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1/6/2012
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Army Awards $250 Million Cloud Contract

IBM, Lockheed Martin, and HP will help the military consolidate data centers and provision IT via a private cloud.

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The U.S. Army has awarded nearly $250 million to a group of contractors to consolidate data centers and provision on-demand IT services and storage via a private cloud.

Companies included in the firm-fixed-price contract to create the Army Private Cloud (APC2) are Lockheed Martin, IBM, HP Enterprise Services, General Dynamics, Northrop Grumman, MicroTech and Criterion Systems, according to the Department of Defense (DOD).

The Army will use the contract to acquire cloud-computing services to consolidate data centers from more than 200 to fewer than 20 by establishing a private cloud, according to the original RFI for the contract, which was obtained by Informationweek Friday.

The Army also will use the cloud to provide on-demand provisioning for storage and systems, according to a source from one of the subcontractors on the project.

[How cloudy will 2012 be? See Top 10 Cloud Trends of 2012.]

The Army will acquire cloud computing services via the contract in two suites. The first will help the military cut costs by using fixed-facility private-cloud capability, according to the RFI. The second will acquire "mobile, containerized data centers" to meet capacity needs on demand when the Army urgently or temporarily needs it.

General Dynamics, IBM, HP, Northrup Grumman, and Lockheed Martin will provide services for the first suite, while General Dynamics, Microtech, Criterion and HP will deliver services for the second, the source said.

"These two suites will use Army private-cloud services instead of the traditional approach of acquiring equipment and separately paying for consulting services to operate the environment," according to the RFI. "Virtualization technology has reached a point where the Army can achieve significant saving by virtualizing computing operating environments to meet the Army’s needs."

Like other federal agencies and departments, the military has been working to move in-house IT infrastructure to the cloud where possible to cut costs. Some agencies have been using commercial clouds provided by companies such as Microsoft and Google to do so, while others have opted for a hybrid commercial/private solution.

For agencies such as the DOD that have particular security concerns, private clouds are the option of choice. In addition to the APC2 project, the Army also is working with the Defense Information Systems Agency to migrate its in-house email to a private cloud hosted by the DISA.

How 10 federal agencies are tapping the power of cloud computing--without compromising security. Also in the new, all-digital InformationWeek Government supplement: To judge the success of the OMB's IT reform efforts, we need concrete numbers on cost savings and returns. Download our Cloud In Action issue of InformationWeek Government now. (Free registration required.)

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Honest Broker,
User Rank: Apprentice
1/13/2012 | 10:36:54 PM
re: Army Awards $250 Million Cloud Contract
This is an interesting award given the recent NDAA 2012 that directs Defense agencies to "Migration of Defense data and government-provided services from Department-owned and operated data centers to cloud computing services generally available within the private sector that provide a better capability at a lower cost with the same or greater degree of security.",

This does not require outsourcing to companies like Amazon, where DoD has little control over the protection of their data or technical architecture. However, it will require enhansements of NIST's FedRAMP security controls and assessment framework, an area that is being worked by the IT Acquisition Advisory Council, Cloud Security Alliance, and a dozen other non-profits.

DoD and the Intel Community together spend over $100Billion per year on IT, with only 16% delivery success. Embrace of Secure Cloud offerings has the potential of eliminating one of the greatest sources of waste in govt, which is estimated at a Trillion dollars since 2000.
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