RealTime IT News

What's Up With EDS's U.S. Navy Intranet?

Plano, Texas-based EDS inked a major contract (good to the tune of $6.9 billion over five years) last October when it agreed to develop and maintain an intranet for the U.S. Navy Marine Corps. With such an undertaking, it's clear that EDS would have to also think about storing the vast amounts of data a military branch may pipe through its network. EDS finally settled on a storage solution provider Monday in the form of Reston, Va.'s WQuinn for an undisclosed sum.

EDS will use WQuinn's StorageCentral SRM to control data storage and maintain plenty of disk space on the U.S. Navy Marine Corps Intranet (NMCI) project over the five-year life expectancy of the original blockbuster contract. StorageCentral will sit on the more than 2,500 Compaq ProSignia servers running Windows 2000 that comprise the NMCI.

As far as intranets go, NMCI is one of the largest, offering valuable branch data to more than 360,000 people in the corp.

JR Fuller, director of subcontractor management at EDS in Herndon, Va., explained the impetus of the deal with WQuinn: "Among the critical objectives for NMCI are improved systems reliability, reduced costs, increased productivity and enhanced network security. The real-time control of data storage usage provided by StorageCentral SRM is what we need in fulfillment of these objectives. By implementing its real-time disk utilization controls, we can ensure high reliability by preventing excessive disk space consumption that jeopardizes performance and availability and slows productivity. By performing regular storage usage audits to identify problem areas, maximize resource efficiency, and optimize disk resources, StorageCentral SRM will help control costs. And by preventing unauthorized file types from writing to the network, StorageCentral SRM will help maintain security."

What makes the deal a bit interesting is that EDS seems to have eschewed storage solutions from top providers such as EMC Corp., IBM Corp. and Hitachi Data Systems in favor of WQuinn, a much smaller blip on the storage radar. But perhaps not. WQuinn, apparently, is known for providing such solutions to government agencies (more than 100) and has supplied SRM for every branch of the U.S. Department of Defense.

One analyst supported the deal.

"The important message here is that Storage Resource Management (SRM) is becoming a 'must have' storage management application in order for large scale Windows environments to achieve enterprise-class management of storage assets," said Steve Duplessie, senior analyst with Enterprise Storage Group. "EDS' selection of StorageCentral SRM should translate to maximum project efficiency and overall cost of ownership advantages for this NMCI project."

Specific functions of Storage Central include:

  • Auditing the network storage or SAN space usage to identify large volumes of files (typically 30 percent to 50 percent of utilized disk space) to be deleted or archived
  • Allocating storage space through disk and user quotas, setting multiple intermittent thresholds on that space; monitoring and enforcing thresholds in real time and reporting on space as the threshold is reached;
  • Screening unwanted file types and blocking those file types from being saved on the server network or SAN