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IBM To Make US Air Force a Hyper-Secure Cloud

The project is meant to push the boundaries of cloud computing with an infrastructure design that supports large-scale networks

IBM Session at Cloud Expo

The US Air Force has contracted for IBM to design and demonstrate a secure cloud computing infrastructure capable of supporting defense and intelligence networks. The 10-month project is supposed to introduce advanced cyber security and analytics technologies developed by IBM Research into the cloud architecture.

The project is meant to push the boundaries of cloud computing with an infrastructure design that supports large-scale networks and meets rigorous security standards as well as the government's Information Assurance guidelines for all networks. The Air Force network manages the operations of nine major commands, nearly 100 bases, and 700,000 active military personnel around the world.

According to Air Force CIO Lieutenant General William Lord, "We examined the expertise of IBM's commercial performance in cloud computing and asked them to develop an architecture that could lead to improved performance within the Air Force environment to improve all operational, analytical and security capabilities."

IBM said it will whistle up researchers, software architects, analytics specialists and cyber security experts to work with military personnel and other federal agencies to demonstrate an "unprecedented level of security and network resiliency" in the Air Force cloud design.

Advanced "stream computing" analytics is supposed to be a key design component. IBM figures that, coupled with sensors, monitors and other detection devices, it will let the Air Force perpetually analyze the massive amounts of data flowing through its network and get fast, accurate and actionable insights about possible threats, such as cyber attacks and network, system or application failures, while automatically preventing disruptions.

It said that customized executive-level dashboards will be used to deliver up-to-the-second information on the health and status of the network, facilitate decision-making and enable the Air Force to automatically shift the prevention environment based on rules-based protocols in the event of a cyber attack or network anomalies.

Autonomic computing will also feature so virtual cloud services can be managed remotely and let the cloud infrastructure constantly retune itself for optimal performance without human intervention.

More Stories By Maureen O'Gara

Maureen O'Gara the most read technology reporter for the past 20 years, is the Cloud Computing and Virtualization News Desk editor of SYS-CON Media. She is the publisher of famous "Billygrams" and the editor-in-chief of "Client/Server News" for more than a decade. One of the most respected technology reporters in the business, Maureen can be reached by email at maureen(at)sys-con.com or paperboy(at)g2news.com, and by phone at 516 759-7025. Twitter: @MaureenOGara

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