Ministry of Defence adopts cloud

The UK Ministry of Defence (MOD) has thrown its weight behind using cloud-based solutions as a secure option, announcing the award of a £933 million contract to the ATLAS Consortium, led by HP with Fujitsu, Airbus Defence & Space and CGI. 

Deployment to the majority of MOD users in offices, headquarters and deployed bases is expected by September 2016 and will provide a secure New Style of IT (NSoIT).

HP fellow/chief technologist/vice-president at HP Enterprise Services explained the NSoIT model to Businessvalueexchange.com: “The idea is for users to have access to a collection of pay-for-use services that address a number of standard service types, defined by service level, security level, etc. Deploying a new service is therefore a matter of selecting the appropriate service to run it on.

“The basis for all services are a set of cloud services encompassing legacy, virtualised, private cloud and public cloud services. This is the Infrastructure-as-a-Service (IaaS) layer of the NSoIT and it provides the foundational compute, storage and bandwidth that deliver the consumable services. On top of this we have Platform-as-a-Service (PaaS). This is not just the operating system but a set of capabilities that enable the NSoIT. So this will include Collaboration, Big Data, Social Media and other capabilities that can be accessed by applications and users.”

An MOD release says the programme will deliver "a new IT system fully exploiting the power of cloud computing, along with Microsoft Office 365 software, and securely delivering greater agility and mobility to our service personnel wherever they may be".

The new contracts have been split into two projects: New Style of IT (NSoIT) and Global Connectivity, a £550 million contract awarded to Fujitsu.

Defence Secretary Michael Fallon said: “Alongside this enhanced capability we have managed to secure huge savings of £1 billion over ten years. All of this money will be reinvested back into defence, ultimately helping keep Britain safe.”