U.S. Army Drives Logistics System on IBM Cloud

By Darryl K. Taft  |  Posted 2015-04-08 Print this article Print
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IBM signed a deal with the U.S. Army to run the Army's logistics system—processing 40 million transactions a day—on IBM's hybrid cloud platform.

IBM announced that the U.S. Army is using the IBM Cloud to power one of the biggest logistics systems in the U.S. federal government.

The Logistics Support Activity—known as LOGSA—provides on-time integrated logistics support of Army operations worldwide that impacts every soldier, every day. Since migrating to a hybrid cloud model with IBM in 2014, LOGSA processes 40 million unique data transactions every day—more than the New York Stock Exchange, IBM said.

The new hybrid cloud system is designed to connect the IBM Cloud to the Army's on-premise environment to enable broad use of data analytics for sharper insights.

"The Army not only recognized a trend in IT that could transform how they deliver services to their logistics personnel around the world, they also implemented a cloud environment quickly and are already experiencing significant benefits," Anne Altman, general manager for U.S. Federal at IBM, said in a statement. "They're taking advantage of the inherent benefits of hybrid cloud: security and the ability to connect it with an existing IT system. It also gives the Army the flexibility to incorporate new analytics services and mobile capabilities."

LOGSA is the home of the Army's Logistics Information Warehouse (LIW), which is the service's storehouse for collecting, storing, organizing and delivering logistics data. It provides logistics information gleaned through analytics tools and business intelligence solutions to acquire, manage, equip and sustain the materiel needs of the U.S. Army. LIW provides services to more than 65,000 users and 150 direct trading partners around the world.

Moreover, as the Army's primary source for logistics data, LOGSA provides logistics intelligence, lifecycle support, technical advice and assistance to the force; integrates logistics information—force structure, readiness and other logistics data—for worldwide equipment readiness and distribution analysis; and offers asset visibility for timely and proactive decision making.

Achieving cost savings of 50 percent with this new model, the Army is now focusing on bringing in new analytics services such as condition-based maintenance and data mining that can benefit all Army organizations. LOGSA will harness data and analytics via cloud computing to improve the efficiency and effectiveness of logistical coordination. Doing so requires the ability to easily connect the cloud to existing IT systems.

With the new cloud delivery model, Army logistics personnel have the ability to manage the movement of equipment with up-to-date, accurate information.

In December 2014, IDC named IBM a leader in U.S. government private cloud. IBM recently opened SoftLayer federal cloud centers in Ashburn, Va., and Dallas. These centers were built to meet Federal Risk and Authorization Management Program (FedRAMP) and Federal Information Security Management Act (FISMA) requirements for government workloads.

In addition to the SoftLayer cloud centers, IBM offers its FedRAMP-certified SmartCloud for Government. IBM also built a cloud data center dedicated to workloads from the Department of Defense at impact levels 3-5 that can handle higher-risk unclassified data. The IBM Cloud Managed Services for Government-Department of Defense (CMS for Defense) is located at the Allegany Ballistics Laboratory (ABL) in West Virginia, which is owned by the Department of the Navy.



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