Department of Defense uses Amazon Web Services as it explores the cloud

November 12, 2014

The cloud isn't just for enterprise anymore – the U.S. government, and the military in particular, is throwing its hat in the ring and seeing what cloud computing can offer.

The cloud has been widely heralded in business circles as a way to contain costs, boost productivity and deal with the frantic pace of data generation and storage. Officials are optimistic about the cloud's potential now In the early stage of the Army's cloud adoption, but they made it clear they will not be rushing into anything.

Getting it right the first time
The stellar results that business have gotten when they moved their IT into the cloud has attracted the attention of the Department of Defense (DOD). According to a recent press release, the DOD sees the cloud as a way to reduce costs and increase connectivity and access to critical data both within and outside the agency.

As more and more crime makes its way into cyberspace, the DOD needs to keep pace with criminals who have been astonishingly sophisticated in their activities. Speeding up information flows is key for DOD who is largely tasked with stopping foreign cybercrimes against the U.S.

There is certainly a sense of urgency in moving forward into the cloud, but as FCW noted, the Army and the DOD are moving their IT operations to the cloud gradually. In this endeavor, security is alpha and omega. The speed at which the DOD and Army integrate cloud computing into its operations is a secondary concern.

"The DOD and the Army are taking it slowly because we want to get it done right the first time," said Archie Mackie, product director for enterprise computing in the Army Program Executive Office for Enterprise Information Systems.

Amazon Web Services uniquely qualified for the DOD
FCW reported that the DOD chose Amazon Web Services (AWS) for the pilot cloud program because it was the only cloud provider authorized to handle high-risk unclassified data at the highest levels. The DOD is working closely with Amazon to make sure security stays at the forefront of the program.

Once a decision is made on the effectiveness and efficiency of the cloud, officials will start finding specific divisions of the Army and the rest of the military that can benefit most from the cloud.