The US Navy is making preparations to migrate much of their non-classified data into the public cloud. In addition to the data migration, many of the software suites used by the Navy will be eliminated or consolidated into a cloud offering. The overall strategy will bring down the total number of US Navy datacenters from 150 to 25. According to Navy CIO Terry Halvorsen, this 83% reduction in force will save the US Navy around $1.3B in IT related costs. Halvorsen made his comments at a government IT summit held near the nation’s capital on March 13th.
Another contributing factor to the datacenter phase out is the physical, logistical and infrastructure challenges that the Navy faces. Many of these aging facilities are too costly to upgrade. Halversen believes that the Navy should prune its data, consolidate non-classified data into public computing platforms with military grade security standards surrounding the data as needed. The platform that the Navy will use for public data is Amazon AWS. Another problem that Halversen noted is that so many of the applications that are used in the Navy can be centrally consolidated into a cloud infrastructure using virtualization, orchestration and automation. Currently, many of the Navy’s software applications are installed multiple times all around the world which is both costly and unnecessary.
The US Navy is falling into line nicely with the US Government’s Cloud First initiative which was first announced back in 2010. As the Navy sets sail towards the cloud, much of the data gathered by the Navy can then be shared with other government entities so that they can have a basic framework of how to efficiently move large, sometimes archaic systems into the cloud. It has been noted that many federal branches have reported a shortage of cloud talent being the main contributor in cloud migration projects being put on hold. The US Navy has enlisted and commissioned many of the best cryptographers and cyber security analysts in the world. Having these men and women working alongside the cloud each and everyday will undoubtedly help mature the cloud platform as a whole.