Last week the US Navy awarded initial CANES contracts to Northrop Grumman and Lockheed Martin. Navy officials place the contract values at $775M for Northrop and $937M for Lockheed. As the key development program for afloat information technology infrastructures, this program represents the Navy's next-generation command and control, integrating servers, workstations, and networking systems to the Global Information Grid.
As I wrote in "CANES and the CLOUD", CANES can be seen as the Navy’s transition to virtualization, SOA and cloud computing.The Navy's CIO, Robert Carey, Carey has suggested that cloud computing seems to be a logical step forward to make computing more effective and efficient, and that both NGEN and CANES programs would leverage cloud computing. He also has described a future of “grey clouds” on each ship. Carey has, in fact, consistently presented a view that the Navy must take advantage of this transformational opportunity to leverage its computing assets as part of NNE 2016. While recognizing that the Navy’s ships at sea and Marine war fighting units present challenges unique to the naval service, he views most garrison environments as prime candidates to test cloud computing. Citing CANES as a representational step towards his goals, he has outlined parallel paths of defining where the cloud computing model is applicable, and defining a business case to develop new applications within this new cloud model.
Since the Navy's Space and Naval System's Command (SPAWAR) is actively evaluating where and how cloud computing can be best applied and the Navy's CIO seems to be a strong proponent of moving in this direction, Northrop and Lockheed seem poised to be major players in the Defense Department's transition to the cloud.
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