Originally posted on http://www.vmware.com by Raman Veeramraju

Mission-ready, Trusted Platform for Modern Warfighters

VMware supports the modern warfighter by addressing key tactical kit challenges.  First, VMware’s hyperconverged technology drastically reduces the SWaP-C (size, weight, power, and cost) requirements.  What used to require 750 pounds of equipment weight can now be accomplished with less than 50 pounds, significantly reducing fuel costs, eliminating thousands of dollars in redundant storage arrays, and providing safety to the troops. In addition, the VMware SDDC platform lowers deployment speeds to less than 2 hours while drastically increasing the performance, redundancy, scalability, and security.  Moreover, VMware’s partnership with NVIDIA to enable GPU acceleration provides the fastest route to AI/ML processing capabilities at the tactical edge.  Finally, VMware’s network security and SD-WAN capabilities provide optimized network accessibility in Denied Disconnected Intermittent Low Bandwidth (DDIL) environments with secure connectivity back to JWCC sponsored clouds, command environments, and mission partners.

Tactical Edge Challenges

In austere environments, with limited access to large transport vehicles, every ounce of equipment matters. Decreasing the footprint of the server, storage, and network equipment at the tactical edge, is a key challenge that needs to be addressed. When a mission occurs, the troops must deploy immediately and do not have the luxury of taking days or weeks to build the systems.  Success and failure within a mission often depends on the equipment that soldiers are carrying. That is why large, bulky, outdated solutions are no longer ideal for the battlefield.  Operating at the Tactical Edge requires a modular architecture that minimizes space, weight, and power consumption on the battlefield.

Additionally, components at the tactical edge must utilize all available communication methods to enable a shared, real-time picture of the battlespace.  Warfighters often operate in environments with limited bandwidth and sporadic or no connectivity to the Internet due to OCONUS infrastructure and/or physical limitations. However, it is extremely important that these warfighters are informed of strategic-level planning for operational efforts and ensure they are quickly and securely updated at all classification levels from well-connected regions and DDIL environments.

VMware Solution

Templated and highly automated configuration and deployment of VMware Software-defined Datacenter (SDDC) is the next-generation infrastructure to run any application on any platform for any domain (Air, Cyber, Land, Maritime and Space) across any cloud.  It provides a secure and efficient foundation that enables mission agility from the tactical edge to public and private clouds with consistent infrastructure, consistent operations, and consistent security.

VMware SDDC platform deployed on the mobile, tactical kits, addresses the key challenges while bringing several benefits, including:

  • Size and weight reduction: Virtualizing the compute, storage and network with automation removes the additional hardware requirements that can easily be deployed as single units or combined transit cases.
  • Security at scale: Provides zero trust architecture, security operations, TPM 2.0 support, FIPS 140-2 validation, VM or storage encryption both at-rest or in-transit, policy-driven micro-segmentation, embedded firewalls to secure all VMs or containers, and automated DISA STIG deployments.
  • Management: Single pane of glass, bare-metal architecture, near-native VM performance, reliability and scalability, centralized control and visibility, proactive high availability, built-in resource governance, auto-building the stack in isolation capabilities, consistent tools and operational practices for administrators.
  • Connectivity Restrictions: VMware offers mission-ready, multi-path WAN optimization that provides secure, optimized connectivity from edge to datacenters to clouds by compressing and filtering data sent especially in potentially denied (D-DIL) environments with low/no bandwidth.
  • Operations and auto-healing: Operations and Automation layers provide the visibility on what’s going on at the tactical edge and auto heal the issues ensuring that the field systems are always up and running. With VMware NSX, the entire network and security configuration can be built in the Datacenter and moved into the tactical edge.
  • Modernization: VMware SDDC provides a single platform that supports mission applications running on Virtual machines, Kubernetes, AI/ML with heavy GPU requirements or any modern function-based applications in the future.
  • AI/ML-based processing:  Due to our GPU-accelerating partnership with NVIDIA, VMware also provides the abilities to deploy data models directly to the edge for real-time control without having to connect back to the cloud and to virtualize GPUs to perform processing at the edge for improving the speed and efficacy of machine-augmented ‘sensor to shooter’ mission scenarios.

If you are a VMware partner, Cloud Service Provider, or DoD customer and would like to know more about how VMware can support JWCC and the tactical edge, contact us at dod@vmware.com.  VMware product specialists, architects, and engineers are available to meet with your team to have a deep dive technology discussion or whiteboarding session.  Similarly, VMware Pursuit and Capture team members are available to discuss teaming agreements or bid arrangements upon request.  We look forward to working with your team.

Jens Koegler

Jens Koegler is VMware's Healthcare Industry Director in EMEA. He is helping our healthcare customers develop and run modern applications to drive innovation and ensure better patient care through a digital foundation that includes data center, hybrid cloud, mobile, networking and security technologies. VMware plays a strategic role in the healthcare industry. Its leading innovations in enterprise software help ensure consistent patient care and reduce IT access time for healthcare professionals so they can spend more time with their patients. Jens plays a key role in helping customers understand how new applications, devices, the latest IT technologies and digital transformation are driving innovation in healthcare.