AWS Public Sector Blog

AWS announces AWS Modular Data Center for U.S. Department of Defense Joint Warfighting Cloud Capability

Note: AWS Modular Data Center is only available to U.S. Government customers under the Joint Warfighting Cloud Capability (JWCC) contract. AWS Modular Data Center is currently supported in the AWS GovCloud (US-West) Region and AWS GovCloud (US-East) Region.

Amazon Web Services (AWS) today announced the availability of AWS Modular Data Center to the U.S. Department of Defense (DoD) under the Joint Warfighting Cloud Capability (JWCC) contract. In December 2022, the DoD announced that AWS was selected for the DoD JWCC contract—a multi-vendor acquisition vehicle designed to make cloud services and capabilities available at all classification levels and across all security domains, from the enterprise to the tactical edge. AWS Modular Data Center will enable the DoD to deploy self-contained data centers with built-in AWS infrastructure to locations with limited infrastructure.

The DoD relies on modern military applications that are data-heavy and depend on low latency to enable critical communications and coordination in the field. Accessing, processing, and sharing data at the tactical edge has become increasingly essential to mission success – whether the mission is a large-scale military operation, crisis response effort, or coordinating the transportation of critical supplies and troops. However, accessing the cloud capabilities needed to support large-scale data demands and quick decision making in remote environments is a challenge. Traditionally, this has meant spending time and resources figuring out how to support or build data center infrastructure at the tactical edge while grappling with unreliable network connectivity.

To address this challenge, AWS Modular Data Center provides DoD customers with the ability to deploy compute and storage capabilities to support large-scale workloads wherever they need it, including in Disconnected, Disrupted, Intermittent, or Limited (DDIL) environments. Instead of relying on limited data center infrastructure or building from the ground up, AWS Modular Data Center delivers a cost-effective, self-contained modular data center solution that supports customers’ data center scale workloads. With this offering, defense customers can securely store, analyze, and interpret petabytes worth of data in real-time to gain military advantage in the most isolated environments.

An image of the AWS Modular Data Center (MDC) unit.

Pictured: The AWS Modular Data Center unit.

AWS Modular Data Center comes pre-configured with high-availability data center infrastructure, including internal networking, cooling, and power distribution equipment. To deploy compute and storage capabilities, AWS Modular Data Center supports both AWS Outposts or AWS Snowball Edge devices, and can be scaled through the deployment of additional modular data center units to support customer requirements. With AWS Modular Data Center, customers can use AWS services and APIs to run low latency applications from virtually any location. This offering is a self-contained solution, and only needs to be connected to power once deployed to the customer site, and networking if using AWS Outposts. When networking is limited or unavailable, like in DDIL environments, AWS Modular Data Center racked with Snow Family devices allows customers to run workloads using a scoped subset of AWS services, even when disconnected. Customers also have the option to use satellite communications for network connectivity. Further, AWS Modular Data Center comes with a management system for customers to proactively monitor and simply operate the modular data center’s subsystems.

“As the digital battlefield continues to evolve, our defense customers increasingly need access to cloud capabilities at the tactical edge, including DDIL environments all over the world,” said Liz Martin, director of the Defense business at AWS. “With AWS Modular Data Center, we are converting data centers from fixed infrastructure that is difficult to build and manage in remote environments, to a comprehensive service that is simple to use, secure, cost-effective, and can respond to large-scale compute and storage needs wherever the mission demands.”

Each modular data center unit is constructed using ruggedized containers that are designed and built for intermodal freight transport, which can be used across different modes of transportation from ship to rail to truck. The AWS Modular Data Center units are also air-transportable using military cargo aircraft.

To learn more about AWS Modular Data Center, please contact your AWS representative. AWS will also share information about this offering during the WEST 2023 naval conference and exposition in San Diego from February 14-16, 2023. Stop by booth #937 or schedule a time with your AWS representative to learn more.

Learn more about AWS for US Government and AWS for Defense.

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