The Intelligence Cloud

The Air Force Academy Chapel

I was thinking to call this the “Military Intelligence Cloud” but no one would believe it was true. Apparently the US Air Force has awarded a contract to build an intelligence platform that will allow different branches of the military and agencies to share data. And, by the way, they will be building a cloud based system.

I’m not sure why the “cloud” is such a buzzword and why everyone thinks it results in cost savings. Supposedly a “private cloud” based system is being used for cost reasons, and because the public cloud services like Windows Azure and Amazon’s EC2 might not be secure enough.

However what is a private cloud here? Isn’t it just an outsourced set of systems hosted elsewhere? It seems as though many companies and journalists are selling the cloud as some sort of new technology? Isn’t it just a set of hosted servers that are just virtual machines? Or is it just a set of servers that are standardized somehow in their configuration and capabilities?

It seems that all the press, and all the commercials from Microsoft might be working, and the collective managerial sheep herd is flocking to the cloud as some amazing new change in the way their systems will work. If that’s the case, I’m not sure this new cloud service will be any more intelligent a move than and other outsourcing decision.

I think there is promise in a more abstract, more ephemeral type of platform in the cloud, but it seems as thought we might be a long way from actually implementing something like that.

Steve Jones


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