Welcome!

Cognitive Computing Authors: ManageEngine IT Matters, Pat Romanski, Carmen Gonzalez, Elizabeth White, Liz McMillan

Related Topics: @CloudExpo, Microservices Expo, Containers Expo Blog, Government Cloud

@CloudExpo: Blog Feed Post

Implementation of Cloud Computing Solutions in Federal Agencies: Part 4

Cloud Computing for Defense and Intelligence

(This is part 4 of the series entitled "Implementation of Cloud Computing Solutions in Federal Agencies". First published on Forbes.com, this series provides the content of a whitepaper I recently authored. A copy of the complete whitepaper will be available at NJVC.com starting September 7, 2011.)

The defense and intelligence communities are not immune to cloud computing. Arguably more than any other government agencies, their missions require a fabric of utility computing that scales on demand and enables self discovery and self-service access to secure, timely and relevant information in support of mission: individual or shared. The traditional IT model requires system engineering that binds most software to the hardware and does not provide an enterprise suite of functionality or allow for increased flexibility and a governed lifecycle of services. Designing software independence from the hardware allows an operating system, applications and data to “live” across the enterprise and is fundamental to the transformation of compute, storage and network functionality.

Defense is dealing with a $78 billion budget cut—the first since September 11, 2001—and another $100 billion in other cost-cutting measures over a five-year period commencing in FY 2012. Defense Secretary Robert Gates is directing that the budget be cut from agency administrative and structural areas (e.g., the Office of the Assistant Secretary of Defense for Network Intelligence and Information, the Business Transformation Agency, and the Joint Forces Command are in the process of being eliminated or disestablished with some essential functions transferred to other organizations with the Pentagon).

In an official statement on the proposed budget costs provided on January 6, 2011, Secretary Gates said: “First, reforming how the department uses information technology, which costs us about $37 billion a year. At this time all of our bases and headquarters have their own separate IT infrastructure and processes, which drive up costs and create cyber vulnerabilities. The department is planning to consolidate hundreds of data centers and move to a more secure enterprise system, which we estimate could save more than $1 billion a year.” Department of Defense Chief Information Officer Terry Takai also publically commented about the potential IT budget cuts at an April 21, 2011, INPUT event. Takai commented on DoD’s support of the move of some of its IT operations to the cloud—particularly data centers.

Cloud Computing and Mission Support
Information is often the decisive discriminator in modern conflict. Studies of recent mission failures highlighted this fact, finding that many of these failures were caused by:

  • Existence of data silos
  • Human-based document exploitation process
  • Reliance on “operationally proven” processes and filters typically used to address the lack of computational power or decision time

Also disturbing is that in most of these cases, the critical piece of information necessary for mission was in possession. The failure wasn’t in obtaining the information, but in locating and applying it to the mission at hand. Cloud computing uniquely addresses all of these important issues.



Data silos evolved from a system-centric IT proc urement policy and an almost reflexive reliance onrelational database technology. In developing early data processing systems, the high cost of memory and storage led to a premium being placed on the efficiency of application data access and retrieval. Relational database technology effectively addressed this need, which in turn led to its pervasive use across government. In modern IT system development, memory and storage are cheap—and getting cheaper—which has led to internet-scale storage and search paradigms that are the stuff of everyday use today. The world’s largest databases cannot, in fact, be searched quickly using a relational database management approach. Today’s ability to search multi-petabyte data stores in milliseconds virtually eliminates the need for data silos. This capability is realized in cloud-based storage. Documents are the persistent records of human activity. As such, they are used to provide insight into the societal structure and processes of our opponents. Conflict, however, is entity and event centric. The intelligence professional must, therefore, interpret documents and translate that data into operationally relevant entities and events. The time and resource intensive nature of this skillcraft is perfectly suited for the precision search and analytic capabilities of the modern compute cloud. The use of highly standardized and virtualized commodity infrastructure, not only make the automation of this function possible, but it enables real-time continuous processing of the now digital document flow of our adversaries. This commodity also removes the human from this tedious task, allowing intelligence professionals to apply higher order professional analysis and insight.




The human-based document exploitation process led directly to an institutional reliance on the aforementioned “operationally proven” processes and filters. Instantiated by the use of multi-page structure query language and the ubiquitous goal of obtaining an appropriate “working set” of data, these time-honored processes were born from the need to meet critical decision timelines within a computationally inadequate environment. Cloud techniques and technologies can now be used to work on all the data. And with an ability to leverage the power of a supercomputer at will, the working set requirement is now an anachronism and critical decision timelines can now be more easily met.

Cloud computing is unique in its ability to address these critical defense and intelligence mission needs. That’s why cloud computing is critical to our national defense. As a bonus, cloud computing offers defense and intelligence agencies the ability to increase efficiencies and incur marked cost savings during their lifecycles to alleviate some of the pressure of budget reductions. Moving IT operations to the cloud also will assist in enhanced collaboration.

http://www.defense.gov/speeches/speech.aspx?speechid=1527
Bookmark and Share

Cloud Musings on Forbes
( Thank you. If you enjoyed this article, get free updates by email or RSS - KLJ )


More Stories By Kevin Jackson

Kevin Jackson, founder of the GovCloud Network, is an independent technology and business consultant specializing in mission critical solutions. He has served in various senior management positions including VP & GM Cloud Services NJVC, Worldwide Sales Executive for IBM and VP Program Management Office at JP Morgan Chase. His formal education includes MSEE (Computer Engineering), MA National Security & Strategic Studies and a BS Aerospace Engineering. Jackson graduated from the United States Naval Academy in 1979 and retired from the US Navy earning specialties in Space Systems Engineering, Airborne Logistics and Airborne Command and Control. He also served with the National Reconnaissance Office, Operational Support Office, providing tactical support to Navy and Marine Corps forces worldwide. Kevin is the founder and author of “Cloud Musings”, a widely followed blog that focuses on the use of cloud computing by the Federal government. He is also the editor and founder of “Government Cloud Computing” electronic magazine, published at Ulitzer.com. To set up an appointment CLICK HERE

Comments (0)

Share your thoughts on this story.

Add your comment
You must be signed in to add a comment. Sign-in | Register

In accordance with our Comment Policy, we encourage comments that are on topic, relevant and to-the-point. We will remove comments that include profanity, personal attacks, racial slurs, threats of violence, or other inappropriate material that violates our Terms and Conditions, and will block users who make repeated violations. We ask all readers to expect diversity of opinion and to treat one another with dignity and respect.


@ThingsExpo Stories
IoT is at the core or many Digital Transformation initiatives with the goal of re-inventing a company's business model. We all agree that collecting relevant IoT data will result in massive amounts of data needing to be stored. However, with the rapid development of IoT devices and ongoing business model transformation, we are not able to predict the volume and growth of IoT data. And with the lack of IoT history, traditional methods of IT and infrastructure planning based on the past do not app...
The many IoT deployments around the world are busy integrating smart devices and sensors into their enterprise IT infrastructures. Yet all of this technology – and there are an amazing number of choices – is of no use without the software to gather, communicate, and analyze the new data flows. Without software, there is no IT. In this power panel at @ThingsExpo, moderated by Conference Chair Roger Strukhoff, Dave McCarthy, Director of Products at Bsquare Corporation; Alan Williamson, Principal ...
WebRTC has had a real tough three or four years, and so have those working with it. Only a few short years ago, the development world were excited about WebRTC and proclaiming how awesome it was. You might have played with the technology a couple of years ago, only to find the extra infrastructure requirements were painful to implement and poorly documented. This probably left a bitter taste in your mouth, especially when things went wrong.
In 2014, Amazon announced a new form of compute called Lambda. We didn't know it at the time, but this represented a fundamental shift in what we expect from cloud computing. Now, all of the major cloud computing vendors want to take part in this disruptive technology. In his session at 20th Cloud Expo, John Jelinek IV, a web developer at Linux Academy, will discuss why major players like AWS, Microsoft Azure, IBM Bluemix, and Google Cloud Platform are all trying to sidestep VMs and containers...
SYS-CON Media announced today that @WebRTCSummit Blog, the largest WebRTC resource in the world, has been launched. @WebRTCSummit Blog offers top articles, news stories, and blog posts from the world's well-known experts and guarantees better exposure for its authors than any other publication. @WebRTCSummit Blog can be bookmarked ▸ Here @WebRTCSummit conference site can be bookmarked ▸ Here
A critical component of any IoT project is what to do with all the data being generated. This data needs to be captured, processed, structured, and stored in a way to facilitate different kinds of queries. Traditional data warehouse and analytical systems are mature technologies that can be used to handle certain kinds of queries, but they are not always well suited to many problems, particularly when there is a need for real-time insights.
Providing secure, mobile access to sensitive data sets is a critical element in realizing the full potential of cloud computing. However, large data caches remain inaccessible to edge devices for reasons of security, size, format or limited viewing capabilities. Medical imaging, computer aided design and seismic interpretation are just a few examples of industries facing this challenge. Rather than fighting for incremental gains by pulling these datasets to edge devices, we need to embrace the i...
Web Real-Time Communication APIs have quickly revolutionized what browsers are capable of. In addition to video and audio streams, we can now bi-directionally send arbitrary data over WebRTC's PeerConnection Data Channels. With the advent of Progressive Web Apps and new hardware APIs such as WebBluetooh and WebUSB, we can finally enable users to stitch together the Internet of Things directly from their browsers while communicating privately and securely in a decentralized way.
Fifty billion connected devices and still no winning protocols standards. HTTP, WebSockets, MQTT, and CoAP seem to be leading in the IoT protocol race at the moment but many more protocols are getting introduced on a regular basis. Each protocol has its pros and cons depending on the nature of the communications. Does there really need to be only one protocol to rule them all? Of course not. In his session at @ThingsExpo, Chris Matthieu, co-founder and CTO of Octoblu, walked through how Octob...
The Internet of Things can drive efficiency for airlines and airports. In their session at @ThingsExpo, Shyam Varan Nath, Principal Architect with GE, and Sudip Majumder, senior director of development at Oracle, discussed the technical details of the connected airline baggage and related social media solutions. These IoT applications will enhance travelers' journey experience and drive efficiency for the airlines and the airports.
SYS-CON Events announced today that Catchpoint, a leading digital experience intelligence company, has been named “Silver Sponsor” of SYS-CON's 20th International Cloud Expo®, which will take place on June 6-8, 2017, at the Javits Center in New York City, NY. Catchpoint Systems is a leading Digital Performance Analytics company that provides unparalleled insight into your customer-critical services to help you consistently deliver an amazing customer experience. Designed for digital business, C...
With major technology companies and startups seriously embracing IoT strategies, now is the perfect time to attend @ThingsExpo 2016 in New York. Learn what is going on, contribute to the discussions, and ensure that your enterprise is as "IoT-Ready" as it can be! Internet of @ThingsExpo, taking place June 6-8, 2017, at the Javits Center in New York City, New York, is co-located with 20th Cloud Expo and will feature technical sessions from a rock star conference faculty and the leading industry p...
In his General Session at 17th Cloud Expo, Bruce Swann, Senior Product Marketing Manager for Adobe Campaign, explored the key ingredients of cross-channel marketing in a digital world. Learn how the Adobe Marketing Cloud can help marketers embrace opportunities for personalized, relevant and real-time customer engagement across offline (direct mail, point of sale, call center) and digital (email, website, SMS, mobile apps, social networks, connected objects).
Things are changing so quickly in IoT that it would take a wizard to predict which ecosystem will gain the most traction. In order for IoT to reach its potential, smart devices must be able to work together. Today, there are a slew of interoperability standards being promoted by big names to make this happen: HomeKit, Brillo and Alljoyn. In his session at @ThingsExpo, Adam Justice, vice president and general manager of Grid Connect, will review what happens when smart devices don’t work togethe...
"Tintri was started in 2008 with the express purpose of building a storage appliance that is ideal for virtualized environments. We support a lot of different hypervisor platforms from VMware to OpenStack to Hyper-V," explained Dan Florea, Director of Product Management at Tintri, in this SYS-CON.tv interview at 18th Cloud Expo, held June 7-9, 2016, at the Javits Center in New York City, NY.
"There's a growing demand from users for things to be faster. When you think about all the transactions or interactions users will have with your product and everything that is between those transactions and interactions - what drives us at Catchpoint Systems is the idea to measure that and to analyze it," explained Leo Vasiliou, Director of Web Performance Engineering at Catchpoint Systems, in this SYS-CON.tv interview at 18th Cloud Expo, held June 7-9, 2016, at the Javits Center in New York Ci...
The 20th International Cloud Expo has announced that its Call for Papers is open. Cloud Expo, to be held June 6-8, 2017, at the Javits Center in New York City, brings together Cloud Computing, Big Data, Internet of Things, DevOps, Containers, Microservices and WebRTC to one location. With cloud computing driving a higher percentage of enterprise IT budgets every year, it becomes increasingly important to plant your flag in this fast-expanding business opportunity. Submit your speaking proposal ...
SYS-CON Events announced today that Linux Academy, the foremost online Linux and cloud training platform and community, will exhibit at SYS-CON's 20th International Cloud Expo®, which will take place on June 6-8, 2017, at the Javits Center in New York City, NY. Linux Academy was founded on the belief that providing high-quality, in-depth training should be available at an affordable price. Industry leaders in quality training, provided services, and student certification passes, its goal is to c...
20th Cloud Expo, taking place June 6-8, 2017, at the Javits Center in New York City, NY, will feature technical sessions from a rock star conference faculty and the leading industry players in the world. Cloud computing is now being embraced by a majority of enterprises of all sizes. Yesterday's debate about public vs. private has transformed into the reality of hybrid cloud: a recent survey shows that 74% of enterprises have a hybrid cloud strategy.
SYS-CON Events announced today that Super Micro Computer, Inc., a global leader in Embedded and IoT solutions, will exhibit at SYS-CON's 20th International Cloud Expo®, which will take place on June 7-9, 2017, at the Javits Center in New York City, NY. Supermicro (NASDAQ: SMCI), the leading innovator in high-performance, high-efficiency server technology, is a premier provider of advanced server Building Block Solutions® for Data Center, Cloud Computing, Enterprise IT, Hadoop/Big Data, HPC and E...