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FCW : June 15, 2014
The intersection of virtualization, cloud and mobility promises to give military personnel the long- sought ability to securely access and share information anywhere, anytime and across any device to achieve mis- sion objectives. In fact, the convergence paves the way for what is being described as the "mobile cloud," which harnesses the unlimited computing resources of the cloud to free mobile devices from memory, processing and battery con- straints. The aim is to provide better synchronization of data on a reliable and scalable platform where applica- tions can be accessed anywhere and anytime. "Cloud and mobile are two tightly linked forces, with the cloud becoming the major delivery vehicle and 'remote brain' for these devices," accord- ing to a Gartner report on the top 10 strategic technology trends for 2014. Virtualization, though, is the technology that helped pave the way to the cloud, allowing agencies to use software as a way to consolidate resources and IT management with the goal of offering services at a reduced cost. Disruptive technologies such as vir- tualization, cloud and mobile are trans- forming how federal agencies such as the Defense Department connect and support its workforce and war ghters. By nature DOD's workforce is mobile with forces deployed all over the world. Civilian and military personnel regularly rotate across organizations, leader- ship and eld units are constantly on the move, and a growing number of teleworkers are beginning to operate from locations other than their primary of ces, according to DOD's mobility strategy. The Defense Information Systems Agency has been charged with making DOD's mobile vision a reality through the DOD Mobility Program. Its main mission is to research and evaluate mobile solutions that the entire DOD as well as other federal agencies can use. A year ago, DOD issued its Commercial Mobile Implementation Plan permit- ting the use of secure classi ed and protected unclassi ed mobile solu- tions that use commercial off-the-shelf products. The DOD workforce is already be- coming increasingly empowered by the use of mobile applications, tablets and smartphones, according to of cials. For example, the Army has added Sam- sung Galaxy Note II smartphones to its Nett Warrior system, giving soldiers a chest-mounted device for situational awareness. The devices were rst wiped clean and installed with Nett Warrior software, which includes a National Security Agency-approved version of the Android OS and a soft- ware package developed in-house by the Army. Whatever device mobile workers are using---laptops, tablets or smart- phones---information is always best when it can be presented natively on the device, said David Johnson, prin- cipal analyst with Forrester Research. With so many people using non- Microsoft and non-Windows mobile devices, there has to be a way for all of the Windows applications government agencies have been building over the years to work on mobile devices. "That is what the virtualization angle is all about," Johnson said. Sponsored Report THE MOBILE WARRIOR DOD builds on convergence of virtualization, mobile Virtualization allows multiple operating systems and applications to run on a single physical server, reducing operational costs and improving exibility within an existing information technology infrastructure. As such, it has been critical in the development of scalable environments capable of managing large workloads and more users. Application and desktop virtualization are two ways agencies can deliver information to mobile users. In the rst scenario, an application is virtualized at the data center and delivered via portal or end point to the device. With the later situation, the desktop is stored and virtualized at the data center and delivered to the mobile endpoint. A virtual desktop infrastructure is an effective solution from a cost and security perspective, but also comes with related migration and management challenges. It is best to evaluate a variety of alternative models to ensure the nal solution meets current and evolving agency needs, according to industry experts. The advantage of virtualization
June 30, 2014
July 15, 2014