Department Seeks Balanced ‘Cloud’ Computing Solution

ARLINGTON, Va., Sept. 7, 2011 — Defense Depart­ment offi­cials are look­ing to bal­ance effi­cien­cy, effec­tive­ness and secu­ri­ty while mov­ing away from its decen­tral­ized net­work of com­put­er servers and data cen­ters and into “cloud” com­put­ing, DOD’s deputy chief infor­ma­tion offi­cer said today.

“We must bal­ance all three,” said Robert J. Carey, who is also the deputy assis­tant sec­re­tary of defense for infor­ma­tion man­age­ment, inte­gra­tion and tech­nol­o­gy. “We have to serve the infor­ma­tion needs of our warfight­ers, as well as the peo­ple back here in the ivory towers.” 

Carey, who is also�a Naval Reserve captain,�spoke at Defense Sys­tems Sum­mit 2011, an infor­ma­tion tech­nol­o­gy con­fer­ence held here. He told the audi­ence, made up large­ly of defense con­trac­tors, that bud­get restric­tions and the need for bet­ter effi­cien­cy is dri­ving the depart­ment and mil­i­tary ser­vices to move toward cloud com­put­ing, which pro­vides an Inter­net-based forum for infor­ma­tion to be pooled among many users. 

The Fed­er­al CIO Coun­cil has charged the gov­ern­ment with lever­ag­ing cloud com­put­ing ser­vices to reduce costs and pro­vide greater effi­cien­cies, accord­ing to the U.S. Chief Infor­ma­tion Office. Cloud com­put­ing allows cus­tomers to scale capac­i­ty on demand and great­ly reduces ener­gy con­sump­tion, the U.S. CIO web­site says. 

“Stovepipe solu­tions … can­not be afford­ed any more,” Carey said. “That is not going to happen.” 

He added, “We are hack­ing through some of the chal­lenges of employ­ing this technology.” 

Some of those chal­lenges, he said, are how to oper­ate secure­ly in a com­mer­cial, rather than a gov­ern­ment, set­ting; giv­ing U.S. Cyber Com­mand the abil­i­ty to iden­ti­fy and respond to emer­gen­cies; and deter­min­ing who man­ages the data in real time. 

The depart­ment has many cloud-com­put­er pilot pro­grams, and has ramped up its stan­dard­iza­tion and con­sol­i­da­tion of its com­put­er infra­struc­ture, such as servers, data cen­ters and secu­ri­ty archi­tec­ture, Carey said. The department’s data cen­ters are being used at less than 15 per­cent of capac­i­ty, he noted. 

Offi­cials are deter­min­ing which infor­ma­tion, based on impor­tance and secu­ri­ty needs, should be con­sol­i­dat­ed in core data cen­ters, Carey said. The depart­ment plans to release ini­tial guid­ance this fall on a strat­e­gy to max­i­mize data cen­ters at 75 per­cent capac­i­ty, he said. 

The mil­i­tary ser­vices have led the con­sol­i­da­tion effort, he added, and the depart­ment will follow. 

“We’re not inter­est­ed in cre­at­ing new stan­dards and mak­ing [the ser­vices] change,” Carey said. Rather, he added, Pen­ta­gon offi­cials will use the ser­vices’ best prac­tices to for­mu­late imple­men­ta­tion through­out the Defense Department. 

“If some­one has cracked the code, we’re all over it,” he said, not­ing that oth­er agen­cies such as the Gen­er­al Ser­vices Admin­is­tra­tion have had “tremen­dous suc­cess­es, but also some chal­lenges” in con­vert­ing to cloud computing. 

A typ­i­cal mil­i­tary instal­la­tion may serve 50,000 users, Carey told the audi­ence. “That makes our world com­plex,” he said, “and every­thing needs to be thought through well.” 

U.S. Depart­ment of Defense
Office of the Assis­tant Sec­re­tary of Defense (Pub­lic Affairs) 

Team GlobDef

Seit 2001 ist im Internet unterwegs, um mit eigenen Analysen, interessanten Kooperationen und umfassenden Informationen für einen spannenden Überblick der Weltlage zu sorgen. war dabei die erste deutschsprachige Internetseite, die mit dem Schwerpunkt Sicherheitspolitik außerhalb von Hochschulen oder Instituten aufgetreten ist.

Alle Beiträge ansehen von Team GlobDef →