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.
General Dynamics Information Technology, Fairfax, Virginia, will provide strategic support for the design and development of a "Cloud-of-Clouds" information technology (IT) transformation initiative at Sandia National Laboratories, a federally funded research and development center for the National Nuclear Security Administration. General Dynamics will assist in modernizing Sandia’s IT environment by developing the foundation for sustainable, cost-effective cloud computing capabilities for the lab. The company also will develop the business framework, processes, service models, technical architecture and implementation plans that will guide Sandia’s staff as it deploys the new IT model.
Much has been said and written about the U.S. Defense Department’s move to the cloud. This migration could provide enhanced security and better information access, say many experts. But it could provide another huge benefit, helping the Defense Department finally curb information infrastructure costs and apply badly needed funds where they would be most useful.
As they put the necessary pieces in place, Marines are mindful of tight resources and are seeking help from industry.
For the past year, U.S. Marine Corps technical personnel have been implementing a strategy to develop a private cloud. The initiative supports the vision of the commandant while seeking to offer better services to troops in disadvantaged areas of the battlefield.
Moving to a cloud environment will save government agencies money, but those savings may not be great, especially in the short term. The cloud environment will, however, provide a range of valuable capabilities, according to three government chief technology officers.
“If you went to the senior executives, they would say it’s all about saving money. I’m going to tell you, though, there isn’t necessarily the immediate savings you might think there is,” said David Mihelcic, chief technology officer, Defense Information Systems Agency. Mihelcic made the comments January 15 at the Federal Cloud Computing Summit in Washington, D.C.
The National Geospatial-Intelligence Agency (NGA) became the first intelligence agency to host an operational capability within Amazon Web Services’ Commercial Cloud Services (C2S) environment after Lockheed Martin deployed NGA’s interactive Map of the World to C2S. With the Map of the World viewer, which could be compared to Google Maps or similar applications, now resting in the cloud, NGA officials intend to add more data and capabilities.
The National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) has published the final version of the "U.S. Government Cloud Computing Technology Roadmap, Volumes I and II," which focuses on strategic and tactical objectives to support the federal government’s accelerated adoption of cloud computing.
The road map leverages the strengths and resources of government, industry, academia and standards development organizations to support technology innovation in cloud computing, according to a written announcement from NIST.
The intelligence community is striving to determine how it can work with industry early, before requirements for capabilities are confirmed, to get out ahead of challenges. Leaders want to adopt technology in some of the first phases rather than at the end. The Office of the Director of National Intelligence (ODNI) is looking to standardize capabilities across the intelligence community, determining how its many members can collaborate.
The Defense Information System Agency (DISA) had been identified as the Defense Department’s cloud broker, but that was rescinded just last week, reported Lt. Gen. Mark Bowman, USA, director, command, control, communications and computers/cyber and chief information officer, Joint Chiefs of Staff.
"People can do a business case analysis and decide where they want to go to get their cloud support, if someone can figure out the secret sauce on how to get it cheaper. It has to be provided to the right security standards, and it will have to be checked,” Gen. Bowman stated, while speaking at AFCEA TechNet Augusta 2014.
The National Science Foundation (NSF) has initiated two $10 million projects to create separate cloud computing testbeds called Chameleon and CloudLab. Through the efforts, the academic research community will develop and experiment with novel architectures and architecturally enabled applications of cloud computing.
The late Vice Adm. Arthur K. Cebrowski, USN (Ret.), looks over my shoulder as I work in my home office. His picture graced the May 2003 cover of SIGNAL Magazine, highlighting an article Clarence A. Robinson Jr., wrote based on an interview with the admiral. I was lucky enough to escort SIGNAL’s freelance photographer to take the photo of Adm. Cebrowski when he led the charge for change as the director of the U.S. Defense Department’s Office of Force Transformation. I received a cover photo plaque that hangs in my home office for my effort, though it really wasn’t necessary.
The Federal Risk and Authorization Management Program (FedRAMP) may ultimately eliminate the need for an information security classification process specific to the U.S. Defense Department, according to Teri Takai, Defense Department chief information officer. FedRAMP seeks to provide a governmentwide, standardized approach to security assessment, authorization and continuous monitoring for cloud products and services. Takai voiced full support for the program on April 2 at the Security Through Innovation Summit, Washington, D.C., presented by Intel Security.
When it comes to cloud computing, there are two items that are top of mind for Dave McClure, Associate Administrator with the General Services Administration (GSA) in Washington, D.C.
In the coming months, the Defense Information Systems Agency (DISA) is expected to issue its multiaward contract for cloud computing services.
The term “big data” means different things to different people. To a bank, big data represents the ability to gain business intelligence from financial transactions. To the United States intelligence community, big data’s challenge comes in trying to sift through information from multiple environments in support of the warfighter.
The National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) has released the most comprehensive update to the government’s computer security guide since 2005. The fourth revision of “Security and Privacy Controls for Federal information Systems and Organizations” (SP 800-53) addresses issues such as mobile and cloud computing, applications security, supply chain risks and privacy concerns. It also calls for maintaining routine best practices to reduce information security risks while applying state-of-the-practice architecture and engineering principles to minimize the impact of threats such as cyber attacks.
The U.S. National Nuclear Security Administration (NNSA) began working on its Yourcloud solution about two years ago and expects to have the cloud computing solution in place by year's end. You can read more about this in "U.S. Nuclear Agency Enhances Cybersecurity With Cloud Computing ."
Top information technology officials from a variety of government agencies identified cloud computing, mobile devices and edge technologies as the technologies that will be critical for accomplishing their missions in the future.
Luke McCormack, chief information officer, Justice Department, cited cloud-as-a-service as vital to the future. He urged industry to continue to push the barriers of stack computing, and he mentioned edge technology as an emerging technology. “Edge is going to be really critical to perform missions,” he said. He cited the Google Glass project as an indicator of what the future will bring.
The National Security Agency (NSA) is poised to deliver an initial cloud computing capability for the entire intelligence community (IC) that will significantly enhance cybersecurity and mission performance, and unleash the power of innovation for intelligence agencies, Lonny Anderson, NSA chief information officer, says.
On Wednesday, the Defense Department (DOD) issued its long-awaited cloud computing strategy. Officials also announced in a memo from Teri Takai, chief information officer for the DOD, that the Defense Information Systems Agency (DISA) will oversee the new strategy as "enterprise cloud service broker." The designation means that all department components are required to obtain cloud-computing capabilities through DISA or to obtain a waiver from Takai's office as the DOD's designated review authority.