Edge Computing for National Security & Defense

By RGS

While the federal government and U.S. military are innovative in many ways, they don’t like to live on the edge when it comes to information technology. Stable, reliable, and secure are the name of the game. But in order to support the most advanced technology, such as next-gen warfare and highly complex supply chains, agencies need the power of edge computing with more choices that go beyond proprietary vertical stacks and standard Amazon Web Services (AWS). Edge computing eliminates the dependencies of on-premise infrastructure and decouples devices in any form from the data center, providing powerful, always available computing wherever the user is—from our communities to our borders to the battlefield.

Edge Computing for Federal Agencies

Imagine the real-time connectivity that we’re used to in our social and personal lives and applying it to federal and military use cases. Instead of hauling around a 60-pound server and battery pack, which is not feasible, today’s low-powered devices such as an assault vehicle, border patrol agent’s watch, soldier’s backpack, or first responder’s phone, are lightweight and just as powerful, able to run applications where your mission is taking place.

Today’s sensor-based devices collect and analyze the data, then return it to you at the “edge,” rather than sending it back to the data center or your cloud environment for processing. Edge computing enables faster decision making because processing is done where the data is actually consumed, with real-world applications such as:

  • Secure communications on combat vehicles and for command and control
  • Data collection and analysis at our borders or in communities for infectious diseases
  • On-site claims processing in natural disasters
  • Detection of supply chain disruptions
  • High-volume transportation optimization
  • Situational awareness in fighting forest fires, in law enforcement, and in coastal waters protection
  • Comprehensive soil, weather, pesticide, and other data for advanced agricultural strategies

By decoupling computing from traditional or virtual infrastructure, we can extend compute power and processing to the front lines or “far edge” and allow for customization that is not available in the cookie-cutter virtual cloud experience. When necessary, we can also operate at the “near edge” with a base camp of sorts—multiple processing components grouped between the consumer and the data center.

Build Once, Run Anywhere with K3S

Rancher Government Solutions (RGS) developed a lightweight Kubernetes distribution system called K3S, designed to run on low-powered, resource-constrained devices without limiting performance. While Kubernetes is used to deploy and manage containers or applications quickly across platforms, K3S takes Kubernetes to the edge. RGS donated the K3S source code to the Cloud Native Computing Foundation (CNCF) to allow for more improvements and innovation in the edge ecosystem.

By centralizing on open-source software and focusing on the application level, IT leaders can stop doing one-off installations and development and have the flexibility to use any cloud, whether it’s running on a computer or on a spy plane. A mission-critical application developed to run in a data center in a stateless manner (with no session or status data needed) can just as easily be pushed to the tactical edge. You can build once and deploy anywhere with embedded security and compliance, and quickly scale up or down as needed.

About Rancher Government Solutions (RGS)

If we can reach the moon and Saturn, we can certainly reach the Edge. RGS is specifically prepared to address the unique security and operational needs of the U.S. government and military. We built the technology and can provide a trusted partnership to guide your development and support your deployments, with subject matter experts that are U.S.-based American citizens with the highest security clearances. Read the RGS white paper, Edge Computing: Decentralized Processing & Hosting Extended Anywhere or visit our website at Rancher Government Solutions.