As reported by Digital Battlespace and other news sources, the NATO Consultation, Command and Control Agency (NC3A) has successfully achieved a fully virtualised information services infrastructure for the International Security Assistance Force (ISAF) in Afghanistan.
In a statement released on 10 December, NC3A said the ‘significant three-year engineering and programmatic effort’ comprised ‘a major step forward, one that is still to be equalled in the NATO static command structure’. The organisation’s Capability Area Team has ‘evolved’ the ISAF server and storage infrastructure into a ‘modern, resilient and energy efficient capability’, the statement outlined.
The first virtualised solution was deployed to Afghanistan in 2009 under the Centrix-ISAF project, which installed the initial resilient Network Interconnection Points connecting the US Centrix-ISAF capability and NATO, thus creating the single information domain now known as the Afghanistan Mission Network. From there, with the creation of the ISAF Joint Command HQ (IJC) at the Kabul International Airport in 2010 the concept advanced, again with a redundant server room approach.
In March 2011, fully virtualised server rooms were installed at Kandahar Airfield. Since then all server rooms at the Regional Commands, HQ Kabul and IJC have been virtualised, and all Functional Area Services have migrated into this infrastructure, ahead of schedule. This move towards virtualisation is believed to have saved ISAF a total of some $1.2 million, broken down into $65,000 in non-recurring costs, and $234,000 per year in operating costs over a five-year life cycle, according to NC3A.
It allows commanders to quickly recover information from equipment failures without loss of data through this new method, and hardware deployment into theatre becomes less of an issue because NC3A provides it also.
- NATO supporting ISAF (video)
References: Digital Battlespace (1)