U.S. Air Force Materiel Command

In a deal worth up to $70 million, Lockheed Martin will design and deploy SANs at 12 USAF bases

June 28, 2002

3 Min Read
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Lockheed Martin Corp. has won a contract to design and implement SANs with U.S. Air Force Materiel Command (AFMC) that could be worth up to $70 million in products and services over the course of five years.

The project -- potentially one of the largest SAN implementations ever undertaken -- will span 12 Air Force bases in the United States and is estimated to encompass between 750 terabytes and 1 petabyte of storage in total, according to Lockheed. AFMC provides maintenance, procurement, and logistics support for the U.S. Air Force.

Steve Ahlbin, IT services program manager in the Lockheed Martin Systems Integration division, says the SAN project is part of an overall initiative by AFMC to consolidate their servers.

"A key aspect of server consolidation is centralizing the management of their data," he says, "and the need for disaster recovery drives their interest in SANs even more."

Lockheed Martin Systems Integration, based in Manassas, Va., will use Hewlett-Packard Co.'s (NYSE: HPQ) StorageWorks Enterprise Virtual Array (EVA) and Enterprise Modular Array (EMA) systems. It also plans to use SAN management software from Veritas Software Corp. (Nasdaq: VRTS) and Fibre Channel switches from Brocade Communications Systems Inc. (Nasdaq: BRCD). Lockheed will head up a team of technical consultants from HP and Veritas to survey and design the SANs at each location.In the first year, the deal is estimated to be worth between $2.0 million and $2.5 million per base, for a total of $24 million to $30 million. AFMC will have the option to renew the contract each subsequent year.

Ahlbin says the value of the deal could increase over the next few years if the Air Force decides to implement full-blown disaster recovery procedures, including off-site data replication, which would require even more storage capacity.

The Air Force decided to go with HP (it was originally Compaq that pitched for the business) after considering proposals from IBM Corp. (NYSE: IBM), EMC Corp. (NYSE: EMC), and Network Appliance Inc. (Nasdaq: NTAP).

It came down to Compaq vs. EMC, and Compaq won out.

"For this particular opportunity, the customer had a preference for Compaq," says Ahlbin. "It's not that [EMC's] Clariion or the Symmetrix couldn't have done it... It was a combination of the fact that Compaq has an economic value-add kind of solution, and they also spent time getting to know the customer's particular needs."Meanwhile, Ahlbin says the Air Force went with Veritas -- instead of using Compaq's management software -- because it didn't want to be locked into a single vendor.

"They wanted a non-proprietary solution that went across multiple storage systems," he says. But AFMC is using only Compaq storage arrays, right? "Yes, but they don't want to be locked into that. As much as possible, the Air Force likes open systems, and Veritas is closer to that than the vendor solutions."

The SANs will be installed at the U.S. Air Force bases in Arnold, Tenn.; Brooks, Texas; Edwards, Calif.; Eglin, Fla.; Maxwell/Gunter, Ala.; Hanscom, Mass.; Hill, Utah; Kirtland, N.M.; Robins, Ga.; Rome, N.Y.; Tinker, Okla.; and Wright-Patterson, Ohio. [Ed. note: How 'bout that itinerary for racking up the frequent flyer miles? Oh, never mind -- it's the Air Force.]

Lockheed, which won the contract in March 2002, beat out nine other systems integration firms that submitted bids, including Electronic Data Systems Corp. (EDS), General Dynamics Corp., Northrup Grumman Corp., and TRW Inc.

Todd Spangler, Senior Editor, Byte and Switch

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