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6/14/2010
11:37 AM
John Foley
John Foley
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Federal Agencies Shift Into Cloud Adoption

Technology leaders with the Department of Energy, the Defense Information Systems Agency, and GSA will outline their next steps in cloud computing on June 15 at InformationWeek's Government IT Leadership Forum in Washington, D.C. With new implementations of infrastructure as a service and software as a service, including hosted apps from Google and Microsoft, the feds appear to be shifting aggressively into full-s

Technology leaders with the Department of Energy, the Defense Information Systems Agency, and GSA will outline their next steps in cloud computing on June 15 at InformationWeek's Government IT Leadership Forum in Washington, D.C. With new implementations of infrastructure as a service and software as a service, including hosted apps from Google and Microsoft, the feds appear to be shifting aggressively into full-scale adoption of the cloud services model.As we've been documenting for the past year, Uncle Sam has been investigating the potential benefits of cloud computing and agencies have been planning their first steps into the cloud. As we approach mid 2010, the mood is shifting from discussion and pilot projects into actual deployment.

A recent InformationWeek Government survey of IT managers in federal government found that 22% planned to implement cloud computing over the next 12 months and another 22% within two years, so it's not surprising that evidence of the trend is quickly building up. Following are some of the new developments to be discussed at the Government IT Leadership Forum during a session titled "Cloud Computing Implementers' Guide," which is meant to help government IT pros move past the planning phase.

Katie Lewin, director of the General Services Administration's cloud computing program, will provide an update on GSA's pending launch of infrastructure as a service (Iaas) on the Apps.gov cloud services portal. The deadline for GSA's revised RFQ for IaaS services is June 15. Once GSA approves cloud service providers for participation, agencies will be able to access virtualized servers and storage on demand at Apps.gov. Lewin will also discuss GSA's plans to issue an RFP as a first step in providing hosted e-mail services to government agencies.

Henry Sienkiewicz, CIO of DISA, will provide an overview of DISA's expanding portfolio of cloud services. DISA provides cloud services to the Department of Defense via its Rapid Access Computing Environment and its Forge.mil site for software development. The agency is adding new capabilities to its Global Content Delivery Service (GCDS), which it describes as its first cloud service, and offering Microsoft's SharePoint and Office apps (Word, Excel, PowerPoint, OneNote) as hosted services.

Lawrence Berkeley National Lab is midway through the deployment of Google Apps to 5,000 lab employees, the first unit within the Department of Energy to adopt Google's hosted apps in a big way. Rosio Alvarez, CIO of Lawrence Berkeley, will explain the rationale behind the move and give an update on how it's going. So far, there have been a "few bumps" but otherwise the rollout has been relatively smooth, she tells me. Lawrence Berkeley and Argonne National Lab are also building private clouds for high-performance computing using $32 million in Recovery Act funds.

These are just some of the latest developments in the U.S. government's accelerating use of commercial cloud services and deployment of private clouds, both for internal use and as a base from which to offer cloud services to other departments and agencies. InformationWeek will provide continued coverage this week from the Government IT Leadership Forum and through our ongoing editorial series on private clouds in government.

Join us for a Webcast in which we'll analyze the key IT infrastructure considerations that must be taken into account for creating private clouds in federal data centers. It happens June 23. Click here to find out more and register.

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