The U.S. Coast Guard is pursuing digital solutions to support its unique set of military, law enforcement, humanitarian, regulatory and diplomatic responsibilities. It is no small feat to provide information technology to its workforce of 87,570, as well as to its cutters, boats, and aircraft that move along the coastline and inland waterways protecting the United States.
A combination of artificial intelligence, machine learning, cloud computing, fifth-generation communications and agile software development processes may one day allow commanders to direct any asset from anywhere, essentially revolutionizing command and control.
During the recent AFCEA Alamo Chapter Event in San Antonio, several officials agreed that the current command and control (C2) center known as an air operations center (AOC) has grown too cumbersome and vulnerable for Air Force commanders to make the rapid-fire decisions required in the modern era of multi-domain operations.
When the Department of Defense (DOD) launched its Everything Over IP initiative nearly 10 years ago the focus was to bring traditional telecommunications technology—phone calls, streaming video and even faxes—to the digital world.
At that time, unified communications (UC), especially in the government workplace, was a relatively new concept. Remember, this was a time when voice over Internet Protocol (VoIP) phones were still seen as cutting edge. Now, though, UC has become not just a business tool, but a strategic offering that can connect employees in disparate locations, including the frontlines.
Heavy hitters in the commercial cloud industry, such as Microsoft Azure and Amazon Web Services, are pushing cloud-computing capabilities to what they refer to as the intelligent edge. They are connecting Internet of Things devices and mobile applications with ever-expanding cloud capabilities and the advanced computing of artificial intelligence to create a so-called intelligent cloud, pushing out the results of advanced processing and data analysis to a user’s fingertips.
The federal government’s comfort level with the cloud improves, due in part to standards and more offerings from commercial cloud providers.
Although it is already ubiquitous in the private sector, cloud computing has had a slow adoption by the federal government. That trend is shifting, an expert says, as the federal government, as well as state and local governments, employ more cloud computing.
The U.S. Transportation Command was the first U.S. Defense Department organization to begin moving its cyber capabilities, along with command and control applications, to a commercial cloud environment. More than a year later, the unified command is making strides in transferring its unclassified systems and is sharing lessons learned that will make the path to cloud usage smoother for others to follow.
As data migrates to the cloud, it is spawning a new generation of capabilities that may trigger major changes throughout the information realm as well as in the economy itself. These advanced capabilities will allow greater business development in ways that otherwise might have been limited to resource-rich firms.
New iterations of software are being written to connect different devices via the cloud. This will affect networking concurrent with the growth of the Internet of Things (IoT) and the introduction of 5G wireless connectivity. And, the cloud is topping its own status by providing layered services that mimic the cloud itself.
Applied Research Associates, Albuquerque, New Mexico, has been awarded a $33,556,686 cost-plus-fixed-fee/firm-fixed-price contract for Technology Enabler Raptor Environment for Cloud Compute Services. This contract provides for development of cloud-based software development environment(s) within the Amazon Web Services Secret Cloud Compute Service region. Work will be performed in Raleigh, North Carolina; and Fulton, Maryland, and is expected to be completed by November 2022.
IBM announced in a blog post that it has filed a pre-award protest against the Defense Department’s potential $10 billion Joint Enterprise Defense Infrastructure (JEDI) cloud computing program. Proposals for the effort are due Friday, October 12.
Oracle filed a pre-award protest in August.
IBM’s blog post, written by Sam Gordy, general manager, IBM U.S. Federal, says that JEDI “as outlined in the final solicitation, would not provide the strongest possible foundation for the 21st century battlefield.”
The U.S. Army may establish an artificial intelligence task force over the next 90 days in an effort to help develop needed expertise and better prepare for the service for the future of warfare, says Lt. Gen. Bruce Crawford, USA, Army chief information officer. The service also is creating a cloud computing advisory board.
Oracle, one of several companies vying for the U.S. Defense Department’s potential $10 billion, 10-year cloud computing contact known as the Joint Enterprise Defense Infrastructure (JEDI), launched a formal protest yesterday, less than two weeks after the Defense Department released its official solicitation for the contract.
Companies have until September 17 to respond to the request for proposals. The Government Accountability Office will issue its decision on the protest by November 14.
The U.S. Defense Department released its final request for proposals on the potential $10 billion Joint Enterprise Defense Infrastructure (JEDI) contract, a massive cloud computing initiative. The department leadership has chosen to maintain its single source strategy.
Awarding the massive contract to a single contractor has stirred controversy within the cloud computing industry and on Capitol Hill. Critics contend that relying on a single company reduces opportunities for innovation and cost savings.
As the tentacles of technology reach further and deeper into mainstream uses, their influence on the job market, man-machine interactions, government agencies and the military will grow exponentially. Capabilities once thought of as fodder for science fiction have become science fact at such unpredictable speeds organizations will need to understand the implications quickly if they hope to take advantage of the benefits they offer and not fall behind the curve.
Two U.S. Army generals intimately involved in the modernization of the service’s network are considering a competition for industry and academia to come up with cutting-edge solutions, such as artificial intelligence, for the future network.
In an example of great minds thinking alike, Maj. Gen. Peter Gallagher, USA, who leads the network modernization cross-functional team (CFT), and Maj. Gen. David Bassett, USA, the program executive officer for command, control and communications-tactical (PEO C3T), recently realized during an interview with SIGNAL Magazine that both were thinking along the same lines.
When National Science Foundation officials announced in February that three major providers of cloud computing were donating up to $9 million collectively for big data research, they already were looking for ways to broaden the effort to include a wider variety of topics, including cybersecurity. The expansion is intended to benefit both research and education initiatives and is necessary, in part, because the cloud providers now acquire cutting-edge hardware before it is made available to researchers.
The U.S. Army’s do-it-yourself culture may hinder private cloud adoption, but the service’s premier cloud program could actually promote that DIY instinct.
The future of the cloud is being defined by the technology’s two-way relationship with both users and innovation. Each group exerts influence over cloud evolution, and the cloud shapes the needs of customers and the direction of technology transformation. Cloud improvements might make traditional data storage and retrieval activities become less visible, fading into a cloud of usage analogous to 19th-century military thinker Carl von Clausewitz’s fog of war.
A couple of years into the so-called second wave of cloud, there are few signs of declining demand for cloud-based services. Experts think demand will only continue to grow as Internet of Things-related services are sought from the cloud, and data generated by smart devices increases the need for cloud storage. Now, traditional data centers are morphing into key global cloud interconnectors.
The Department of Defense (DOD) has long been at the tip of the spear when it comes to successfully melding IT security and operations (SecOps). Over the past few decades, the DOD has shown consistent leadership through a commitment to bringing security awareness into just about every facet of its operations. The growing popularity of hybrid IT poses a challenge to the DOD’s well-honed approach to SecOps.
From an industry perspective there are many advantages to moving aspects of any organization to the cloud. In theory, cloud is more efficient and easier to manage, but organizations like the Defense Department need to make sure they are not bringing along their bad habits and old baggage with them. Legacy networks are hard to understand and have grown out of control in the last few decades. Cloud is as complex as legacy networks, but the difference is who or what is really maintaining them.