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7/29/2010
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Army Plans Private Cloud

APC2, the Army Private Cloud, will be a cornerstone of a broader data center consolidation initiative that aims to reduce the number of Army data centers from 200 to less than 20.

The Army is pushing forward with plans to deploy a private cloud computing environment. Last week, it issued a request for proposals for the project, which will be one of the cornerstones of a broader data center consolidation initiative that aims to reduce the number of Army data centers from 200 to less than 20.

The Army Private Cloud, also known as APC2, will be contracted out in two separate pieces, and could cost as much as $249 million over the five-year lifespan of those contracts, according to the RFP and associated documents.

The aim of the effort, the Army says in a statement of work accompanying the RFP, is to reduce cost and energy use while improving the Army's cybersecurity posture and speed of innovation. A push for "quick and flexible" deployment of apps is a key driver of the APC2 strategy, as is the need for increased uptime.

"The vision is to provide private cloud computing capabilities in a manner that employs existing, best of breed, commercially available services to ensure rapid migration, easily expandable and adaptable cloud computing services, cost advantages, and responsive support services that enhance the end user experience, while fully in compliance with the information assurance requirements of the DoD," the statement of work says.

APC2's functionality will track a standard definition of cloud computing written by the National Institute of Standards and Technology, according to a statement of work accompanying the Army's RFP. That means APC2 will include on-demand self-service, broad network-based accessibility, multi-tenancy, resource pooling, rapid elasticity, and metered service, among other "essential attributes." APC2 will operate on both the unclassified NIPRNet and classified SIPRNet networks.

The cloud will be able to run (at least) Windows, Linux, Unix and Solaris environments, support Oracle, Microsoft SQL Server, IBM DB2 and Sybase databses, and will have virtualized storage and computing resources.

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