Solid State Scientific Corp., Hollis, New Hampshire, has been awarded a $59,000,000 firm-fixed-price and cost-plus-fixed-fee hybrid contract for Air Force Weather Enterprise (AFW) Product-as-a-Service/Infrastructure-as-a-Service. This contract provides the migration to the cloud for the Air Force Weather Branch and is to design and build an Air Force Weather Virtual Private Cloud. It is required to expand to support the cloud migration and operations for all AFW applications. Work will be performed at and is expected to be completed by May 9, 2020, with two one-year options. This sole source award is a result of a Small Business Innovative Research Phase III follow-on.
Intelligence experts at the AFCEA/INSA Intelligence & National Security Summit on Wednesday, September 4, offered that the hybrid cloud may be the digital holy grail for future intelligence operations. Disciplines ranging from international intelligence sharing to artificial intelligence, which are being counted on for effective operations, might not attain their true potential without it.
Accenture Federal Services, Arlington, Virginia, was awarded an $11,793,894 modification (P00026) to contract W52P1J-17-C-0022 for General Fund Enterprise Business System-Sensitive Activities cloud migration to IL6. Work will be performed in Arlington, Virginia, with an estimated completion date of May 31, 2021. Fiscal year 2018 and 2019 research, development, test and evaluation, Army funds in the amount of $2,681,158 were obligated at the time of the award. U.S. Army Contracting Command, Rock Island Arsenal, Illinois, is the contracting activity.
The Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) awarded Woodbridge, Virginia-based Sev1Tech a five-year task order to provide the Federal Occupational Health (FOH) agency with cloud infrastructure and information technology modernization services, the company announced recently. Under the contract, Sev1Tech will extend the agency's use of cloud technology from cloud service provider (CSP) Amazon Web Services. Sev1Tech will assist with the use of CSP products and service offerings, including Infrastructure as a Service (IaaS), Platform as a Service (PaaS), and Software as a Service (SaaS).
When the Defense Enterprise Office Solutions (DEOS) request for quotes was released last month, it gave industry a way to leverage a variety of cloud solutions in support of defense missions. The goal of this enterprise cloud strategy is to help the Department of Defense (DOD) standardize, centralize and save money, as well as to enhance DOD capabilities. It is a path toward a multivendor, multicloud environment, according to Kevin Tate of the DOD Office of the Chief Information Officer.
Within the last year and a half, an exciting development has taken place at the Defense Department: It has turned the corner on cloud.
For years, the department had followed a cautious, even wary, approach toward cloud adoption. But after reading the 2018 National Defense Strategy and the department’s new artificial intelligence (AI) and cloud strategies, one can only conclude that top defense leaders now view cloud as the cornerstone of our future military readiness.
U.S. Army leaders agree the way forward is through a fundamental cultural shift—a shift that needs to be inclusive of both strategic and tactical sides for a more holistic strategy based on mission objectives and operational needs.
The U.S. Army is well underway with its strategy to build a modern integrated tactical network through the efforts of the Program Executive Office Command, Control and Communications–Tactical and the Army Futures Command’s Network Cross Functional Team. But leaders know that a tactical network on the battlefield edge won’t be effective without a robust enterprise network.
Commercial cloud offers the federal government access to a dynamic computing environment almost immediately, with services or capabilities they may not have previously had access to during the time of having to purchase all of the hardware, software and infrastructure themselves. However, the roll out to the cloud for the government has not come quickly or easily, experts say.
Moving data to the cloud is on the horizon for many, but before making the move, organizations need to clean their data house. This includes determining who owns what data, what data they should delete and what data they should store elsewhere. A modernization process, such as moving to the cloud, necessitates that a company review data protection efforts as well as ensure its data strategy includes data governance.
Heavy hitters in the commercial cloud industry, such as Microsoft Azure and Amazon Web Services, are pushing cloud-computing capabilities to what they refer to as the intelligent edge. They are connecting Internet of Things devices and mobile applications with ever-expanding cloud capabilities and the advanced computing of artificial intelligence to create a so-called intelligent cloud, pushing out the results of advanced processing and data analysis to a user’s fingertips.
The federal government’s comfort level with the cloud improves, due in part to standards and more offerings from commercial cloud providers.
Although it is already ubiquitous in the private sector, cloud computing has had a slow adoption by the federal government. That trend is shifting, an expert says, as the federal government, as well as state and local governments, employ more cloud computing.
The U.S. Transportation Command was the first U.S. Defense Department organization to begin moving its cyber capabilities, along with command and control applications, to a commercial cloud environment. More than a year later, the unified command is making strides in transferring its unclassified systems and is sharing lessons learned that will make the path to cloud usage smoother for others to follow.
As data migrates to the cloud, it is spawning a new generation of capabilities that may trigger major changes throughout the information realm as well as in the economy itself. These advanced capabilities will allow greater business development in ways that otherwise might have been limited to resource-rich firms.
New iterations of software are being written to connect different devices via the cloud. This will affect networking concurrent with the growth of the Internet of Things (IoT) and the introduction of 5G wireless connectivity. And, the cloud is topping its own status by providing layered services that mimic the cloud itself.
Steven Wert, recently named the U.S. Air Force’s Program Executive Officer Digital, is on a mission to fundamentally alter the service’s processes for developing and fielding software through development operations, commonly known as DevOps. The methodology merges software development and technology operations functions, allowing the two to work more closely to reduce the time needed to create new systems. Working closely with the end users is key to what Wert describes as a “release cadence” of weeks or months instead of years.
Cloud Lake Technology, Herndon, Virginia, has been awarded an $8,875,620 modification (P00012) to contract FA8075-17-C-0002 for Information Analysis Center Program Management Office (IAC PMO) support. IAC PMO support services provides program management analysis, acquisition management, operations analysis, financial analysis, process improvement, strategic communications and performance measurement support. This modification provides for the exercise of an option for additional services under the basic contract, and brings the total cumulative face value of the contract to $21,870,362. Work will be performed at Fort Belvoir, Virginia, and is expected to be completed by March 31, 2020.
CSRA LLC, a General Dynamics Information Technology Co., Falls Church, Virginia, is awarded a $22,496,620 blanket purchase agreement (BPA) to deliver commercial cloud services by the use of multiple cloud service providers to accelerate Navy cloud adoption. The work encompasses Infrastructure as a Service, Platform as a Service, Software as a Service, and other commercially available cloud service offerings in accordance with the Cloud Computing Security Requirements Guide at Information Impact Levels 2, 4 and 5 as defined in the National Institute of Standards and Technology Special Publication 800-145.
Carasoft Technology Corp., Reston, Virginia, was awarded a $25,017,802 firm-fixed-price contract to migrate Army Enterprise System Integration Program Hub to Cloud along with managed services to accomplish their mission. Three bids were solicited with three bids received. Work will be performed in Reston, Virginia, with an estimated completion date of September 13, 2021. Fiscal year 2018 operations and maintenance Army funds in the amount of $24,914,298 were obligated at the time of the award. U.S. Army Contracting Command, Rock Island Arsenal, Illinois, is the contracting activity (W52P1J-18-F-0375).
When National Science Foundation officials announced in February that three major providers of cloud computing were donating up to $9 million collectively for big data research, they already were looking for ways to broaden the effort to include a wider variety of topics, including cybersecurity. The expansion is intended to benefit both research and education initiatives and is necessary, in part, because the cloud providers now acquire cutting-edge hardware before it is made available to researchers.
As U.S. Army and other Defense Department end users employ cloud services more and more through the ACCENT contract vehicle, they will have an army of approved contractors standing by to assist them, with each company trying to make its mark and win business.
The Army’s Program Executive Office for Enterprise Information Systems (PEO EIS) conducts the on-ramping qualification process for companies to be ACCENT cloud service providers. Once approved by the PEO EIS, the companies remain for the duration of the contract; the Army intends to have an annual open window for companies to apply.