When it comes to cloud computing, where is the U.S. Air Force?
Fed Cloud Blog answers this question by talking with USAF chief information officer Lt. Gen. Bill Lord.
“We’re determining the return on investment right now and have already signed up to be partners with DISA. DISA is evaluating their rates to make sure their rates are as competitive as everybody else’s rates are in the commercial space. Then there’s a policy thing that we have to consider about where we’re permitted to allow DoD data to reside. So, we’re in the process of harmonizing those things so we can step out on it.”
Gen. Lord said the policy is generally around data and storage, and is not necessarily specific to the cloud, though cloud computing certainly applies.
“It’s generally around storage and data warehousing. Do we own the facility? Can we control the facility? Do we need to own the facility? In my personal opinion, there are plenty of very well-run commercial data storage locations that we could be well served by. So, we’re looking at those to make sure we’re getting the best return for the taxpayer dollars.”
He added that he doesn’t foresee a private cloud for the USAF at this point; rather, his branch would operate in conjunction with DISA.
“It would be in concert with the DISA cloud. So, there might be a public piece of that, but then then there might be our piece inside DoD cloud.”
As far as benefits, Gen. Lord says there are many.
“I think with with the virtualization that you get, quite frankly there are some wonderful green benefits, some COOP benefits that I think you can get by having your data all spread out — not all in the same location. So, I view it mostly on the positive side. Clearly we have to make sure that we’re comfortable with the security aspect of breaking all this stuff apart and then being able to put it back together and not having things change, but I think, for the most part, that technology is available.”
The USAF is looking at working more on cloud within the next six to nine months.
For more, check out Federal News Radio’s Ask the CIO.
And in other cloud news on Federal News Radio . . .
On In Depth, host Francis Rose spoke with former Deputy Assistant Secretary of Defense Steven Bucci about how to buy into the cloud while staying secure.
On the Federal Drive, hosts Tom Temin and Jane Norris talked with Phil Bond, president Tech America, about fallout from the China/Google dispute.