US: A hybrid cloud developed by the Global Combat Support System-Air Force (GCSS-AF) programme and Lockheed Martin will provide a secure, hosting capability, that when used with other existing services, will lower costs, increase agility and improve service for 800,000 Air Force users. The GCSS-AF cloud pilot, which concludes on July 2014, strives to provide a hosting platform for the Air Force Portal and mission applications to demonstrate the technical and operational viability of using the cloud for Air Force hosting. By migrating mission applications coupled with self-service capabilities, service requests can be fulfilled on-demand within minutes compared to existing processes that take weeks. The cloud environment also provides inherent capabilities that lower costs, increase availability and provide operational redundancy resulting in an architecture that meets the evolving Air Force needs to support strategic initiatives such as Joint Information Environment (JIE). "GCSS-AF is focused on continued affordability for its application customers. The cloud pilot enables us to assess the viability of achieving significant cost savings while also increasing warfighter efficiencies,” said Michael Clark, Programme Director of GCSS-AF with the US Air Force.
As the premier web gateway to the Air Force enterprise, the Air Force Portal hosted on the GCSS-AF infrastructure provides more than 800,000 worldwide users with a single point of entry and instant, secure access to the information they need — from the status of mission critical parts to the most recent USAF benefits information. Since Full Operational Capability (FOC) was declared in 2009, the programme has increased the number of supported mission applications to over 200. GCSS-AF also recently launched a mobile capability to provide portal and application data to warfighters on their mobile devices, enabling higher productivity and flexibility. "Migrating to a cloud-based environment introduces on-demand service requests and enables the warfighter to bring the capability to the frontlines with lower start up and maintenance costs. We are excited to continue exploring how the cloud environment can increase productivity and efficiency while reducing network capacity service costs,” said Angela Heise, Vice President of Enterprise IT Solutions with Lockheed Martin Information Systems & Global Solutions. The next evolution of this endeavor brings the Air Force Portal to the cloud in a production state and paves the way for mission application hosting and migrations.