Private Cloud for Defence Systems

Defence Science and Technology Group (DSTG), An Australian Defence’s R&D organisation,  recognises that Cloud Computing presents new opportunities for more flexible and efficient utilisation of computing resources. We have teamed up with DST’s submarine division’s researchers to build and apply knowledge and competency in designing and experimenting with private cloud infrastructure for combat systems. We are glad to release the report of our first collaborative project. This R&D project aimed at gaining the required knowledge and competency for building and managing a private cloud infrastructure for mission systems in submarine domain. One of the key goals of this project was to explore the technical strengths and limitations of OpenStack cloud software and its related tools for designing and implementing a dynamically reconfigurable Cloud Computing infrastructure. This project has experimentally assessed the strengths and limitations of OpenStack cloud software (such as Rackspace, Mirantis, and DevStack), different virtualisation software (such as KVM and VMware’s ESXi), and baremetal provisioning tools (such as Razor and CloneZilla). This work has also developed a component architecture for dynamic assignment of compute loads to baremetal hardware or virtual machines. This work has also investigated the use of Graphics Processing Unit (GPU) within virtual machines and devised and applied a mechanism for comparing the suitability of different hypervisor implementations according to various performance metrics.

The findings from this experimental work are expected to provide practitioners (DST and non-DST) with useful insights into different aspects of building and managing private cloud infrastructures using OpenStack technologies, different hypervisors, and baremetal provisioning tools. This report and a companion guide on installing and configuring private cloud with OpenStack technologies are expected to serve as a much needed source of information and guidance for building and managing a private cloud in mission critical industries in general and in Defence in particular.