IBM [IBM] has received a contract from the Air Force to develop, design and demonstrate a cloud computing architecture that meets Defense Department requirements and also contains cyber security features for real-time monitoring of attacks and automatic prevention of disruptions.

IBM said the project will entail pushing the envelope of cloud computing infrastructure for the support of large-scale networks while meeting federal informational assurance guidelines.

The design will feature "stream computing," which allow for continuous real-time analysis of as data flows through a network. Coupled with sensors, monitors and other detection devices, the stream computing will give operators an awareness of possible threats, whether cyber attacks or system and application failures, while automatically preventing disruptions.

The design will also have autonomic computing to allow for remote managing of cloud services and automatic retuning for optimal performance.

"Our goal is to demonstrate how cloud computing can be a tool to enable our Air Force to manage, monitor and secure the information flowing through our network," Lt. Gen. William Lord, chief information officer and chief, Warfighting Integration, for the Air Force, said in a statement.

The project is significant beyond just the work for DoD, IBM said. If the architecture and security features answer the DoD requirements, this will interest other potential customers in the federal government, Robert Ames, deputy chief technology officer for IBM’s Federal Systems business, told Defense Daily on Monday.

The value of the award, which is for 10 months, was not disclosed.