HP Moving Defense Department Into The Cloud

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HP will help the U.S. Department of Defense (DoD) deploy a cloud computing infrastructure, the company said today. The cloud initiative, known as RACE (Rapid Access Computing Environment) is designed to reduce costs, consolidate applications and shorten delivery times for DoD computing projects. The system will be deployed by the Defense Information Systems Agency (DISA), which says RACE will give the DoD a new level of speed and agility.

John Garing, the Chief Information Officer of DISA, spoke about the RACE initiative at the Data Centers Best Practices Conference June 13 in Washington. “We’re moving to provide a cloud in the Department of Defense,” said Garing. “It’s a change in the way we look at service delivery. In much of the DoD we still think of circuits and servers and apps. We don’t think about clouds and services. We went through an epiphany.”

Deploying a cloud infrastructure will allow the DoD to test and develop systems without having to purchase hardware or software licenses, saving time and money. The cloud compute resources will be based on DISA’s standard architecture, allowing employees to provision operating environments from the cloud with a service catalog accessed via a secure web portal. HP said its solution will automate management tasks and dynamically allocate server resources, saving energy and manpower.


Garing said implementing a cloud architecture will help DISA better serve its DoD users around the globe. “The challenge is to make us relevant to them so they want to use our services,” he said, adding that many military users tend to be conservative about change. “Some say ‘I’ve got to have my own box, under my desk. I don’t trust the cloud.’ There’s something about this box-hugging syndrome that will be a challenge for us. We feel that if we don’t get a cloud-like system in DISO, we’ll become less relevant.”

“DISA needed an integrated, easily manageable cloud computing infrastructure to support its test and development systems,” said Christine Martino, vice president and general manager, Scalable Computing and Infrastructure, HP. “HP’s unique understanding of large-scale data center requirements enabled us to provide DISA with the ideal balance of solutions and services to create a unified, web-based management system that met their objectives.”

HP said it will provide DISA with a broad array of hardware, software and services to implement and support the cloud infrastructure, including ProLiant server blades and on-site operations management, along with HP Server Automation, HP Service Manager, HP Operations Manager, HP Systems Insight Manager and HP ProLiant Essentials.

Garing says DISA has a special unit called a Network Improvement Tiger Team (NITT) to ensure the security of the new infrastructure. “We need to make sure the cloud is pristine,” he said.

About the Author

Rich Miller is the founder and editor-in-chief of Data Center Knowledge, and has been reporting on the data center sector since 2000. He has tracked the growing impact of high-density computing on the power and cooling of data centers, and the resulting push for improved energy efficiency in these facilities.