Feeds

DARPA wants weapons-grade military cloud computing

The clouds of war gather over the Pentagon

  • alert
  • submit to reddit

High performance access to file storage

Got your doubts about how resilient and secure cloud services might be? You're not alone: legendary Pentagon tech bureau DARPA has launched a push to toughen cloud tech up and make it fighting fit for the cyber wars of tomorrow.

The US tech-warriors have dubbed their armoured cloud project Mission-oriented Resilient Clouds (MRC). Full details aren't yet available, but some information has been released in a proposer's day announcement (pdf). According to DARPA:

Cloud computing is a rapidly emerging trend within both the commercial sector and the Department of Defense (DOD). A plan released by the Federal Chief Information Officer’s Council (CIO) in December 2010 for reforming Government Information Technology (IT) included a requirement that agencies adopt a "cloud-first" policy for new IT deployments.

It is propelled by three related driving forces: 1) the economics of large scale computation infrastructure (e.g., data-centers), 2) the ability to provide fungible computation on demand, and 3) the ability to centralize vast collections of data for common analytics.

This is a problem, however:

Cloud computing infrastructures, in particular, tightly integrate large numbers of hosts using high speed interconnection fabrics that can serve to propagate attacks even more rapidly than conventional networked systems. Today's hosts, of course, are highly vulnerable, but even if the hosts within a cloud are reasonably secure, any residual vulnerability in the hosts will be amplified dramatically.

DARPA already has a project intended to provide secure hosts, perhaps rather unfortunately dubbed Clean-slate design of Resilient, Adaptive, Secure Hosts (CRASH). The idea with MRC is to assemble CRASH units into tough war clouds able to perform "mission-oriented computation" even while sustaining losses due to hostile action.

As to how this is to be achieved, the agency boffins merely note that "clouds and distributed computing environments can: provide redundant hosts, correlate attack information from across the ensemble and, provide for diversity across the network". More information will be forthcoming at a conference for proposers in Virginia on 26 May, and probably in further announcements. ®

High performance access to file storage

More from The Register

next story
This time it's 'Personal': new Office 365 sub covers just two devices
Redmond also brings Office into Google's back yard
European Court of Justice rips up Data Retention Directive
Rules 'interfering' measure to be 'invalid'
Dropbox defends fantastically badly timed Condoleezza Rice appointment
'Nothing is going to change with Dr. Rice's appointment,' file sharer promises
Cisco reps flog Whiptail's Invicta arrays against EMC and Pure
Storage reseller report reveals who's selling what
Bored with trading oil and gold? Why not flog some CLOUD servers?
Chicago Mercantile Exchange plans cloud spot exchange
Just what could be inside Dropbox's new 'Home For Life'?
Biz apps, messaging, photos, email, more storage – sorry, did you think there would be cake?
IT bods: How long does it take YOU to train up on new tech?
I'll leave my arrays to do the hard work, if you don't mind
prev story

Whitepapers

Securing web applications made simple and scalable
In this whitepaper learn how automated security testing can provide a simple and scalable way to protect your web applications.
Five 3D headsets to be won!
We were so impressed by the Durovis Dive headset we’ve asked the company to give some away to Reg readers.
HP ArcSight ESM solution helps Finansbank
Based on their experience using HP ArcSight Enterprise Security Manager for IT security operations, Finansbank moved to HP ArcSight ESM for fraud management.
The benefits of software based PBX
Why you should break free from your proprietary PBX and how to leverage your existing server hardware.
Mobile application security study
Download this report to see the alarming realities regarding the sheer number of applications vulnerable to attack, as well as the most common and easily addressable vulnerability errors.