UK military moving to private cloud

July 17, 2012

Consolidation of IT hardware is the name of the game for the the Ministry of Defense (MOD), according to ZDNet. To help facilitate this move, the military arm of the United Kingdom is moving a large number of functions to private cloud systems.

Migrating legacy systems allows the MOD to save money and ease management issues for troops. Using the cloud allows for operations that would normally have to be undertaken on the ground to be run remotely, increasing efficiency and removing some of the IT workload from soldiers.

"With the military, they need to deploy systems to Afghanistan and other centers and the guys in green aren't high-tech people," former computer system engineer for the Royal Navy, Geoff Higginbottom, told ZDNet. "They need to deploy a solution that can be managed by boffins [British stock character for scientist/technician] back in the UK."

Changing systems
Using a secure cloud computing link between the British homeland and wherever troops are stationed, templates and configurations can be transmitted back and forth between the two groups. The point of the plan is for such a transfer to be possible even in a communications blackout. With military actions and information forming the backbone of the system, cloud data security is paramount.

With that ability to make quick changes comes one of the major benefits of the cloud over many hardware systems: adaptability. Instead of having to design and build everything from scratch, it is easier to make minor alterations to systems and formats, which helps reduce mass redundancy in IT production.

Stateside cloud
Reduction of redundancy and long-term hardware commitments was a major reason for the cloud revolution for the United States as well. Although a recent, massive cloud computing strategy covering the entire Department of Defense is broader in scope, the U.S. Army is also employing cloud services itself.

On the back of handing out a near $250 million contract in February, the Army sought to more efficiently use containerized data centers that can be deployed overseas quickly and tactically, according to Data Center Knowledge. This looks to improve the adapatability and rapid response capability of military computing, similar to the strategy in the U.K., which will also utilize containerized data centers.

Another part of the U.S. contract focused more on private cloud storage capacity for commercial and government-owned buildings.

-McAfee Cloud Security