Defence has announced it is to shortly commence its Centralised Processing (CP) initiative to establish a single, integrated capability for the management and provision of centralised processing facilities, infrastructure and services at the unclassified, classified and secret levels.
The initiative seeks to achieve a major reduction in capital expenditure and operating costs through the introduction of less expensive ICT infrastructure, the rationalisation and standardisation of ICT infrastructure, the consolidation of data centres, and the simplification of Defence’s ICT management environment.
It also seeks to improve disaster recovery and business continuity capabilities, improve the end user experience, develop an ICT environment that is more responsive to change, and function as part of a multi-sourced environment.
The initiative is part of Defence’s ICT reform which together seek to save some $1.9 billion over ten years from Defence’s budget and improve the overall effectiveness and efficiency of ICT services.
The reform program consists of seven separate initiatives — Distributed Computing, Next Generation Desktop, Data Centre Migration, Centralised Processing, Specialist Communications, Applications Consolidation, and Terrestrial Communications.
In Defence documents, the agency said its current centralised processing facilities were characterised by ageing and outdated data centres that had proliferated in an unstructured manner.
“The current state [of central processing] requires Defence to support in excess of over 280 [data centres and server rooms] that house ICT infrastructure across a wide geographic area,” the documents read.
“Individually, with few exceptions, the facilities have reached the limits of their capacity and are well beyond their end of life thresholds. Collectively, they do not meet reasonable compliance standards for facilities supporting applications for Defence’s unclassified, classified and secret information security domains”
In Defence’s estimation the current data centre facilities did not provide the agency with capacity for growth or the ability to consolidate and optimise equipment to any great extent. Instead they caused greater operational and service delivery costs.
Defence noted that service delivery in its data centre environments was fragmented and was characterised by an inability to deliver capacity on demand to Defence.
As service delivery was provided by a mix of the Defence Computing Bureau and third party providers in regional areas there was also an inability to standardise and coordinate and manage these facilities for maximum efficiency and effectiveness.
Some 8900 Intel-based servers are also in use, with about 16 per cent of Defence’s Intel-based serves being virtualised. Three IBM z/OS mainframes and one Unisys mainframe is also in use. About 110,000 user accounts are supported.
According to Defence the approximate annual value of the Centralised Processing services is $125 million broken up into $62m for mainframes; $26 million for midrange; $13 million for storage’ and $24 million for cross functional uses.