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The Defense Information Service Agency - the US military's IT department - has made its cloud service available for real applications. Up until now it has only been used for testing applications.

The DoD's Rapid Access Computing Environment (RACE) launched in October 2008, and is part of the Agency's effort to "posture the Agency to support the ever evolving needs of the American warfighter"*.

Henry J. Sienkiewicz, Technical Program Director at DISA, said: "Our users can now customize, purchase, and receive their test and development computing platform within 24 hours and the production environments within 72 hours, and that’s a must for worldwide missions with ever-changing computing requirements."

Sienkiewicz told The San Francisco Chronicle that the cloud was covered by the same service level agreements as its performance of its other applications - 99.999 per cent availability - a great deal higher than most commercial cloud providers like Google.

Department of Defense (DoD) users can choose between Windows and Red Hat Linux environments and get 24/7 service support.

Next year RACE will integrate with DoD’s classified network (SIPRNet).

Full release here. ®

*Warfighters being the people formerly known as soldiers, sailors, etc

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