Pentagon opens consolidated server room

The fact that the armed services could agree on something — which led to the opening of the first consolidated server room in the Pentagon — seemed enough reason for celebration to Art Money, the Defense Department chief information officer.

For the Pentagon renovation program, the armed services will reduce the building's server rooms from 70 to 16, Money said at Wednesday's dedication. The armed services and DOD agencies in the first renovated "wedge" had to "drop [their] parochialism and try to do what's best for the Pentagon" as a whole, he said.

Cutting server rooms saves space, lowers support costs and makes for a more efficient technical support structure for the Pentagon's 25,000 employees, Money said.

The Pentagon completed the first of its five-part renovation last month, and the program will continue through 2014.

Despite the server consolidation, the 200 virtual local-area networks in Wedge 1 will continue to operate independently, with separate wires and pipes, said Ray Whitehead, spokesman for General Dynamics Worldwide Telecommunications Systems, the contractor for the Pentagon's telecommunications backbone above the ground.

"We weren't asked to do any [business process re-engineering] from a tenant perspective," he said. "Every agency wants to continue its data separation" to protect confidential budget information and other data.

The server room has space for classified and unclassified network connections, and a good part of the room's space goes to uninterruptible power supply units by American Power Conversion Corp. of West Kingston, R.I.

Wedge 1 features Asynchronous Transfer Mode network connectivity between it and the other four wedges, Whitehead said.

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