As major trends in cybersecurity, sensor fusion, and big data analytics merge together, specialized hardware is essential to warfighters. The Department of Defense Cyber Strategy, which was published in 2015, lays out three core missions: defend DoD’s network, defend the homeland and vital U.S. interests, and provide cyber support to global operations. A key component of fulfilling this strategy is the creation of a wide array of rapidly deployable capabilities. In many cases, this involves taking computing hardware with them into the field that requires shipping a pallet full of equipment, making it impossible to travel on commercial flights—which is often the fastest and most affordable way to move the teams around the world.
Due to the increased demand from “information warriors” on military and intelligence rapid response teams, X-IO has developed a portable version of Axellio, a high-performance edge computing system which can easily be carried with the teams even on-board commercial flights. The NVMe SSD carriers can be easily removed and fit inside a carry-on suitcase. With a classified courier letter, the traveling teams can keep positive control and “eyes on” their sensitive data at all times. The remaining chassis is placed in a rugged case and transported as a checked bag that weighs less than the 100lb limit for commercial flights.
With the ability to essentially have a “super computer in a suitcase” that can deploy anytime, anywhere, on a moment’s notice, Axellio provides intelligence teams a huge competitive advantage over the ever-increasing cyber threats posed by enemies. While cloud storage and computing have increased availability and affordability of data at fixed installations, the reality of bandwidth constraints, data usage fees, and response latencies hamper missions in the field. The teams operating on the “tactical edge” desperately need a local solution with the power of Axellio. Also, due to the affordability of Axellio, units can even bring along a fully-redundant spare system to ensure redundancy for critical missions where there is no tolerance for down time or shipping delays waiting for replacement components. Check out a recent article by Justin Warren, Forbes contributor, on potential portable use cases regarding the rapidly deployable edge computing system – X-IO Brings the Cloud to the Edge with Portable Axellio.
X-IO’s new Axellio edge computing platform, which employs a proprietary FabricXpress™ technology, is the perfect tool for these deployable missions. The compact 2U design packs an amazing amount of power in a small form factor, including 2 dual-core servers with up to 88 cores tightly integrated with up to 2 TB of memory and 460 TB of all-flash storage. Fully-loaded, the system is capable of achieving 12 million IOPs, more than 480 gigabit transfer rates, and less than 50 microseconds of latency. The flash storage is packaged into carriers of 12 drives each (up to 6 carriers per unit). Axellio is highly modular, allowing for a wide variety of configurations of CPU, GPU, RAM, storage, network connectivity, or network capture cards. The system can be used for both defensive and offensive cyber operations to include real-time streaming analytics on immense volumes and flows of data.
Duncan Stewart is a retired Air Force officer and currently serves as the Director of Strategic Development at X-IO.