Organization website: www.ncia.nato.int
At NITEC’17, held on 24-26 April 2017, in Ottawa, Canada, NCI Agency launched the DCIS Cube architecting initiative and invited industry to partner up in building an architecture team and build a set of DCIS Cube prototypes. Many companies responded and joined immediately, or in the months leading up to the kick-off meeting held on 20 July 2017 at NCI Agency, The Hague, Netherlands. Industry and NCI Agency collaboratively developed the DCIS Cube Architecture through 9 architecture meetings and collaboratively validated the architecture through 8 physical prototyping efforts and many bilateral meetings. The resulting DCIS Cube Architecture Definition Document and Annexes were published in May 2018.
Organization website: www.antillion.com
Antillion contributed to the development and validation of the DCIS Cube Architecture by sharing expertise in business services orchestration covering the full stack from hardware to the application software. Antillion has worked with many of the participants demonstrating Infrastructure as a Service orchestration using the partner’s hard- and software and Antillion’s implementation of the orchestration framework. Furthermore, Antillion, in corporation with ATOS, proved the feasibility of orchestration of a small selection of NATO FAS implementation. Finally, Antillion demonstrated a hardware a tactical hardware platform that meets the environmental constraints of deployed and tactical operations, while, if properly stacked, meeting the performance and capacity requirements of the DCIS Cube.
Organization website: aws.amazon.com
The AWS contribution to the DCIS Cube Architecture was focused to providing a vision of, and plan for, how to use native Cloud Services, such as AWS, in a next generation mission support system that is inherently more agile than the traditional DCIS approach. Through the AWS contribution, the DCIS Cube Architecture includes key cloud-based architectural concepts, including the ability to deliver those under the conditions common to NATO deployments. The AWS Snowball Edge has been a model for a self-contained and ruggedized Cloud Deployment infrastructure service that natively integrates with the DCIS Cube and meets environmental and physical constraints documented in the DCIS Cube Architecture.
Organization website: atos.net
Harnessing technology to deliver digital transformation is the basis for the DCIS Cube Architecture, which aims to fit military requirements in the smallest footprint possible. Atos contributed its broad knowledge in the fields of architecture and integration into the DCIS Cube Architecture. In its role as an experienced integrator of mission-critical solutions and of command and control information systems, Atos AIT contributed to an overarching architecture approach, a service-oriented view, vendor agnostic assessment of relevant requirements and use case scenarios as well as integration efforts and test deployments of Functional Area Services.
Organization website: www.cgi.com
During the DCIS Cube Architecting Initiative, CGI contributed experience from various projects related to multinational missions (e.g. ISAF, KFOR) and exercises (e.g. Trident Jaguar, Steadfast Cobalt) where CIS has been used. CGI helped to develop ideas on how the DCIS Cube can be integrated into deployment scenarios, how existing use cases can be further developed and how new use cases can be introduced related to the DCIS Cube Architecture and the connected systems to build up a usable but also powerful operational system.
Organization website: www.cisco.com
Cisco contributed to the DCIS Cube Architecture with an active contribution to the architecture workshops and by sharing Cisco’s experience and expertise in deployable technology. Specifically, Cisco has contributed the software-definition and virtualization architecture with a focus on network, compute and storage. Based on its knowledge of deployable systems, Cisco has built a prototype proving critical aspects of the DCIS Cube Architecture. This prototype is based on network function virtualization (NFV) on ENCS5400, Network Fabric virtualization on FI6300 and hyper-converged compute and storage based on HX-C220. In addition, CloudCenter is used to validate the orchestration concept through an implantation of day 0 workloads deployment orchestration. The prototype further proofs the concept of clustering, which is a critical to the DCIS Cube.
Organization website: www.cloudify.co/dcis-cube
Cloudify’s main role during NATO’s DCIS Cube Architecture and Design was to provide NATO, and other participating vendors, a modular and flexible Orchestration framework. Following NATO's vision for the DCIS Cube, Cloudify’s focus was to address various levels of automation and orchestration, starting from the hardware level, to systems and virtualization and all the way up to the application deployment and lifecycle management. Cloudify further contributed architectural guidance on model-driven system design and best practices, the use of modelling standards such as TOSCA and how this language can address lifecycle management of the system components, API Based Systems and software defined infrastructure.
Organization website: www.dellemc.com
Dell EMC contributed to the validation of the hardware layer of in the DCIS Cube Architecture. Dell EMC did this through the EMC XR2 ruggedized server platform. The EMC XR2 proved the feasibility of a critical element of the DCIS Cube Architecture, the physical and the environmental constraints. Specifically the environmental constraints were proven through MILSTD-810G certification. The Dell EMC hardware served as the hardware platform on which VMware demonstrated a great deal of the Software Defined Virtualization Layer automation.
Organization website: www.hpe.com
HPE is involved in the DCIS Cube Architecting Initiative to provide input on the new architecture for DCIS programs. HPE contributed expertise on network function virtualisation, software defined networking, software defined data center, private cloud and orchestration techniques for the DCIS Cube Architecture. Through this effort, HPE intends to make it easier for NATO and military to create dynamic behaviour of IT in support of the war fighter and make it easier to adapt to the challenges given by the deployed domain. Next to the architectural inputs, HPE demonstrated that using COTS platforms, such as HPE SimpliVity, in combination with military grade cases, the DCIS Cube Architecture is feasible and can lead to real-life implementations providing an agile, adaptive, reliable and affordable DCIS platform.
Organization website: www.intel.com
Intel solution architects contributed to the DCIS Cube Architecture in four key areas. First, a commercially available and scalable cloud security architecture that provides hardware-based security to help build a solid foundation for security aiming at a measured installation, launch and use of the hypervisor and OS, in a way that is independent of the hardware and software vendor. Second, a framework for the orchestration layer that allows greater awareness of the capabilities of the platforms it controls. Third, commercially available deployment scenarios, such as hyper-converged or hyper-scale, which can be used to implement workload mobility and scalability. Finally, Intel contributed commercially available information on networking and storage technology as relevant for the DCIS Cube.
Organization website: www.microsoft.com
Building on the Software Defined Data Centre approach and best practices from public cloud, Microsoft contributed a software defined reference architecture with Linux/Windows virtualization and containerization, domain specific orchestrations API’s for robust automation and management and specifications for high throughput software defined storage & networking. This contribution is an open architecture that supports NATO workloads and across broad choice of hardware. A key concern addressed by Microsoft is the certification program offers the necessary guarantees for supportability and quality.
Organization website: www.netapp.com
NetApp contributed to the DCIS Cube Architecture development with expertise and architectural input focussed on software defined storage using ONTAP® Select as an example of virtualized and software defined storage (SDS). NetApp demonstrated storage efficiency features that increased effective storage capacity significantly, as required in the DCIS Cube Architecture. Furthermore, NetApp contributed to the validation of many important aspects of the DCIS Cube Architecture with hardware, software, engineering and development; both independent and working with partners. Specifically, NetApp demonstrated the agnostic hardware layering, automation and virtualized SDS. Furthermore, NetApp demonstrated, through a NetApp partner and system integrator, a supply chain process for implementations addressing the specifics of a software defined and fully virtualized DCIS.
Organization website: www.vmware.com
Building on the VMware Validated Designs VMware did help NCI Agency to create a software defined architecture of natively integrated compute, network and storage virtualization technologies, together with automation and management. This software defined approach delivers the DCIS Cube with cloud service provider agility decoupling the workloads and virtualization layer from the hardware layer while supporting both traditional workloads and microservices-based applications. By doing so the DCIS Cube Architecture provides NATO the ability to follow new generations of ICT technologies. VMware demonstrated the feasibility of automatic installation and configuration of the software defined virtualization layer in a few hours, as defined in the DCIS Cube Architecture. VMware used for this demonstration an installation appliance running as a virtual workload on a laptop.