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Gold Stevie Award Winner 2012, Click to Enter The 2013 American Business Awards

Company: DRC
Company Description: Founded in 1955, DRC® provides innovative management consulting, science, engineering, and information technology solutions to government customers. We support our customers in the primary mission areas of Cyber Security, Information Assurance, Health, Homeland Security, Intelligence, Financial and Regulatory Reform, and Priority Defense Programs. DRC improves the health and welfare of Americans.
Nomination Category: Products & Product Management Categories
Nomination Sub Category: New Product or Service of the Year - Software - Cloud Platform

Nomination Title: DCGS-A Cloud

Tell the story about this nominated product or service (up to 500 words). Describe its function, features, benefits, and performance to date.

American servicemen and women face daunting threats in the battlefield—insurgents, snipers, and terrorist bombers. In war zones, access to accurate and timely information is a matter of life and death. Putting that information into the hands of our frontline warfighters is the mission of the Army’s Distributed Common Ground System (DCGS –A) Cloud.

Imagine a military intelligence brigade that needs to know all of the activities occurring in a village that might indicate unrest—for instance, who has met with the village elders in the past month, and what new projects were started that were not funded by NATO. The Army has hundreds of intelligence feeds used to support operations in the field—ground sensors, unmanned aerial vehicles, human intelligence, etc. As intelligence data-collection grows exponentially, end users must deal with the rising volume and the corresponding complexity of information. Additionally, Army computing platforms must meet the increased demands required to extract useful information in support of the mission—anything from entering a village to capturing an enemy leader. In parallel, the Army must make this capability available through a streamlined and fielded operational infrastructure (the machinery that allows our troops access to timely information where and when they need it).

This past year, DRC and its partners worked with the Army to build and deploy the DCGS-A SIPR (Secret Internet Protocol Router) cloud solution. Also known as DSC, this cloud solution is an Internet-scale ingest, processing, and storage infrastructure for intelligence data. It serves as the foundation for the Army's rapid adoption of next generation intelligence systems. DSC is literally a ‘cloud in a box’ that is deployed by shipping container to sites in the United States and overseas.

In 2011, DRC helped successfully deploy DSC in Afghanistan (one of our employees deployed with the system for the first major upgrade). This constituted the first cloud advanced intelligence analysis to support the Army's mission and Warfighter operations. DRC was one of several contractors who developed the system as subcontractors to Booz Allen Hamilton. DRC had leadership roles in the development, architecture, integration, testing, and in system delivery. DRC’s team was critical in these areas and instrumental in creating the system. Given the high sensitivity of military data, building exceptional security controls was vital to the cloud deployment. To that end, DRC designed and implemented the backend and interface of DSC, creating a secure cloud that can be accessed on the fly, providing analysts with a means to share and enrich data.

DSC enables soldiers in the field to use laptops to create a detailed analysis of the area using a customized interface that draws on a peta-byte (1000 terabytes) of data across a secure network. A single peta-byte can hold over 13 years of HDTV. Since DSC’s release, over 100 intelligence message types have been integrated together, including unstructured data, with full-motion-video, biometric, and audio data planned for future releases. Most importantly, American troops now have instant and secure access to information that significantly increases situational awareness and threat-prevention, and equips them with life-saving data.

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Provide a brief (up to 100 words) biography about the leader(s) of the team that developed this nominated product or service:

Mike Mikuta (DRC’s Vice President of Technology Strategy – Cloud Computing and Mobile) is the Trail Boss for the DSC effort where he acts as the program's senior trusted advisor. He leads technical implementation decisions, drives innovation, and is responsible for delivering overall program releases. Mike also led core development, infrastructure, and testing on DSC. He had hands on leadership in shaping the program effort and delivering the solution. As a member of the program’s change control board, he established the project’s agile process execution. He also conceived the effort’s cloud based data space management system.