On the front line
For the Armed Forces, Type S nodes are effectively a data centre in a box. Built by ATLAS, they are finished by the MOD prior to deployment and shipped to the front line in flight cases where they are ready for operational use within minutes. All the hardware used by the troops has been adapted to suit these demanding environments - the laptops have specially designed ruggedised cases for example, and along with the screens and keyboards, everything is designed to withstand shocks, dirt and extreme temperatures.
With space at a premium on board navy vessels, special, smaller printers were commissioned and as they were non-standard, the ATLAS team found a way to incorporate them into DII. Terminals were redesigned to make them more durable and a fixing system for the PC, screen and keyboard was developed so that a terminal was effectively protected from the environment in the smallest possible space. Server racks were also redesigned so they could be fitted flush to a wall and fixed into place.
In response to the challenge to shorten the length of time it takes to log onto DII, there was a Service Level Agreement for log in times as part of the contract with the ATLAS Consortium. In Gibraltar and Cyprus, where the pre DII logon was ten minutes, ATLAS has now brought this down to just a few seconds.
By the right people
Often a situation will call for careful handling and understanding - and an appreciation of the differing laws and customs within a culture. In Canada, for example, employment law stipulated the use of Canadian nationals to implement DII, yet the MOD’s security requirements meant UK nationals must be used to support programme implementation. The solution – to use dual nationality staff which met both Canadian and UK requirements, and ensured local knowledge and expertise were used to support the delivery of DII.