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IBM brings U.S. military logistics into the hybrid cloud

Thu 9 Apr 2015

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IBM has announced that it is providing hybrid cloud solutions to the U.S. Army’s logistics system – one of the biggest of its kind in the United States. The army’s Logistics Support Activity (LOGSA) division has migrated to an on-premise IBM-supplied hybrid cloud environment handling 40 million data transactions daily, and claims to have achieved cost savings of 50% with the new arrangement.

LOGSA houses the Logistics Information Warehouse (LIW), a military depositary for logistics data which employs business and analytics tools to provide logistics information to over 65,000 end-users and 150 trading partners worldwide.

General Manager for U.S. Federal at IBM Anne Altman said in the report: “The Army not only recognized a trend in IT that could transform how they deliver services to their logistics personnel around the world, they also implemented a cloud environment quickly and are already experiencing significant benefits,” and continued “They’re taking advantage of the inherent benefits of hybrid cloud: security and the ability to connect it with an existing IT system. It also gives the Army the flexibility to incorporate new analytics services and mobile capabilities,”

The LOGSA announcement follows hard on the heels of the release of the Army Cloud Computing Strategy [PDF], which announces the army’s intention to ‘rapidly capitalize on’ DoD-approved government and commercial DSPs and the Federal Risk and Authorization Program (FedRAMP). FedRAMP forms part of the 2010-instituted government ‘cloud-first’ initiative, which is seeking to provide secure frameworks for government and military IT in the cloud and hybrid cloud sphere. Most authorisations which take place under the Federal Information Security Management Act (FISMA) framework cost $250,000 to implement, leading to the impetus for a centralised solution which maintains mission-critical security.

The LOGSA hybrid cloud solution is being maintained at the Army Materiel HQ at Redstone Arsenal in Alabama. The U.S. army spends hundreds of millions of dollars annually with IBM, which runs a special unit to maintain the relationship. Policy guidance on the Army’s buying strategy for commercial cloud providers is expected to follow in the next fortnight.

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