This briefing presents the results of NATO MSG-131 and current work of NATO MSG-136 in the area of "M&S as a Service" (MSaaS). It illustrates potential benefits with regards to quality, efficiency, and interoperability that may be achieved by MSaaS and provides an insight how some of the existing challenges are currently being addressed.
NATO and the nations regularly use modeling and simulation for various purposes (e.g., training, mission rehearsal, or decision support in acquisition processes). Achieving interoperability between participating systems and ensuring credibility of results require still today enormous efforts with regards to time, personnel, and budget. This is a result of current standards which focus mainly on technical, syntactic and – to a limited degree – on semantic interoperability. Missing are simulation standards and agreements that focus on higher levels of interoperability and simulation credibility. To enable rapid deployment of high-quality simulation environments (with regards to interoperability and credibility as well as required resources) new approaches are required that explicitly address the higher levels of interoperability.
Due to many factors, service-based approaches are considered to be very promising for realizing future simulation environments. The combination of service-based approaches with ideas taken from cloud computing is known as "Modeling & Simulation as a Service" (MSaaS).
NATO Modeling and Simulation Group 131 ("Modelling and Simulation as a Service: New concepts and Service Oriented Architectures") has investigated the idea of "M&S as a Service" as a 1-year Specialist Team. Instantiated upon request of Allied Command Transformation (ACT), MSG-131 collected national perspectives and experiences regarding M&S as a Service. The resulting "Multi-National Concept for M&S as a Service" provides an overview about the nations’ activities in this area and is a substantial input to ACT’s "NATO Concept of Operations for M&S as a Service".
A more detailed investigation of MSaaS and first steps towards possible standardization activities are executed by the task group MSG-136 ("Modelling and Simulation (M&S) as a Service (MSaaS) - Rapid deployment of interoperable and credible simulation environments") which started its 3-year term in November 2014.
This briefing presents results of MSG-131 and current work done by MSG-136.