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

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