The US Army is adopting cloud computing technologies


Well, it seems that the (justified) hype of cloud computing has allowed it to land yet another massive benefactor, the US armed forces. That’s right, in case you might have missed the news recently; HP was awarded a contract from the US army to provide cloud services. The contract itself, abbreviated as APC2 (Army Private Cloud Contract) entails the creation of extensive enterprise-based cloud  for both “fixed and deployed” environments.  In other words, cloud computing infrastructure is being established both in administrative as well as mobile capacities.

This a significant win for HP and its cloud computing operation, especially considering that it is an indefinite delivery / quantity contract with options. The plan is to implement two “suites”; the first being centered on commercial / government buildings, and the second, for rapid mobile deployment. The contract itself is fairly unique in that it is virtually “wide-open”; there is a lot of room for expansion and nearly indefinite renewal. The real question is, will this contract open the flood gates for other large institutions to jump headlong into cloud computing? If that were to occur it would be a big win for the entire cloud computing industry.

What are the main reasons the US Army has been courting cloud computing, you might be wondering? Apparently there are two principle reasons for the Army’s push for the adoption of cloud computing; one, budgetary savings, and two, technical challenges. It would seem that even the US army needs cloud computing in order to solve many of its more complex technical issues and make better use of its already extensive assets. How is cloud computing able to achieve this? Cloud computing technologies allow for the greatest level of flexibility in terms of connectivity and (various other areas like) application migration. Additionally, through the use of cloud infrastructure groups like the US army will likely be able to effectively achieve more with a much lower overhead investment.

Although this isn’t really being openly talked about, it is entirely possible that the work being done in service of the APC2 project might very well lead to even better systems / components for information assurance and security. Over the last couple of years cloud computing (in general) has faced opposition from groups and individuals claiming that it has not arrived at satisfactory solutions for the major security issues it is facing. Many have stated that these problems need to be addressed before cloud computing is (or even should be) adopted on a more widespread scale. Given that the APC2 contract is in fact a big budget project, and the US army is actively seeking cloud-specific security solutions, it’s a pretty safe bet to assume that this event will lead to some significant breakthroughs in this capacity.

With the US Army now officially adopting cloud computing enterprise systems, is it possible that a major paradigm shift is coming? How long will it be until virtually all private sector institutions will be deploying their own clouds? If you are a business owner, or merely a key player in an established organization, you should know that now is the time to begin contemplating adding cloud services to your current list of IT assets. The reasons for this are many. For example, jumping ahead of the competition is, or should always be a concern, especially if your company utilizes IT-related technology to drive profits. On the other end of the scale, cloud computing can also assist in keeping energy consumption costs low. But (arguably) the best reason to adopt cloud computing (right now) has to do with just how innovative an infrastructure it truly is, and how it can (and will) increase communication, productivity and technical capabilities. The ability to quickly and seamlessly integrate outside services and apps is a really big draw for cloud computing, especially considering the breakneck (and quickening) pace of modern business.

Most organizations these days are opting for slower transitions (from grid computing / networking to cloud computing). This allows them to not only fine-tune their cloud infrastructures in a very methodical fashion, but it also provides employees (and even clients / customers) with ample time to adapt to the new system as well. A slower cloud transition / adoption timetable also allows an organization to avoid causing internal or external service operations (office and consumer-based operations, respectively).

In tandem with this slow transition process, employees may also be effectively trained and certified in one or more cloud disciplines (for example, cloud computing foundation). Having your organization’s IT employees familiarize themselves will not only be a boon for your entire organization, it will also (obviously) benefit them directly as well. Given that most quality cloud computing certification courses can be completed online, and there are deep group rate discounts available for corporate customers, there’s never been a better time to invest in cloud-related training for your personnel. (Hint*: Free access to cloud computing certification courses might make for excellent employee bonuses).

Interested in cloud computing certification courses, you’ll find everything you need right here.

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