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7/24/2014
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IBM & California Partner On Private Cloud

CalCloud, the State of California's private cloud managed by IBM, aims to streamline services for 400 state and local government agencies.

Government agencies aren't the first group that come to mind as cloud computing trailblazers, but the State of California is investing in its own private cloud to help unclog the government service bottlenecks that occur all too frequently in America's most populated state.

"CalCloud" is a collaboration between the California Department of Technology and IBM to offer cloud services to state and local government agencies using a subscription model based on usage.

IBM manages CalCloud's pool of IT resources -- compute, networking, storage, and disaster recovery -- using its orchestration software called IBM Service Delivery Manager (ISDM). The company is also training state employees on how to use CalCloud. The CalCloud infrastructure is located at data centers in Rancho Cordova and Vacaville, Calif., so the data stays in the state's control. The state Department of Technology is supplying the floor space, power/cooling, network connectivity, and management at the data center sites. IBM is providing, and retains ownership of, the IT infrastructure.

[Apple and IBM's alliance has huge potential, starting with slick business apps. Read Apple, IBM Deal: When Siri Meets Watson.]

Using an IBM portal, a state or local agency can customize the computing it gets from CalCloud. An agency starts with a base server bundle and can select different options to fit its needs.

The CalCloud concept is the first of its kind to be implemented in the US at the state level, according to IBM. The main benefits of CalCloud for government IT workers is they can scale up or down to match workload requirements. Today, hundreds of state and local agencies rely on siloed, legacy IT systems. The CalCloud service model lets government entities share a pool of computing resources with quick access to modern back-end services that will help them operate more efficiently than they do today within their own systems.

CalCloud

CalCloud is currently an IaaS offering. In its roadmap, IBM said it plans to have support for PaaS and SaaS offerings within CalCloud.  

The benefit for California residents, if enough of the state's agencies use CalCloud, is they will have a single sign-on system for state and local government services. Single sign-on will authenticate users to access services that usually require individual registrations.

"With single sign-on, citizens get a consistent view of who they are across different state services and what services they're eligible for," says Dan Pelino, GM for IBM's global public sector. "If you're applying for a license or permit or changing your address on one service, it's applied to all of them because they'll all be on one platform."

California has 400 state departments and local government entities that are served by the state's Department of Technology. Because these agencies mostly manage their own infrastructures today, "there's a lot of redundancy, a lot of vendors to manage, a lot of backup and recovery," says Pelino. "It creates too many islands of information, and it's expensive to manage." 

The State of California and IBM have organized seminars and events promoting CalCloud to state and local agencies. The state will let the agencies decide whether to use CalCloud. So far, 20 agencies – including the Employment Development Department, one of the largest state departments -- have begun to migrate from their legacy infrastructures to the CalCloud service.

CalCloud meets security standards based on National Institute of Standards (NIST) for cloud-based services and FedRAMP, a program that provides standards for security assessment, authorization, and monitoring for cloud services for the federal government.

In addition to IBM, CalCloud partners include AT&T, which will provide network services for the core and edge networks. IT consulting firms Alexan International and KPMG are also helping with migration to CalCloud.

New standards, new security, new architectures. The Cloud First stars are finally aligning for government IT. Read the Cloud Hits Inflection Point issue of InformationWeek Government Tech Digest today.

Shane O'Neill is Managing Editor for InformationWeek. Prior to joining InformationWeek, he served in various roles at CIO.com, most notably as assistant managing editor and senior writer covering Microsoft. He has also been an editor and writer at eWeek and TechTarget. ... View Full Bio

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Ashu001
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Ashu001,
User Rank: Ninja
8/30/2014 | 5:58:08 PM
Re: Is CalCloud intended primarily for public-facing apps?
MDMConsult,

Not just Encryption around Data at Rest and Data in Motion but also looking at how Apps are structured and where they are stored is very important.

We need to also inculcate a better level of Security culture all through our Organizations to get folks more in tune with what's acceptable User Behavior and what is'nt.

The same goes for App developers too.

Regards

Ashish.
MDMConsult14
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MDMConsult14,
User Rank: Moderator
8/20/2014 | 12:19:01 PM
Re: Is CalCloud intended primarily for public-facing apps?
@Ashu001 Thanks. The right authentication measures should meet the requirements of full security which can also be extended to other tools. A good solution which can encrypt data and support user identity is also good.
Gigi3
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Gigi3,
User Rank: Ninja
8/4/2014 | 2:21:19 AM
Re: California Cloud Brokerage
"It is the resposibility of the state and the California Department of Technology to make sure that the model meets all expectations"

HH, I think it's in other way. Customer can suggest only their requirements; implementation team (IBM) has to take care about it. I mean whether it's meeting the customer expectations.
Gigi3
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Gigi3,
User Rank: Ninja
8/4/2014 | 2:18:57 AM
Re: State governments for Cloud Technology
"It's a private cloud -- IaaS."

Shane, thanks for the clarification. You mean private in the sense exclusive for state and government agencies.
Ashu001
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Ashu001,
User Rank: Ninja
7/30/2014 | 11:47:21 AM
Re: California Cloud Brokerage
Houngbo,

Whenever you have the State involved in any such Transaction(and with so much Responsibility);one needs to be so wary because of the State's Past record of Messing up such Deals.

Till the whole things is completed entirely then we really can't be sure about what they are really getting today.

Regards

Ashish.
Shane M. O'Neill
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Shane M. O'Neill,
User Rank: Author
7/30/2014 | 9:08:29 AM
Re: State governments for Cloud Technology
It's a private cloud -- IaaS.
Hospice_Houngbo
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Hospice_Houngbo,
User Rank: Strategist
7/29/2014 | 10:25:38 PM
Re: California Cloud Brokerage
@Ashish

"IBM (NYSE: IBM) is supplying and managing the infrastructure, the state and the California Department of Technology will manage the service offering." 

It is the resposibility of the state and the California Department of Technology to make sure that the model meets all expectations. 
Hospice_Houngbo
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Hospice_Houngbo,
User Rank: Strategist
7/29/2014 | 10:06:51 PM
Re: Is CalCloud intended primarily for public-facing apps?
"The CalCloud concept is the first of its kind to be implemented in the US at the state level, according to IBM"

That sounds interesting! Could that be expanded to other states as well? One important benefit is that "the data stays in the state's control." I think state legislators will like that idea.
Ashu001
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Ashu001,
User Rank: Ninja
7/26/2014 | 12:06:11 PM
Re: California Cloud Brokerage
stratuscan,

The model is interesting for sure.

Just was wondering if this means I am locked into the IBM way of doing things?

IBM has this funny way of doing things here-They constantly buy new product companies in their desperation to stay relevant but then fail to integrate everything properly together confusing things for not just their employees but customers as well.

Will this product also meet the same fate?

Regards

Ashish.
Stratustician
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Stratustician,
User Rank: Ninja
7/26/2014 | 11:41:48 AM
California Cloud Brokerage
With this model, CalCloud is basically its own cloud brokerage as they would be able to provision and secure services between government agencies, while sharing costs.  It's a great move towards standardizing and securing government resources, and is definitely a great model that other states could use for their own agencies.
Page 1 / 3   >   >>
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