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Send pictures!” The editorial demand resounded in the correspondent’s mind as he concluded an interview with Ben Lubetsky, Vice President of Sales and Business Development for VT MAK. “Send pictures!” the correspondent told Mr. Lubetsky. “Send pictures!” Mr. Lubetsky told his colleagues in Texas – several hours behind the time at ITEC 2018 in Stuttgart. “I’m sending pictures!” Dan Brockway, VT Mak’s Vice President Marketing told the correspondent some hours later. Too late, alas, for the story was already online with a photo from the MONCh archive (see here).

But wait! The picture sent by Mr. Brockway (which he and a colleague had spent considerable time crafting specifically for the correspondent’s request) really is worth a whole bunch of words (though a writer is never really going to admit how many) and in this case it graphically illustrates the complexities of the issue that remained uncovered in the previous story. Complex and multi-faceted, the implementation of both virtualisation and cloud computing figure high on the list of what Mr. Lubetsky sees as factors shaping the immediate future of the military training world. “Both virtualisation and cloud computing are coming right up in our six,” Mr. Lubetsky told MONCh at the show. “All the Tier 1 companies are pushing us on both fronts.”

The reasons are as simple as they are (or should be) self-evident. Cloud computing has overcome the legitimate security concerns that surrounded its earliest iterations. Indeed, not only has the Amazon Cloud become a significant resource, pushing the boundaries of the art of the possible for a host of companies large and small, but there are now secret-level data sets held by Amazon to which US military organisations have access. VT MAK’s own simulation suite is available through the cloud and the results of a rapid straw poll taken with other exhibitors at ITEC indicate the entire community is working quite quickly to take advantage of cloud computing – where it makes sense. Both public and private cloud solutions are now infinitely more appropriate to military training applications than they were even a couple of years ago – and agile, innovative companies like VT MAK lead the way in leveraging the ensuing benefits for their customers.

Slightly more problematic is the issue of virtualisation, but here Mr. Lubetsky’s words help to flesh out the graphics. “Put at its simplest, virtualisation is all about sharing the available time of a single computer across multiple applications,” he told MONCh. As computing power has increased exponentially, as processing times have fallen dramatically and as intelligent programme development has resulted in far more efficient application of that power to a specific computing objective, so it has become evident that individual computers have mammoth amounts of unused capacity. Making a virtual computer from that capacity – by having multiple iterations of operating systems (potentially different operating systems) running entirely separate and perhaps physically separated tasks – means that greater efficiency can be achieved and considerable cost savings realised. “It used to be the case that every new application required purchase of new hardware, servers and associated equipment. Virtualisation does away with that and makes the entire process of providing computing support to complex applications much more efficient and far easier,” Mr. Lubetsky explained.

Thanks to the efforts of Messrs. Lubetsky, Brockway and the other unsung heroes in Texas, this correspondent now sees the issues far more clearly – and may have to learn to paint in order to better communicate his stories in future. Nevertheless, thank you, gentlemen: we get the picture!

Tim Mahon

 

VT MAK’s ‘suite in the cloud’ concept graphically illustrates how the power of cloud computing can facilitate, enhance and improve the efficiency of a wide variety of training applications – not limited to classroom based by any stretch of the imagination. (Image courtesy VT MAK)

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