#InnovateDLT: Innovation by consolidation

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(U.S. Air Force photo by Airman 1st Class Ashley N. Steffen)

DAVIS-MONTHAN AIR FORCE BASE, Ariz. — The 355th Fighter Wing commander, U.S. Air Force Col. James Meger, reached out to Airmen of Davis-Monthan AFB to get ideas for innovating the base through a new initiative called Innovate DLT, which gives Airmen a direct line to the him and allows them to define a problem or propose an improvement that will impact members of the base.

Master Sgt. Charles Edwards, 12th Air Force (Air Forces Southern) A2 operations superintendent, proposed a way to save time and resources.

“My idea is to use [desktop virtualization] which would allow us to run a whole bunch of different types of computers off of one box, so that way I’ll only have one box at my desk as opposed to four,” said Edwards.  “It takes a lot less heat, a lot less power, a lot less for maintenance and it pushes all the processing power back more to a server room type space, a place that is more easily maintained by the brave com people on base that have to keep us happy.”

Edwards’ idea consolidates multiple desktop computers that each contains a different domain or network into one zero client-based desktop, while maintaining physical network isolation to centralized computing resources in a data center.  The technicians can maintain the domains from one server room instead of having to travel to each workplace to remedy issues.

“My idea, really, is simplifying operations for those of us who work in a particular space in the Air Force,” said Edwards.  “We have a lot of computers at our desk that do a lot of different things.  The problem is all those computers generate heat, they suck up power, the create problems when you’re trying to create things and they’re also expensive to fix and replace and maintain.  Also, there are different people who maintain each computer so it’s really frustrating when you have to get one person to fix one computer and one person to fix another.”

Edwards sensed his proposal was well received by Meger and the rest of the panel.

“I feel like when you tell anyone that this is going to save them money and make people happier, people should be highly motivated to execute that,” Edwards said.