which the Army has been working with DISA for more than a year.

The legislation also orders the Army to designate its enterprise e-mail program as a major acquisition program and provide formal oversight, and mandates an assessment by the Army Audit Agency to determine cost savings from any alternatives to the current DISA-led program.

Takai must also provide Congress with an analysis of the potential for the Army and DISA’s program to be used across DOD, and of how the other services are administering e-mail services. Additionally, proof of fair and open competition will be required in her report, due within six months of NDAA’s enactment.

The legislation appears to be in direct conflict with DOD’s recent announcement of a “DISA first” strategy that would make DISA the go-to resource for enterprise IT services.

So far, DOD has shuttered at least 55 data centers under consolidation plans, and at a Dec. 16 briefing Army CIO/G-6 Lt. Gen. Susan Lawrence said 300,000 accounts have been migrated to enterprise e-mail. The migration of more than 1.5 million accounts is expected to be complete in spring 2012. It’s not clear if the NDAA’s provisions would affect those efforts.

About the Author

Amber Corrin is a former staff writer for FCW and Defense Systems.

The Fed 100

Save the date for 28th annual Federal 100 Awards Gala.


  • computer network

    How Einstein changes the way government does business

    The Department of Commerce is revising its confidentiality agreement for statistical data survey respondents to reflect the fact that the Department of Homeland Security could see some of that data if it is captured by the Einstein system.

  • Defense Secretary Jim Mattis. Army photo by Monica King. Jan. 26, 2017.

    Mattis mulls consolidation in IT, cyber

    In a Feb. 17 memo, Defense Secretary Jim Mattis told senior leadership to establish teams to look for duplication across the armed services in business operations, including in IT and cybersecurity.

  • Image from

    DHS vague on rules for election aid, say states

    State election officials had more questions than answers after a Department of Homeland Security presentation on the designation of election systems as critical U.S. infrastructure.

  • Org Chart Stock Art - Shutterstock

    How the hiring freeze targets millennials

    The government desperately needs younger talent to replace an aging workforce, and experts say that a freeze on hiring doesn't help.

  • Shutterstock image: healthcare digital interface.

    VA moves ahead with homegrown scheduling IT

    The Department of Veterans Affairs will test an internally developed scheduling module at primary care sites nationwide to see if it's ready to service the entire agency.

  • Shutterstock images (honglouwawa & 0beron): Bitcoin image overlay replaced with a dollar sign on a hardware circuit.

    MGT Act poised for a comeback

    After missing in the last Congress, drafters of a bill to encourage cloud adoption are looking for a new plan.

Reader comments

Fri, Jan 13, 2012

The issue is this. During the initial phases costs of outsourcing is always lower than government costs, otherwise they could never get you to switch. They are even willing to take a loss for a number of years just to make sure they get the work. But when the honeymoon is over, costs increase to the point they are higher than what the government could have done it for, only now they've lost the ability and resources to 'in-source' the effort. Seen it happen with the big push in the 80's. Only when the costs skyrocket and the security is found lacking (Breach) will someone one wake up, only then it will be to late. But some how it will still be the government, not the contractors fault.

Wed, Jan 4, 2012

This is truly hilarious. On one hand congress demands consolidation efforts to curb cost, on the other hand congress doesn't allow DOD to do what is prudent by placing DOD data in the hands of its security and network provider (DISA). Once again the kronie lobby groups are influencing DOD over the brilliant minds who have a vested interest in keeping our military safe. Commercial Hosting of DOD data is not an option because there is no trust. Give it up Microsoft you are not going to win this!

Tue, Jan 3, 2012

There are many pros and cons to the solutions offered. However, if the information be comes the "proprietary" property of the contract side, such as the NMCI contract was, a contractual provider service is NOT acceptable. With no insight of the contractor's connected systems, other network connections, and non-US cleared individuals working throughout their company, there is a threat. Enough UNCLAS data can sometimes provide a good picture of the CLASSIFIED side of things in the military. Security before beans is not a bad idea.

Tue, Dec 27, 2011 Hikergrl

So Takai's been on-board for a year...other than publicize plans and not submit required reports, what has Terri accomplished?

Fri, Dec 23, 2011

One of the biggest advantages of Cloud Computing is the cost savings achieved by outsourcing your requirements to a commercial entity that can take advantage of economies of scale. So, the DoD's solution to adopting Cloud Computing is to build their own Cloud at DISA. Anyone see any problems with this strategy?

Show All Comments

Please post your comments here. Comments are moderated, so they may not appear immediately after submitting. We will not post comments that we consider abusive or off-topic.

Please type the letters/numbers you see above

More from 1105 Public Sector Media Group