Army shopping for total storage virtualization

The Army is shopping for storage virtualization technology to help manage its data center consolidation plans.

The Army’s Product Director Acquisition, Logistics, and Technology Enterprise Systems and Services is gathering market research for a total storage solution that will help ALTESS better manage the life cycles of its storage subsystems.

What's more, ALTESS officials want to avoid dependency on specific brands for storage subsystems in keeping with the Army Data Center Consolidation Plan, according to a request for information published on

Currently, the shared ALTESS infrastructure includes approximately 674 terabytes of formatted capacity provided by multiple storage subsystems. These storage subsystems are used by several dozen Defense Department and Army organizations.

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“While the anticipated growth of formatted capacity is expected to be subjectively high, external factors, including political factors, make it infeasible to determine a growth rate estimate with any confidence," according to the RFI. “For historical context, the shared ALTESS infrastructures formatted capacity has increased over 800 percent in the last four years.”

ALTESS officials want a storage virtualization system that can address a wide range of requirements, such as:

  • Communicating with storage subsystems and host computers via both a Fibre Channel storage-area network at 8 gigabits/sec. and iSCSI over Ethernet at 10 gigabits/sec.
  • Support at least 500 host computers and 50 storage subsystems simultaneously connected via Fibre Channel and iSCSI.
  • Perform the migration of data between attached storage subsystems while not disrupting access to the data by the host environment actively using the product’s storage virtualization capability.

ALTESS officials also seek a system that is interoperable with storage subsystems from IBM, Hitachi and NetApp and can communicate with host computers running Solaris, Microsoft Windows, VMware and Red Hat Linux operating systems and Brocade Fibre Channel switches.

At the same time, the storage system has to be produced by a single manufacturer, not a combination of items produced by multiple manufacturers, ALTESS officials said.

About the Author

Rutrell Yasin is is a freelance technology writer for GCN.

Reader Comments

Fri, Apr 13, 2012

Interesting, they want all the features and flexibility and then at the end they say not a combination of items produced by multiple manufacturers!If that is the case, it must be software only and the obvious place to look is at a storage hypervisor as defined in Wikipedia:

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