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DoD embraces innovation and increases efficiencies through Cloud technology

Bill Rowan

As the Department of Defense (DoD) continues to turn to the Cloud to improve computing efficiency, its adoption of innovative technologies is enabling DoD to secure high performance solutions while also reducing costs. 

The Defense Information Systems Agency (DISA) Global Command and Control System-Joint (GCCS-J) provides a great example. As DoD organizations increasingly turn to DISA to assist with centralizing their IT resources, pressures to maintain service levels and availability are growing. This is in addition to the pressures everyone is facing to reduce costs. Delivering mission critical information -- such as changes occurring on the battlefield -- to a growing distributed audience of U.S. military service branches and Joint Commands became a challenge for their traditional database infrastructure. Solving this challenge with more money and infrastructure was not a viable option. 

One of the solutions DISA incorporated into GCCS-J was a caching solution that provided improved performance for distributing track data for situational awareness. This enabled them to deliver the data in near-real time to the Combatant Commands who used it to support warfighters and coalition partners. Any downtime or delay in obtaining this data could slow down military response time and compromise missions. 

GCCS-J was able to deliver high speed caching, support for disconnected operations, continuous querying and near-real-time analysis to initiate responses to events and generate near-real-time alerts that improved decision-making abilities through superior situational awareness. 

GCCS-J adopted this solution and avoided major cost increases. Their existing investment in virtual infrastructure laid the foundation for them to add this innovative capability without requiring them to purchase a full complement of new server infrastructure to support it. 

Virtualization is enabling similar innovations and savings across government by delivering dramatic consolidation capabilities. Based on the types of applications that are running and specific customer data demands and application needs, servers have been consolidated anywhere from 2:1 to 12:1, and much higher. This is an excellent first step in adopting a Cloud architecture that will deliver cost savings by reducing the number of servers required, eliminating redundant hardware and software, and reducing the amount of space required to house physical infrastructure. 

DISA’s existing adoption of virtualization helped them consolidate servers, improve service levels and build the foundation for Cloud computing. This preparation enabled them to arm U.S. military service branches and joint commands with near-real-time visibility and situational awareness of military actions worldwide. Inevitably, government leaders will find additional innovations through their use of virtualization technology, as DISA did for GCCS-J. 

Bill Rowan is Vice President of DoD at VMware, a provider of virtualization and Cloud infrastructure solutions for government organizations. He can be reached at:

[email protected]


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