I've heard rumors about the Pentagon's IT unit seeking to adopt cloud computing for a few months. I knew something was up when I started seeing a surprising amount of download traffic on our Enomalism project from .mil and gov hosts. Today it seems they have gone public, and yes they are looking very closely at cloud computing.
Quoting from the New York Times article, "John Garing, a retired Air Force colonel who now is DISA's CIO, said he and his staff have met with their counterparts at businesses such as Google Inc., Amazon.com Inc., United Parcel Service of America Inc. and travel-reservation systems operator Sabre Holdings Corp. to talk about how the companies use technology. A pending trip to FedEx Corp. is scheduled for next week, he added."
He goes on to say ", Garing is convinced that cloud-based IT services will be the future of military data processing. Cloud computing is "going to be the way it has to be," he said. "We have to get to this standard environment that is provisionable and scalable."
The real reasoning seems fairly simple to me, they don't want to out gunned in the new computing arms race. In the late 20th century cold wars were fought using the placement of real weapons. In the 21st century they will be fought with information and compute capacity. The cloud (a.k.a a botnet) seems to be the weapon of choice for countries like Russia, China and some say even the US in this newest form of one-ups-manship.
Lets say for example China is building a massive data under or near the three gorges damn. The likelihood of that data center underneath being bombed and killing 20 million people is fairly slim. Putting massive data centers near nuclear reactors seems like another smart location for governments. Cheap limitless power is always nice and bombing a critical piece of infrastructure tends to make for a rather difficult situation to get out of.
I'll be keynoting the IEEE summit next week in Washington DC, so any spooks that want to chat about cloud computing, feel free to ping me.
Full article is available here> http://www.nytimes.com/idg/IDG_852573C400693880002574890080F9EF.html?ref=technology