cloud computing

April 9, 2018
By Wayne Lloyd
Defense Department officials need to make sure they do not bring bad habits to the cloud. Credit: jplenio/Pixabay

From an industry perspective there are many advantages to moving aspects of any organization to the cloud. In theory, cloud is more efficient and easier to manage, but organizations like the Defense Department need to make sure they are not bringing along their bad habits and old baggage with them. Legacy networks are hard to understand and have grown out of control in the last few decades. Cloud is as complex as legacy networks, but the difference is who or what is really maintaining them.

March 29, 2018
By Jane Melia
The cloud is widely considered to be more secure than on-premises data centers in most situations, but this doesn’t mean getting rid of on-premises storage entirely. Credit: geralt/Pixabay

Every day, more and more government organizations are moving IT functions and data storage to the cloud. Early last month, the U.S. Department of Defense signed a multimillion-dollar contract to encourage organizations under its umbrella to move to the cloud. While the needs of public-sector entities differ from those of the private sector, there are some hard-won data security lessons corporations have learned—such as encryption key management and the use of cryptographic gateways—that can be useful for government organizations as they plan and execute a migration to the cloud.

March 12, 2018
By Kimberly Underwood
Now that DISA has provided provisional level 5 authorization for the use of milCloud 2.0, CSRA will be working to add users. Credit: CSRA Inc.

After the success of the Defense Information Systems Agency’s bold step in 2013 to build an on-premise cloud platform called the milCloud 1.0 Cloud Service Offering based on commercial technology, the agency went for more with milCloud version 2.0, driven by extraordinary customer interest, cloud computing’s advantages and cost savings. Unlike milCloud 1.0, for which mission partners paid a monthly fee regardless of usage, version 2.0 is utility-based, and customers only pay for what they use. This allows military customers to scale usage up or down depending on operational requirements.

December 1, 2017
By Maryann Lawlor

Defense Information Systems Agency mission partners will soon be able to take advantage of cloud computing and storage at up to 70 percent cost savings. The agency’s milCloud 2.0, a commercial-grade private cloud for defense customers scheduled to achieve initial operational capability next month, spreads out costs among many customers and makes infrastructure upgrades more affordable. MilCloud 2.0 also will offer customers much-needed agility, an important feature for warfighters who must respond dynamically to ever-changing threats.

September 12, 2017
 

CSRA LLC of  Fairfax, Virginia, is being awarded a $7,357,125 blanket purchase agreement (BPA) to provide cloud computing services for the Department of Navy (DON) Research and Development Enterprise (NR&DE). The BPA will support a DON Cloud Services pilot program conducted by Space and Naval Warfare Systems Center Pacific (SSC Pacific) on behalf of 16 DON warfare centers to create a NR&DE Cloud Brokerage. The one-year BPA includes two one-year options which, if exercised, would bring the cumulative potential value to $34,698,390. Work will be performed Fairfax, Virginia, and work is expected to be completed September 7, 2018.

August 23, 2017
By Wes Caldwell
The U.S. government endeavors to deliver capabilities in a more responsive, agile manner, says Wes Caldwell, chief technology officer, Polaris Alpha.

Many U.S. government sectors, including defense, intelligence, public safety, cybersecurity and space, have seen a recent shift toward embracing new technologies and methodologies for delivering capabilities in a more responsive, agile manner.

The ecosystem of technologies that is driving this innovation is diverse to say the least. The foundation of this ecosystem is the underlying IT infrastructure. The evolution of hyperconverged infrastructure is maximizing the density of computing power, random-access memory and storage in these modern data centers, making it easier and more cost effective for providers to leverage and deploy applications and solutions.

May 12, 2017
By Julianne Simpson
SIGNAL's Editor in Chief Robert K. Ackerman sits down with Jasson Walker Jr., founder, president and CEO of cFocus Software Inc., to discuss authority to operate as a service.

Cloud computing is fast becoming the new normal. It can increase efficiency and improve cash flow, making it an attractive and necessary service for both industry and government.

As part of SIGNAL’s executive video series, Editor-in-Chief Robert K. Ackerman sat down with Jasson Walker Jr., founder, president and CEO of cFocus Software Inc., to discuss authority to operate (ATO) as a service. The company’s main focus is providing customers risk management framework compliance when they are looking to move to the cloud.

May 2, 2017
 

The U.S. Defense Department has initiated a market research effort to identify potential industry sources under a potential five-year, $325 million acquisition program for technical support services. The market research effort could potentially lead to a contract award this fiscal year.

March 1, 2017
By Sandra Jontz

The move to cloud computing is daunting enough for corporations and governments, but add in the advancing Internet of Things, and any hopes of simple solutions to challenges vanish. The exponential growth of networked devices increases the magnitude of uncertainty about the role the cloud will play in delivering this ubiquitous connectivity.

February 1, 2017
By Robert K. Ackerman
U.S. Marines in Afghanistan stand watch in a mine-resistant ambush-protected (MRAP) vehicle. The Joint Improvised-Threat Defeat Organization (JIDO) is considering factors such as security and reliability as it carefully weighs which types of data it will move to the cloud.

As the U.S. federal government overcomes the challenges of moving data to the cloud, disruptive changes in research, development and operations may emerge. Military and civil government organizations are seeking similar outcomes as they attempt to migrate their data services to the cloud. The federal government, specifically, is counting on the cloud to help clear up the fog of acquisition and the morass of inefficiency. Experts believe that growing data storage on the cloud can be achieved without complex and costly procurements, and new capabilities and security measures can be deployed much faster when needed. 

November 29, 2016
By Joe Kim

While it’s clear the cloud is the future of government IT, concerns surrounding cloud security continue to abound. Some agency IT personnel remain skittish about handing over data to cloud service providers and skeptical that the data will remain out of the hands of bad actors. As a result, they’re more comfortable housing information in legacy IT systems, even if those systems are, in some cases, decades old and prone to security vulnerabilities.

In truth, deploying a cloud IT infrastructure is ideal for managing today’s ever-changing threat landscape, for several reasons. Here are three reasons why.

November 17, 2016
By George I. Seffers
Terry Halvorsen, U.S. Defense Department chief information officer, speaks about using cloud technology. Photo by Bob Goodwin

Taking advantage of the hybrid cloud environment is the smart thing to do, said Terry Halvorsen, U.S. Defense Department chief information officer.

“We would be completely stupid if we didn’t take advantage of hybrid cloud environment,” Halvorsen said while addressing audience at the AFCEA TechNet Asia-Pacific conference in Honolulu.

He went on to say the department will have a cloud solution providing a set of basic enterprise services, such as email, chat, video and file share. “They will be modeled after commercial, and it will be probably in partnership with a commercial provider,” he said.

November 9, 2016
By Ralph Wade

An impression exists among senior government officials that moving command, control, communication, computers and intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance (C4ISR) systems into the cloud is overhyped. They question whether this will improve operational effectiveness. I admit I once shared these reservations, but recently evolved on the subject and now see a compelling rationale for moving C4ISR into the cloud. 

November 1, 2016
By Robert K. Ackerman

A cluster of macrotechnologies offers the potential for a new wave of innovation that revolutionizes all aspects of government, military and civilian life. Many of these technologies are familiar, and their effects are well-known. What may not be common knowledge is that the more these technologies advance, the more their synergies increase.

August 3, 2016
By George I. Seffers

One of the biggest advances in the near future likely will be the convergence of major military networks into one unified Department of Defense Information Network (DODIN), predicts Ronald Pontius, deputy to the commanding general, U.S. Army Cyber Command and Second Army. And that network will be operated and maintained by Signal Corps soldiers.

June 1, 2016
By Robert K. Ackerman
An Atlas V lifts National Reconnaissance Office Launch-55, carrying a classified satellite and 13 CubeSats into orbit late last year. The increasing use of digital technologies in intelligence has compelled the CIA to create a new directorate dedicated to incorporating digital innovation across the agency.

The CIA’s newest directorate consolidates several technology business units into one hub organization focused on deeply embracing innovative approaches and capabilities throughout the agency. As part of an effort to make digitization commonplace in both operations and analysis, the CIA also will work with industry to speed up the adoption of cutting-edge technologies. To start, the agency will add some of the latest data capabilities in the infosphere, and then it will nurture new technologies as they emerge from laboratories in government and industry. 

November 1, 2015
By Tim Prendergast

In 2011, then-U.S. Chief Information Officer Vivek Kundra set the stage for federal agencies to take full advantage of cloud computing benefits through the Cloud First initiative, which mandates that agencies evaluate cloud options before making any new information technology investments. Since then, several agencies, including the General Services Administration, Department of the Interior, Department of Agriculture and NASA, have embraced the cloud.

October 8, 2015
By Bob Gourley
The iCub humanoid robot at IDSIA's robotics lab in Switzerland tries to reach for a blue cup.

Remember this scene from The Graduate?
Mr. McGuire: I just want to say one word to you. Just one word.
Benjamin: Yes, sir.
Mr. McGuire: Are you listening?
Benjamin: Yes, I am.
Mr. McGuire: Plastics.

Turns out, plastics was pretty hot. Great tip, Mr. McGuire. I wonder what, if anything, Benjamin did with that tip. More importantly, what is the one word for today?

I think I have it. The word is Cambric. Cambric the finely woven linen? No, CAMBRIC the finely woven acronym:

June 1, 2015
By Robert K. Ackerman

The Marine Corps’ development of its own private cloud serves both a functional role in information technology and an operational role in the Corps. Yet challenges remain to its effective exploitation.

May 1, 2015
By Lt. Col. Enrique A. Oti, USAF

In 2013, Wired magazine declared that “The Cloud Revolution is Dead.” The cloud revolution did not end because it failed; on the contrary, it ended because it was a resounding success. The business community reaped the benefits of migrating to cloud architectures in both economic efficiency and customer interface, and it is not going back. Defense Department information technology systems are economically unsustainable, but the department only now is catching the revolutionary spirit of the cloud, and adoption is slow and not in line with advances in the commercial sector.

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