02:36 PM
Connect Directly
Repost This

DOD Moves Forward With Cloud Broker Plans

DISA gets "initial operating capability" to act as Defense Department's cloud services broker, as DOD strives to simplify military groups' acquisition of cloud services.

10 Tools To Prevent Cloud Vendor Lock-in
10 Tools To Prevent Cloud Vendor Lock-in
(click image for larger view and for slideshow)
The Defense Information Systems Agency (DISA) got the green light Tuesday to act as a cloud services broker to the Department of Defense's various branches.

DISA is the primary agency that provides IT services and data center facilities to the U.S. Army, Air Force, Navy and Marines. By being granted "initial operating capability," DISA now has the framework in place to function as the key point of contact for all of the DOD's cloud computing needs. The goal is to make it faster and easier for the military to get cloud services without going through a long acquisition process, and to switch from one service to another as needed.

The agency also announced that it has performed cybersecurity assessments of two commercial cloud services providers and has given them "imminent" approval for use by the DOD. According to the FedRAMP website, Autonomic Resources and CGI Federal will be the first providers authorized by the Federal Risk and Authorization Management Program (FedRAMP), and available to the DOD under the cloud broker model.

DISA said it will continue conducting security assessments to expand its future offerings. Additionally, it plans to "evolve and further automate the cloud service request process" and "enhance the security model" in the coming months to accommodate partner requirements.

[ Defense is making strong headway on cloud email. Read DOD Reaches 1 Million Users On Cloud Email. ]

The Defense Department's CIO Teri Takai designated DISA as the agency's cloud broker last June, stating in a memo that it would "perform functions to achieve IT efficiencies, reliability, interoperability, and improve security and end-to-end performance by using cloud service offerings."

The initial operating capability designation announced Tuesday enables DISA to begin functioning as a cloud service broker to the various branches of the U.S. military. Dubbed as the "next-generation cloud acquisition model" by the GSA, the cloud broker -- part process, part technology -- is new in government. DISA and the General Services Administration have both expressed interest in using it.

Last September, DISA released a five-year strategic plan, which included a greater emphasis on enterprise and cloud services. The plan envisions the DOD sharing IT resources across numerous services and relying heavily on cloud computing and mobile technologies, while continuing to meet the military's cybersecurity needs.

DISA's latest announcement comes a week after the agency unveiled plans to award a $45 million cloud computing contract for an intelligence and surveillance information storage cloud. The contract will go to systems integrator Alliance Technology Group, which said it's done business with NASA and the Navy, among other federal agencies. The partnership would enable the agency to securely store "hundreds of billions of objects" that users could access across multiple networks.

A well-defended perimeter is only half the battle in securing the government's IT environments. Agencies must also protect their most valuable data. Also in the new, all-digital Secure The Data Center issue of InformationWeek Government: The White House's gun control efforts are at risk of failure because the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives' outdated Firearms Tracing System is in need of an upgrade. (Free registration required.)

Comment  | 
Print  | 
More Insights
Newest First  |  Oldest First  |  Threaded View
User Rank: Apprentice
4/26/2013 | 3:21:03 PM
re: DOD Moves Forward With Cloud Broker Plans
Well if anyone needs
tae access at their fingertips it could be the DOD, and with just cause. Again
this is an example of technology and the role that it plays within our military
and how it literally saves our soldiers lives. I imagine on the part of the DOD being able to
access all data residing in one place would eliminate massive collaboration
between the agencies that would be otherwise difficult if not impossible to
gather all data in a timely manner.

Paul Sprague

InformationWeek Contributor
2014 Private Cloud Survey
2014 Private Cloud Survey
Respondents are on a roll: 53% brought their private clouds from concept to production in less than one year, and 60% ­extend their clouds across multiple datacenters. But expertise is scarce, with 51% saying acquiring skilled employees is a roadblock.
Register for InformationWeek Newsletters
White Papers
Current Issue
InformationWeek Elite 100 - 2014
Our InformationWeek Elite 100 issue -- our 26th ranking of technology innovators -- shines a spotlight on businesses that are succeeding because of their digital strategies. We take a close at look at the top five companies in this year's ranking and the eight winners of our Business Innovation awards, and offer 20 great ideas that you can use in your company. We also provide a ranked list of our Elite 100 innovators.
Twitter Feed
Audio Interviews
Archived Audio Interviews
GE is a leader in combining connected devices and advanced analytics in pursuit of practical goals like less downtime, lower operating costs, and higher throughput. At GIO Power & Water, CIO Jim Fowler is part of the team exploring how to apply these techniques to some of the world's essential infrastructure, from power plants to water treatment systems. Join us, and bring your questions, as we talk about what's ahead.