Army Research Lab RFI calls for IT modernization, cloud

Brig. Gen. Anthony Potts, deputy commanding general, U.S. Army Research, Development and Engineering Command, visits the Army Research Laboratory at Aberdeen Proving Ground, Md. The Army Research Laboratory issued an RFI for IT modernization on Feb. 20. Photo by David McNally.

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The Army Research Lab is looking to industry for help modernizing its massive IT infrastructure.

The ARL issued a request for information Monday for solutions — including cloud computing and desktop virtualization — to help update its 1.3 petabyte data storage environment.

Because the Army’s laboratory — which includes component offices like the Computational and Information Sciences Directorate, and the Weapons and Materials Research Directorate — supports 3,500 researchers and staff, current end-user computers run a variety of operating systems and even more applications to meet a range of research requirements.

The ARL is looking for the best way to streamline that environment, incorporating cloud adoption, enterprise network infrastructure modernization, asset management and virtual desktop infrastructure as possible solutions into its inquiry.

“The current approach has a number of issues that the organization seeks to resolve,” the request said. “The underlying network architecture, while robust, is not as flexible as needed to meet increasingly quickly changing research requirements. It is believed that the costs of operating this traditional environment can be decreased if utilization efficiencies can be improved and the overall architecture can be simplified.”

Those simplifications include examining whether the ARL might deploy either private or hybrid cloud computing at its data centers, crafting an environment for virtual machines and application virtualization, and facilitating end-user self-service operations.

Interested vendors have until March 13 to respond.

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Army Research Lab, Cloud, hybrid cloud, IT Modernization, Military, U.S. Army, Virtualization
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