shutterstock id  628642592 By Gennady Danilkin

IT Infrastructure

DISA plans to shutter St. Louis data center

The Defense Information Systems Agency will close a data center in St. Louis and eliminate, or realign, 140 civilian positions as part of its ongoing effort to squeeze more efficiency out of its IT operations.

In a May 4 statement, the agency said it would also put data centers in San Antonio, Texas, Europe and Bahrain on "lights dim" status, reducing staffing at those locations over the next 30 months.

The agency said the closures and personnel moves are a result of its Computing Ecosystem IT optimization campaign. It made the announcements in a May 3 "all hands" meetings between headquarters and the staffs of each data center.

"The announced changes are part of DISA's ongoing efforts reduce the agency's physical footprint and align with federal data center optimization efforts, while continuing to meet evolving DOD mission requirements," the agency said in a statement.

DISA expects $695 million in savings over the next decade because of the closures and personnel realignments and anticipates cost reductions from tighter contract requirements for the operations.

DISA finds itself under increasing pressure on Capitol Hill. House Armed Services House Committee Chairman Mac Thornberry (R-Texas) cited DISA's dozens of senior-level CIOs as evidence it needs to be eliminated as part of his latest Department of Defense reform push.

However, Capitol Hill sources called DISA's Computing Ecosystem announcement part of the agency's normal operational business and said the reductions weren't drastic. Putting the cuts into a larger perspective, DISA has thousands of employees at its headquarters in Fort Meade, Md., and just 30 full time and 13 contractors at its St. Louis office, the source said.

DISA launched its Computing Ecosystem program in 2017 to unify far-flung computing centers and optimize resources and capabilities across the agency.

About the Author

Mark Rockwell is a senior staff writer at FCW, whose beat focuses on acquisition, the Department of Homeland Security and the Department of Energy.

Before joining FCW, Rockwell was Washington correspondent for Government Security News, where he covered all aspects of homeland security from IT to detection dogs and border security. Over the last 25 years in Washington as a reporter, editor and correspondent, he has covered an increasingly wide array of high-tech issues for publications like Communications Week, Internet Week, Fiber Optics News, tele.com magazine and Wireless Week.

Rockwell received a Jesse H. Neal Award for his work covering telecommunications issues, and is a graduate of James Madison University.

Click here for previous articles by Rockwell. Contact him at mrockwell@fcw.com or follow him on Twitter at @MRockwell4.


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