The Defense Information Systems Agency (DISA) has closed another defense enterprise data center, following government-wide guidance, the agency said Monday.

DISA shuttered the Defense Enterprise Computing Center (DECC) in Huntsville, Ala., on May 30, which it expects to save the Pentagon’s IT budget $3.2 million annually. The agency began realigning the DECC’s responsibilities, including DoD enterprise email, to other data centers in March.

iStock Data CenterThe closure and realignment may seem like a minor reduction, but it is part of a strategic effort to reduce IT infrastructure across the government. The federal Chief Information Officer released the Federal Data Center Consolidation Initiative (FDCCI) in 2010 to encourage agencies to modernize and make cuts to costly data centers weighing on flattening IT budgets. Since 2008, DISA has closed eight DECCs, making its total number 10 and saving the agency $17 million per year, according to a statement.

A recent study suggested agencies were falling behind on the federal consolidation effort. More than 70 percent of agencies reported that they have either maintained or increased their number of data centers since FDCCI. The Defense Department has aggressively pursued consolidation with some units including the Army, reporting being ahead of schedule. (Defense Daily, July 8)

The DECC closures are also a step toward the Pentagon’s Joint Information Environment (JIE)–its vision for shared IT and interoperable data. It has been suggested that DISA’s enterprise services, which include the DECCs, could form a global backbone for the department. National Security Agency and Cyber Command chief Adm. Mike Rogers said each service currently spends too much time and money on maintaining their own networks where DISA could provide them.

“My comment to [DISA Chief] Gen. Hawkins has been, ‘You and I have got to push to change this network, so we can actually put DISA in a position where it can actually see it end to end, and then DISA collaborating with the services can truly be agile in defending it,’” he said at a conference in June.

DISA’s other recent closures included DECCs in Dayton, Ohio and Chambersburg, Pa., which shut their doors in October.