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Tuesday, November 17, 2009

“Cloud” Shows Promise during Navy Trident Warrior

Last month as part of the Navy’s annual Trident Warrior exercise, Dataline, LLC successfully demonstrated that a standard shipboard communications infrastructure could be used to manage a commercial cloud infrastructure-as-a-service (IaaS) platform. Presented during the fall Trident Warrior ’10 (TW ’10) lab period, Dataline’s Secure Cloud Computing experiment used a simulated shipboard infrastructure to demonstrate secure access to selected collaboration and geospatial information service (GIS) applications. The purpose was to validate the ability of a commercial Infrastructure as a Service (IaaS) platform to support Department of the Navy (DON) requirements for global connectivity, server failover and application access. For this portion of the exercise, Dataline used the Amazon EC2 IaaS platform. The experiment also used SecureParser® as part of the Unisys Stealth architecture to provide “data-in-motion” security. Applications used included Oracle Beehive, ERDAS Apollo and the Joint Forces Command (JFCOM) developed Transverse collaboration suite. LCDR Caroline Lahman, Officer-in-Charge Navy FORCEnet San Diego, was pleased with the results noting a desire to continue these cloud computing experiments as part of the spring lab period.

Cloud Musings

During a recent interview, Robert Carey, Navy Chief Information Officer, also stated that cloud computing offered real value to the Navy. Citing that both the Navy Next Generation Enterprise Network (NGEN) and Consolidated Afloat Networks and Enterprise Services (CANES) programs will leverage cloud computing, he envisioned a future day when “Grey clouds” within a ship’s hull would eventually transition to clouds within the battle group. The increased IT efficiency delivered through cloud computing would also enhance mission accomplishment by making more resources available for investment into naval mission platforms (ships and planes). Mr. Carey sees ready access to authoritative data from the cloud as an important enabler to a real-time/near real-time decision making process, saying that the cloud delivers the ability to have a ubiquitous computing environment and interoperability. After observing the experiment, SPAWAR representatives showed similar sentiments, saying that the Navy was actively considering the use of cloud computing technologies as part of its Naval Networks Enterprise-2016 strategy

Trident Warrior ’10 is scheduled to continue with a second lab period in the spring 2010 and an at sea demonstration period after that.

For further information on the Trident Warrior lab based experiments, please contact LCDR Caroline Lahman (caroline.lahman@navy.mil ).


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