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Cloud Services on the Way to Kirtland AFB


Kirtland will soon migrate its computer users into the internet cloud under a directive by Air Force Space Command to realign resources to more critical priorities and outsourcing services like email. As a result, the “your mailbox is full” message is soon to be a thing of the past. Over a two-day period beginning Sept. 6, technicians will migrate Kirtland email from the AFNET to the secure commercial cloud.

Email is the first of the Microsoft Office 365 services the Air Force is migrating to a cloud-based service. The migration team completed the initial Air Force bases this spring and summer, and the remaining CONUS base migrations are underway. Beginning in late summer, users will receive a second cloud-based service Skype for Business, or SfB. Cloud-based SharePoint and OneDrive are also slated to arrive this fall.

After running through the migration steps, users will likely not even know they have been migrated to the cloud. Outlook and SfB will look and feel much like the existing Outlook and Lync 2010 services in use today under the standard license. But they will soon notice an exponential increase of individual email storage capacity. Users who previously had 100 MB mailboxes in the AF Network will now have 100 GB capacity, plus an additional 100 GB of archive storage, in the cloud.

As a result, they will now be able to hold two million normal emails in their mailbox and another two million in their archive. For the typical user, that’s an increase of 2,000 times the current capacity – or like going from a filing cabinet to an entire warehouse. The new enterprise license broadens SfB capabilities to allow users to share their desktop, an application, or whiteboard with multiple cloud users.

This new cloud-based system will offer greater storage options, along with support for mobile devices and thin clients, without compromising strict security requirements.

“As the migration approaches, we will send eAdvisories with instructions for Kirtland users to print so they’re prepared the morning of the migration,” said Elias Tellez, 377th Communications Division Chief of Operations.

As Kirtland approaches its projected start date, an Air Force Network Integration Center team will work with the Kirtland AFB Communications Focal Point technicians to prepare to migrate Kirtland’s users.