DOD closes in on 100 percent Windows 10

The Defense Department is sending the message that it doesn't want to pay for expensive out-of-support operating system solutions.

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The Department of Defense isn't quite finished with its Windows 10 migration, but according to Rory Kinney, the principal director for information enterprise in the office of the CIO, its 99.9 percent of the way there.

"But we're not done," Kinney said during a presentation at the Armed Forces Communications and Electronics Association Northern Virginia chapter's Air Force IT Day Dec. 4. "There are still some migrations going on."

DOD scrambled to get more than 3 million users onto Windows 10 in 2017. The end-of-service deadline for Windows 7 is in April 2019, and the goal is to move users on program IT to Windows 10 to keep up with patches, features, and functions in Windows 10, but letting remaining organizations steer their migrations.

"We're not going to tell everyone how to migrate, we're not going to tell them what to migrate too, but we are going to say that we have to be on the most current version, whatever that may be," Kinney said.

For example, the Army is jumping ahead to version Windows 10 version 1709, while the Navy is moving two versions ahead to Windows 10 version 1803, he said.

"The big message here is that we've got to embrace change. You have to get started early, and you've got to have some programmatics in place so that we don't end up having to pay for legacy operating systems solutions," Kinney said.

Cloud migrations, particularly the impending Joint Enterprise Defense Infrastructure (JEDI) and Defense Enterprise Office Solutions (DEOS) general-purpose and back-office cloud shifts, are a big part of DOD's evergreen IT vision.

DOD plans to regionalize its data centers as it prepares for its massive move to large-scale cloud environments. Kinney said the goal is to reduce the 2,500 existing data centers to 50 regional ones post JEDI cloud migration.

Fit-for-purpose clouds that are mission tailored could also end up in a general cloud, like JEDI or MilCloud, he said. "Not everything is going to JEDI, not everything will stay where it's at today. And over time, we'll migrate."

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