Inside Defense

Navy Is ‘All in’ on the Cloud

The Navy has committed to transitioning all of its data to the cloud over the next five years, according to a service official.

“The Navy is all in. We have a cloud-first policy. The message to the entire fleet, afloat and ashore, is you will go to cloud,” Dan DelGrosso, technical director in the program executive office for enterprise information systems, said this week.

Cloud technology allows users to access data and programs through the internet rather than a computer’s hard drive.

DelGrosso presented the five-year data migration plan to the Navy’s senior leadership in San Diego, CA, earlier this year. The plan was made “with the understanding that anything that can go to the cloud, technically speaking, will go to cloud,” he told attendees at an Aug. 23 cloud summit in Washington.

While the Navy is already using the cloud for some data, DelGrosso said the service, and the Defense Department as a whole, faces scaling problems as it tries to realize the chief of naval operations’ “vision of having a digitized Navy.”

“Right now, our footprint in the cloud is very small,” he said. “As we scale . . . How do we do boundary protection without continuously building out the infrastructure inside DOD?”

Boundary protection refers to cloud access points. A cloud access point (CAP) acts as a “virtual line of demarcation” between the Navy’s networks and the cloud service provider (CSP), according to DelGrosso. DOD can monitor the traffic passing through these access points.

Rather than creating access points throughout the Navy and DOD, DelGrosso said the goal is to create this same kind of protection, “but in a virtualized sense . . . From our CSPs. If that happens, further build-out and/or modernization of Navy CAPs will not be necessary.”

DelGrosso added the Navy is “trying to get out of the business of managing our own infrastructure.”

Asked about potential cost-saving benefits, DelGrosso said the Navy is not migrating to the cloud to save money.

“The Navy doesn’t build warships to save money. We build warships for worldwide deterrents and to defend against [threats to] our country,” he said. “Going to the cloud is kind of the same thing. . . . We want to optimize our data. We want to get into data analytics. We want to leverage artificial intelligence. We want to make more informed decisions.”

 

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