DoD/BRAC 133 at Mark Center


The DoD/BRAC 133 at Mark Center consolidated 6,400 employees from more than 24 DoD agencies, the Office of the Secretary of Defense, and the Washington Headquarters Services onto one 16-acre campus. Blackspoke delivered the final design for a multi-tenant Infrastructure as a Service (IaaS) environment supporting the server workloads and storage for all Mark Center tenants.

Multiple factors, including project timelines, transportation management, and site adaptability, weighed into the Army’s decision to select Mark Center as the site for the BRAC 133 project.  General Dynamics selected Blackspoke to lead the engineer efforts for the Consolidated Server Room to provide a multi-tenant IaaS solution to support IT Operations for all 24 tenants.

Blackspoke used their Datacenter design expertise to develop a Virtual Infrastructure using VMware vSphere to host all tenant workloads on a centrally managed system while maintaining strict segregation of data in compliance with ITA and WHS certification boundaries and DISA STIG standards. The eventual system supported well over 1000 Virtual Servers.

The BRAC effort relied heavily on BRAC Technology Working Group (BTWG) exchanges, which was a formal review process of the engineering efforts chaired by all relevant stakeholders. By writing detailed technical approaches for all elements of the overall design Blackspoke was able to get the designs through the BTWG forums quickly and with little or no remediation required.

The final design of the system utilized IBM Blade infrastructure with over 200 blades, multiple EMC storage systems, vSphere to make up the virtual hosting platform which allowed for the processing of workloads on three different security classifications. Blackspoke supported all aspects of the operational platform and ensured that GDIT met all Government mandated Service Level Agreements (SLAs) associated with the hosting environment.

  • Blackspoke met all aggressive BRAC schedule milestones including authority to operate (ATO) for the infrastructure.
  • Final design met data segregation and security standards and received buy-in from the heads of all Mark Center tenants.
  • System supports over twenty distinct tenants, over 1000 virtual servers and the full Operations team dedicated to support is made up of only three individuals.