DOD Enjoying New Cloud Options From DISA

WASHINGTON, D.C. — The Defense Information Systems Agency (DISA) has released a blogpost describing the new Cloud computing platform options they are providing to the Department of Defense, which include a storage service for unclassified data not unlike Dropbox, titled millDrive. The system was unveiled internally March 1. According to the release, the service is compatible with Android and iOS mobile devices and provides access to data via a web browser, mobile device, or desktop app. The service offers two levels of storage – 20 gigabyte or 1 terabyte drives for use by individuals or to be shared by a group.

“To maintain their tactical edge on the battlefield, today’s warfighters need the ability to access and share information from anywhere. Whether using a mobile device or a laptop computer, end users must have a secure, reliable way to access data and collaborate with other users,” writes Marcus Johnson for DISA.

“milDrive is a personal file storage service,” said Carissa Landymore, the Defense Information Systems Agency’s (DISA) cloud storage program manager, who emphasized the security, flexibility, and reliability of DISA’s platform. “milDrive allows users to store all their files in the cloud. It really ensures warfighters have continuous, reliable access to files without regard to device or location.”

According to Landymore, licensed users with Common Access Cards (CAC) or Personal Identity Verification (PIV) credentials can access files on the Non-classified Internet Protocol Router Network and share access-controlled, unclassified information files and documents from any device. From a reliability standpoint, Landymore said one of milDrive’s biggest benefits is the reliability and availability built into the service. DISA stores user data in two of its secure data center facilities. Data replication occurs between the two sites, ensuring it remains available to the end user. Landymore said milDrive is ideal for anyone requiring quick access to their data. It also provides the ability to access and manipulate files and folders offline. Once the user regains network access, milDrive automatically synchronizes their data.

In addition, milDrive’s collaboration feature allows users to send files to, and authorize access for, other authenticated users — even if they do not have a milDrive user license. “They won’t be able to manipulate the data because they aren’t a licensed user, but they will be able to access it via a shared URL,” Landymore explained.

“milDrive is designed, engineered, and deployed in DOD-owned and managed facilities, which removes the costly overhead for customers and mission partners to host and accredit local solutions,” said ISA Applications Division Chief Greg Cranmer. Straight from the blogpost, ther milDrive features include:

  • Securely shared files and folders.
  • Reduced information technology resource and administrative costs.
  • Reduced mail server space requirement.
  • Full data protection and self-recovery of files.
  • Offline access to data.
  • Optimized network bandwidth usage.