5 Open-Source Technologies Powering The Army's Battlefield Cloud

William Welsh | GCN | October 8, 2013

Cloud computing has, without a doubt, forever changed military intelligence, according to Army and contractor executives working on the Distributed Common Ground System-Army Standard Cloud (DSC) in Afghanistan. 

“From a technology perspective, when you are dealing with data processing and data management and data fusion, having the idea where you can almost have almost unlimited processing power, unlimited memory, unlimited storage is a paradigm that software engineers have not had before,” said Shane Miller, a principal at Booz Allen Hamilton, which is the DCGS-A lead contractor.  

The cloud computing approach furnishes the massive storage capacity for the upwards of 75 million records created since the beginning of Operation Enduring Freedom in Afghanistan and the incoming data from 600 source feeds. To build DSC, the Army relied heavily on open source platforms and software available in the commercial and government sectors, thereby avoiding costly licensing fees and keeping down development costs in a highly constrained budget environment.