Army announces server consolidation plan

The Army has announced an enterprise consolidation initiative that moves key computer servers from various military facilities to regional centers.

The Army plans to create four to 14 area processing centers (APCs) worldwide that will be operated by the Defense Information System Agency. The service said the APCs will increase network management and technology updates and decrease network and information technology costs, according to a Jan. 27 Army statement.

“The Army is building APCs to centralize IT services and respond more quickly to the changing global mission,” said Bob Ringdahl, director of the Office of Strategic Concepts and Integration at the Army’s Network Enterprise Technology Command/Enterprise Systems Technology Activity (NETCOM/ESTA).

The APCs will initially focus on the Army’s Microsoft Windows-based environment, improving application hosting and security. The Army plans to use existing military facilities because of their available power, communications, heating and cooling, and raised-floor space, Ringdahl said.

The Army has laid the foundation for the enterprise consolidation initiative by implementing the Radio Frequency In-Transit Visibility (RF-ITV) system at a facility in Oklahoma City, Okla. “The RF-ITV system is a Web-based solution that provides last-known location information for military shipments (cargo, supplies and unit movement) that have active radio frequency tags attached to pallets, containers or equipment,” said Amy Harding, director of the Integration and Plans Directorate at NETCOM/ESTA.

The Army first proposed the enterprise consolidation initiative in June 2005. It is controversial because Army IT workers may view it as a move to take away their work and then their jobs. However, the initiative could allow more time for the employees to perform more IT services at their installations.

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