Microsoft may be headed for another big win at the US Department of Defense if the former DoD Chief Information Officer, Terry Halvorsen, is to be believed. Halvorsen thinks that the Pentagon’s Joint Regional Security Stacks (JRSS) will be moving to “state of the art street technology” such as Windows 10 and a more cloud-based system, thus reducing its physical footprint of servers. The department is already in the middle of upgrading about four million devices to Windows 10.
Even as his departure raises some questions on this migration, he believes that it will endure and that the move may also enable the existing servers and security tools to replace firewalls. Halvorsen commented:
“It’s the first time we have done all this with completely off-the-shelf equipment. That’s a big culture change that I think will sustain...
I mean big multiples. Six, seven – even 800 firewalls. JRSS simplifies the network structures, it makes this easier to see what's going on.”
Halvorsen explained that roughly 90 percent of DoD operating systems will be on Windows 10 and also stressed that the department should "start moving at the speed industry can move". Industry experts claim that 'modernizing' through the use of government-only systems often takes so long that they are already obsolete by the time the upgrades are complete.
This is not the first time that the US government has shown interest in Microsoft's technologies; the DoD recently awarded the company a lucrative $927 million contract for specialized tech support. Microsoft also landed one of the largest commercial cloud contracts in the history of the DoD, back in 2015.
The DoD's move away from its legacy systems to more easily-updated commercial ones seems sensible as it currently spends billions of dollars maintaining archaic computers.