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US Army's cloud-friendly iPad-ready intel kit DOESN'T even work

Hey, at least it's buzzword-compliant

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The US Army has deemed its key $2.3bn intelligence gathering system "not suitable, and not survivable".

The DCGS-A (Distributed Common Ground System - Army) is intended to be an ambitious master database of intelligence. It is fully buzzword-compliant, of course – everything from cloud-friendly to iPad-capable, and drawn from supply chain of contractors including Lockheed Martin, Northrop Grumman, Raytheon, General Dynamics and IBM.

The system assembles "threat, terrain and weather data into comprehensive intelligence products, utilising sensors data, intelligence and analyst resources", the Army said at the time.

But in a devastating assessment leaked to the Washington Times (PDF), the Army later concluded, after a two-month test, that the system is not fit for purpose.

According to Major General Genaro Dellarocco, the system is hard to use ("multiple open screens are required to complete a single task"), buggy ("workstation freeze-ups due to these multiple windows being open") and insecure.

"The Threat Computer Network Operations Team (TCNOT) was able to identify and exploit several vulnerabilities with DCGS-A DSB 1.0," notes the major general.

Still, at least it was stable. Actually - it wasn't.

"Server failures that resulted in reboots/restarts were recorded every 5.5 hours of test. TS/SCI enclave workstation operators experienced a failure every 10.8 hours of active usage," the report states.

The US Army is so into cloud it's even launching an App Store. Don't take our word for it - read about it here. ®

Build a business case: developing custom apps

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