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US Army

The US Army is reaping the benefits of high-availability storage area networks at its largest Pentagon data center, following a long-term upgrade project.

Swift and secure access to data is of paramount importance for all organizations, but few data centers can be as critical to U.S. national security as those located within the Pentagon. For these reasons, the decision was taken to replace an existing direct-attached storage architecture with state-of-the-art SANs, according to NetCentrics Corp. and McData Corp., two of the firms closely involved in the SAN project.

Not surprisingly, much of the Pentagon's IT infrastructure is kept well under wraps. The Pentagon itself was unavailable for comment on this article.

Even before terrorist attack on the building on Sept.11, 2001, the Pentagon was at the peak of its direct-attached storage capacity, with the Army alone experiencing data growth of 200 percent a year in 2001 and 2002, according to information on the project released by McData. The company also revealed that the direct architecture had produced islands of data, which made collaboration on projects difficult.

Data backup was also problematic, requiring substantial administrative hours to complete. Furthermore, McData said that the direct-attached architecture meant that establishing and maintaining agency-wide backup and data management policies was extremely difficult.

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