The US Army plans to reduce its core data centers by half, as it shifts to the cloud.

The world's best-funded military expects to close six of its main data centers, as well as hundreds of its around 250 data processing nodes.

Army Sgt. Kurt Van De Graaff marches through a cloud of smoke as part of a ruck march event during the 2019 Army National Guard Best Warrior Competition at Camp Gruber in Braggs, Okla., July 18, 2019.
– Kendall James, Oklahoma Army National Guard/DoD

“We are looking at a 50 percent reduction in our data centers between now and 2028,” Army CIO Raj Iyer said during a C4ISRnet webinar, first reported by Fedscoop.

The CIO said that three of the Army's four most complicated Enterprise resource planning software systems had been successfully moved to the cloud, giving the military body confidence that it would be able to shift more workloads to the cloud.

“We have work to do, and we need to keep us on track,” he said. The Army's data center closure efforts have long been behind schedule - with tracking of wider government data center consolidation efforts difficult due to repeated re-interpretations over what constitutes a data center.

The 2010 Federal Data Center Consolidation Initiative, and subsequent 2016 Data Center Optimization Initiative, ordered the Army to shut down 60 percent of its nearly 1,200 data centers by fiscal 2018 - with data centers defined as essentially server closets and up.

The Army did not hit that goal, but has slowly chipped away at its sprawling data center and server portfolio - despite delays to Department of Defense cloud contracts like the Defense Enterprise Office Solutions contract, and the cancellation of JEDI.

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