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Defence Force declares XIE platform proof of concept successful

Defence Force declares XIE platform proof of concept successful

Platform delivered by Microsoft and Datacom moves towards a wider rollout

Paul Jordan (NZ Defence Force)

Paul Jordan (NZ Defence Force)

Credit: Sean Gillespie

The NZ Defence Force has declared its XIE platform proof of concept successful and is now investigating ways and means to take it forward.

Reseller News queried the status of the project after mention of it disappeared in recent parliamentary review documents.

The technology, variously described as XIE and X-IE, is a new enterprise platform to supply technical services across hosted systems, private cloud and public cloud. It will also support plans for strengthened cyber resilience.

A tender, won by Microsoft and Datacom and which closed last February, stated that the project aimed to drive consolidation and simplification across domains.

The same underlying technology and integrations should be able to be used regardless of domain to limit back-end rework.

At the heart of the platform was a software-defined data centre, with compute, storage and network virtualisation, though it is noted that storage is less elastic than the other two.

Last year, New Zealand Defence Force chief information officer Paul Jordan explained to CIO that the Kaikoura earthquake in November 2016 was a catalyst for change in how the business thought about ICT service delivery with an increased focus on resilience. 

"While the GCIO cloud first strategy provided a clear framework for this new thinking, the unique nature of NZDF’s information and system security requirements meant we needed to approach cloud with particular caution," he said. 

To support cloud delivered capability across the organisation and particularly to people on the frontlines of defence activities, the force had to manage both domestic and international commitments and ensure our processes were suitably robust to maintain the confidence of Defence's information workforce and of allies. 

"Our approach has focused on the delivery of common technology across multiple security domains as exemplified in our XIE new technology platform proof-of-concept allowing us to progress on an ‘as ready’ basis, prioritising delivery according to need and practicality. 

"The work we’re doing now has the future potential to support technology services shared with other government agencies operating in the security space, delivering a common public benefit.”

Multi-tenant capability was also required in the tender to allow, for example, NZDF and the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Trade to use the same services.

Most people working on the project required a secret-level security clearance as a minimum.


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