Pentagon Renovation goes forward

Pentagon renovation page

The product manager of information technology systems for the Pentagon Renovation program said it will be the largest upgrade ever for the 60-year-old building that houses the Defense Department.

Renovation plans were originally scheduled to be complete in 2015, but Congress pushed the deadline up to 2010 and increased funding by $300 million.

In order to meet the more aggressive congressional schedule, program leaders have divided the Pentagon into six regions, said Hari Bezwada, speaking this week at the E-Gov Homeland Security conference. People will be shuffled between regions as their portion is upgraded — about one every two years.

The two largest projects at the moment involve consolidating thousands of disparate servers around the building into one centrally-managed server farm and developing a single command center for each of the armed services, rather than have them run their own command centers, Bezwada said.

The building already has 100,000 miles of telephone line, and it will get between 700,000 and 1 million miles of data lines over the next seven years.

Wires exist in the Pentagon wherever people saw fit to put them, regardless of their compliance with building codes or hazardous materials laws, Bezwada said.

"There are cables in the building and people have no idea where they lead to," he said. "And they have no idea if the cables are in use, so they're scared of turning them off or taking them out."

After the Sept. 11, 2001, terrorist attack on the Pentagon, DOD officials took advantage of the tragedy by upgrading the systems in the damaged wedge. Less than a year after, the wedge re-opened with fiber cables and the beginnings of a single network backbone that Bezwada said will eventually spread throughout the entire Pentagon.

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