Understanding Cloud of Cloud Infrastructure

One of the biggest challenges facing military organisations is the ability to connect and securely communicate across all domains. To combat this, migration to cloud technology is at the centre of IT transformation for many Armed Forces, bringing with it the use of shared IT infrastructure and services to create a flexible, scalable and on-demand IT environment.

With an open Cloud of Cloud Infrastructure, Defence organisations are able to share information direct from the data centre to the tactical edge, sharing the right information at the right time.

The Cloud of Cloud concept

Traditionally, cloud initiatives have focused on consolidation and the need to; reduce the number of data centres, develop a single security architecture and a common service base, and establish a single operational network management structure.

Cloud of Cloud is the use of multiple cloud computing, memory, AI and storage services governed under a single ICT architecture as one seamless solution. It allows organisations to design and create cloud environments, distribute workloads and services across multiple cloud environments, mitigating the risks associated with reliance on a single cloud. It utilizes two or more cloud services and can be a combination of private or public clouds.

Reducing time, resource and data risk with Cloud of Cloud Infrastructure 

When reliant on a single-cloud environment, there are a number of risks involved with resource management, downtime and data loss. However, in a Cloud of Cloud environment, organisations are able to prioritise cloud services, giving them more flexibility to address their business or mission goals while reducing downtime and data risks; if one service fails, an organisation can continue to operate and utilise the platforms available.

Workload mobility across a data highway can be determined by many factors like data locality, compute availability, or which infrastructure provides the best services. Through incorporating open hybrid and Cloud of Cloud capabilities, organisations are able to seamlessly exchange workloads and data across hosted private cloud, on premise cloud (whether static, deployed, or to the connected edge) and High-Performance Compute (HPC) edge servers. When deployed as part of a Combat Cloud, it enables collaborative combat between manned and unmanned assets across all domains.

Cloud of Cloud for Defence

While Cloud Infrastructure has existed for some time, there has long been concern around its use for Defence due to uncertainty on location of data storage, reliability, and security as well as control aspects. Thanks to advancements in technology and security protocols, the incorporation of Cloud of Cloud infrastructure enables Defence organisations to share, communicate and obtain insights, information, resources when they needed.

In order to achieve mission objectives, the Defence community need the ability to access and share information seamlessly, in real-time, directly in the battlespaces, and the headquarters in a secure, reliant and protected manor. While infinitely more information is being created, analysed and consumed than ever before, the defence cloud-of-clouds provides the scalability, capacity and analytics needed to turn massive real-time and historical data into actionable intelligence. It equips Defence organisations with the power to manage and interpret high-volume, sensitive data into actionable intelligence, whilst enhancing speed and agility.

Mobility is critical to survivability in Defence operations. Once deployed, personnel and equipment is in constant motion resulting in a need for highly mobile and distributed cloud capabilities. Military users consume cloud capabilities at tactical levels in even the remotest of places, which is why it is critical the cloud infrastructure in place can be operated at multiple levels. With Cloud of Cloud infrastructure, defence organisations can build and manage the full IT service stack in a standard, unifying platform that supports moving services and workloads across bare metal, virtual machines, private clouds, domains, tactical cloud and at the tactical edge, meeting stringent operational mission demands.

To respond to these challenges, Airbus are striving for a fully integrated, digitalised, collaborative and agile operational environment across all domains with the Multi-Domain Combat Cloud (MDCC). Based on its team-of-teams design, MDCC supports collaborative operations with manned and unmanned teaming assets across all domains under human supervision, enabling armed forces to focus and enhance their military operational concepts and effectiveness through technological superiority in all military domains.

Building a Cloud of Cloud strategy

In order to incorporate a Cloud of Cloud strategy, you must first define how to manage, control, operate, optimise and secure your cloud infrastructure. Find out how Airbus can be the trusted advisor to establish your cloud of cloud strategy; get in contact today.

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About the author

Chand Svare Ghei is a Chief Engineer at Airbus Defence and Space. His expertise in Cloud Infrastructure stems from his time in the Norwegian Armed Forces and from the defence industry working in the field of Deployable Communications and Information Systems.