Computer use on Wright-Patterson Air Force Base will soon migrate into the “Cloud” under a directive by the Air Force Space Command. (Courtesy graphic illustration)

Email ‘Cloud’ services on way to Wright-Patt

Computer use on Wright-Patterson Air Force Base will soon migrate into the “Cloud” under a directive by the Air Force Space Command to better align resources and to outsource services, like email, under the Air Force Cloud Hosted Enterprise Services (CHES) Program.

As a result, the dreaded “your mailbox is full” message is soon to be a thing of the past. On July 11-12, Wright-Patterson email will migrate from the AFNET to the CHES secure commercial cloud.

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Email is the first of the Microsoft Office 365 services migrating to the AF CHES. The migration team completed initial Air Force bases last spring and summer, and the remaining stateside base migrations, including Wright-Patterson, are underway. Beginning in late summer, users will receive a second cloud-based service, Skype for Business (SfB).

Outlook and SfB will look and feel much like the existing Outlook/Lync 2013 service in use today. The new enterprise license broadens SfB capabilities to allow users to share their desktop, an application or whiteboard with multiple cloud users. Cloud-based SharePoint and OneDrive are also slated to start fielding this fall and into 2019.

After running through the post migration steps after July 12, email users will likely not even notice their new cloud environment, but they will soon notice an exponential increase of their email storage capacity. Users who previously had 100 Mb mailboxes on the Air Force network will now have 100 GB capacity in the cloud. As a result, they will be able to hold two million normal emails in their mailbox. For the typical Air Force user, that’s an increase of 1,000 times the current capacity, similar to going from a filing cabinet to an entire warehouse of email storage.

Along with greater email storage options, future CHES cloud-based services will also offer support for mobile devices and thin clients, without compromising strict security requirements.

In preparation for the projected email migration start date, an Air Force Network Integration Center team has been working with the 88th Communications Focal Point and Communications Service Technician teams to prepare the 30,000+ user migration. To ensure smooth email transition to the cloud, look for future messages for additional migration information and direction.

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