Defence & Intelligence

Military Cloud – Case Studies

Cloud computing offers much promise to the military by addressing the fundamentals of increasing mission agility / complexity in a climate of economic constraint.   In previous posts I have clarified the (often confusing) terminology, discussed common blockages and how these can be overcome and suggested some implementation first steps.  In this post I will illustrate inspirational use of Cloud by the military & government, referring to two IBM projects.  This blog is based on my presentation “Cloud for the Military – Projects & Promise” to the NATO IST-125 panel in Ankara, Turkey on the 11th Jun 2015.

US Army Logistics Activity (LOGSA)

LOGSA manages the information needed to acquire, manage, equip and sustain the Army’s materiel needs. They typically process 40 million unique data transactions every day, which is more that the New York Stock Exchange. This project started as a Data Center consolidation, resulting in a large-scale transformation to Cloud.  LOGSA started this project with cost savings front of mind but also looked to introduce better analytics to support supply chain & maintenance optimization goal.










A comprehensive survey was followed by three phases:

  1. Base line the system, gaining an accurate view of the current status
  2. Getting the systems straight and manageable by undertaking consolidation to unify – for example – storage & databases. Commercial technology was used throughout
  3. Cloud readiness, focusing on interoperability (e.g. with DISA), analytics & mobile extensions.

LOGSA Benefit

The $60M project is due to finish in November 15 but is already accruing benefits in costs and scalable non-functional requirements as shown in the table above through the use of a future proof hybrid cloud environment.

National Oceanographic & Atmospheric Administration (NOAA)

The NOAA collects some 20TB of data every day from many sources including Doppler radar, weather satellites, buoy networks, ships and aircraft. Responding to a demand for quality and timely weather forecasts, NOAA had recently embarked on a “cooperative research and development agreement (CRADA)” with industry.


Implementing it’s mission to drive economic growth / business innovation, and realising that they collect more data in a half day that is stored in the US Library of Congress, NOAA will make this information available on IBM’s BlueMix Cloud to IBM and a number of partners to include Google, Amazon & Microsoft. These Alliance Partners will apply analytics to the raw data and provide value added services to the information consumer.

The consumer will benefit from timely access to weather information to meet their specific need, through the application of industry-leading analytics. NOAA will benefit from Cloud efficiencies, and an iterative exploratory approach. All will benefit from a practical, Open Innovation based approach where Cloud plays a foundational role in data sharing and business model implementation.

Inspired? Disinterested? I much welcome your feedback / participation preferably via this blog or by e-mail / telephone if you prefer.


Director - Blockchain | National Security - CTO Team Europe

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