IBM has been tapped by NATO to build a new cloud-based computing system designed to help the 28 member nations better use and share data.
Selected for the project by NATO's Allied Command Transformation (ACT), Big Blue will be called upon to design and demonstrate a cloud-computing environment that would help the North Atlantic Treaty Organization plan and implement critical tasks, such as intelligence gathering, surveillance, and reconnaissance.
The goal is to see if NATO members can use a collaborative cloud to access data faster and make decisions more quickly.
Though NATO's 28 countries share common goals, they currently all maintain their own separate and often disparate technologies. The challenge to IBM will be to create a system that can tie in resources from different networks, servers, and storage devices, and provide a common way for all NATO members to work with critical data and communications.
The system will also need to be more secure, more scalable, and more cost-effective than the hodgepodge of systems used in the past.
"We look forward to working with IBM to help us understand emerging information technologies and see how we can use them to create a leaner and more agile organization," Johan Goossens, head of ACT's Technology & Human Factors Branch, said in a statement. "Through this collaborative project, we hope to be able to realize the potential of cloud computing to tackle new challenges more efficiently, ultimately benefiting the NATO member nations."
IBM will design and manage the system at NATO's ACT command headquarters in Norfolk, Va. The project is part of NATO's goal to modernize its technologies for the 21st century, an issue that was raised at the most recent NATO Summit.
Earlier this year, IBM was awarded a contract from the U.S. Air Force to design a secure cloud-based environment for use by the different bases and personnel around the world. Big Blue also recently announced a series of cloud-based offerings for state and federal governments looking to share data in a cost-effective way.