In a boon to the Joint Information Environment (JIE), the Army plans to close all of its data centers in favor of cloud-enabled computing and department-wide core data centers by fiscal year 2018, an official said Tuesday.

“We’re way ahead of all the promises we made to the DoD CIO [Chief Information Officer],” Army Deputy CIO/G-6 Michael Krieger said at the C4ISR Networks Conference.

Photo: Army.
Photo: Army.

The service has closed approximately 235 of its 1,000 centers–above its goal of 185 by FY ’15. Krieger estimates 40 more could be closed or about to close, but he doesn’t add to the official tally until the closure is cleared by the general officer in charge of the center.

Moving to shared core data centers will advance JIE–the department’s vision for making data interoperable across its components. Enterprise-wide IT services will also be easier to secure and projected to save millions. Just the Army’s data center closures have saved more than $30 million.

However, the service won’t simply replace its data centers with the department’s enterprise data centers. It plans to rely on cloud-enabled services, including cloud storage and hosted infrastructure provided by the commercial sector. In all, the Army will reduce its hardware footprint.

The Army began its data center closures in 2011 after DoD and the Office of Management and Budget released guidance on reducing unnecessary infrastructure.

The Army is ahead of the other services in its pursuit of JIE. Krieger said the Army will be “ruthless” as it modernizes. He said the Army will soon begin raising rates to operate on the Defense Information Systems Network (DISN) for those that hold onto legacy systems and applications.