The National Security Agency (NSA) cloud is about big data and creating unicorns. And it all started when some geeks stole two servers. It makes no sense, according to conventional thinking, but these are unconventional times, and the cloud that NSA built had to be thought through differently, too.
NSA’s goal is to unify data and use it to do analysis, said Nathanael Burton, a computer scientist with the security agency in a keynote address today at the OpenStack Summit in Portland. But with its old infrastructure, the data was spread across different systems that did not work together.
Today, OpenStack is running across the NSA and has drastically changed the way the agency works with data. So much so that Burton said it is now becoming an advisor across the international intelligence community.
The NSA is a government agency, and it can take weeks — even months — to…