Saturday, November 25, 2017

How IBM is helping the US Army with its cloud data centres

Consolidation and modernisation of the US Army data centre portfolio continues and gets a helping hand from Big Blue and its IaaS portfolio.

The US Army has enlisted IBM to build, manage and operate a cloud solution for greater IT flexibility, efficiency and performance.

The IT provider has signed a five-year $62m contract and has been tasked to deliver the solution to the Army’s Redstone Arsenal, near Huntsville, in the State of Alabama.

The solution is part of the Army Private Cloud Enterprise (APCE) program, a one-year task order with four additional one-year options under the Army Private Cloud 2 (APC2) contract.

APC2 is an indefinite delivery/indefinite quantity (IDIQ) contract that the Army awarded Dec, 28, 2011, to seven companies. On Sept. 21, the Army extended the IDIQ – which expired Dec. 31, 2016 – to Dec. 31, 2021.

In addition to building the infrastructure, IBM has been tasked with providing the army with Infrastructure-as-a-Service (IaaS) services, enabling it to provision computing power on an as-needed basis.

The Army will also begin migrating applications to the private cloud, moving up to 35 applications to the private cloud in the first year.

In a statement, the company said: “This project required Defense Information Systems Agency (DISA) Impact Level 5 (IL-5) Provisional Authorization. Information impact levels consider the potential impact of information being compromised.

“IL-5 gives the cloud provider the authority to manage controlled, unclassified information.”

Lt. Gen. Robert Ferrell, U.S. Army CIO, said: “With this project, we are beginning to bring the IT infrastructure of the U.S. Army into the 21st century.

“Cloud computing is a game-changing architecture that provides improved performance with high efficiency, all in a secure environment.”

The contract comes at a time the army is going through its biggest data centre and cloud consolidation roadmap in history.

However, the task is revealing to be taking longer than originally planned as Data Economy recently reported.

The US Army intention to close 1,869 data centres by 2018 to save up to $1.8bn has hit a “virtual standstill” as the Department of Defence (DoD) has failed to achieve its goals two years in a row.

According to the DoD, there are 3,115 data centres owned by the Army, Marine Corps, Navy, and the Defence Information Systems Agency (DISA).