Agencies to share advice on cloud strategies

June 7, 2011

Later this month, AFCEA Bethesda will hold the first symposium in its four-part Cloud Lifecycle Management series. According to the group’s website, the event will take a look at “how agencies define, plan and measure a successful cloud computing strategy.”

Six months into the Obama administration’s cloud-first policy, focus will be placed on how far agencies have come and the progress being made in order to reach their 12- and 18-month cloud goals.

According to AFCEA, some of the issues that will be addressed include:

  • how agencies are deciding between public, private and hybrid clouds,
  • the expected cost savings of using the cloud,
  • the risks of moving to the cloud, and
  • where the cloud strategy will be over the next year.

Confirmed speakers for the event include:

  • Earl Crane, director of the cybersecurity strategy division in the Office of the Chief Information Security Officer at the Department of Homeland Security
  • Lisa Davis, assistant director of information technology and chief information officer in the U.S. Marshals Service at the Department of Justice
  • Rick Holgate, assistant director for science & technology and chief information officer at the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms & Explosives
  • Dawn Leaf, senior advisor and senior executive for cloud computing in the Information Technology Laboratory at the National Institute of Standards and Technology
  • Bill Lewis, director of the Portfolio Management Division in the General Services Administration’s Federal Acquisition Service
  • Henry Sienkiewicz, chief information officer at the Defense Information Systems Agency
  • Michael Wood, director of the Recovery Accountability and Transparency Board

The event will be held from 7-11:30 a.m., June 29, at the Willard Intercontinental Hotel in northwest Washington D.C.

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Navy, DHS, State make strides in the cloud

January 18, 2011

When it comes to reducing costs and wasteful spending at agencies, IT managers are being leaned on heavily to get the job done.

The Navy is moving ahead with its technology efficiency and consolidation initiative by putting the brakes on spending for new servers, server upgrades and data centers.

“We are reevaluating what all of our organizations want to do and why they want to do it, and is it consistent with our overall IT efficiency,” said Janice Haith, director of assessment and compliance for the Navy’s Information Dominance Directorate.

“Server purchases up to date may not have been efficient. They may not have bought servers that were sufficiently robust to handle virtualization. We need to do that. That may mean we have to buy some additional servers that can be virtualized, and some of our servers today are not in that state.”

Federal News Radio’s Jared Serbu reports, the Navy set some targets for virtualization as well. It directs each of the Navy’s 23 Echelon II organizations – the commands in the organizational chart directly below the office of the Chief of Naval Operations – to develop plans to increase virtualization by 40 to 80 percent, and server utilization by 50 to 80 percent.

Various civilian agencies are also making strides. At a recent AFCEA-Bethesda breakfast panel, the State Department said its goal is to reduce the number of data centers in the United States from 11 to 2 over the next few years.

Cindy Cassil, the agency’s director of systems integration in the CIO office, says part of the way her agency will do that is by getting buy-in from business owners by offering services on a private cloud.

“Right now we are offering infrastructure-as-a-service,” Cassil said. “We are trying to work around the political issue about people still wanting to maintain their applications. The IT staffs are very powerful. They really advise the business they need to be involved. Right now, I would say we have 99.9 percent cooperation with our business side because they really like our model at this point. We offer the platform and the storage, and it’s free to them if they come in and virtualize.”

DHS’s Deputy CIO Margie Graves also spoke at the event. Graves said her agency is creating a test and development environment similar to one developed by the Defense Information Systems Agency.

Federal News Radio’s Jason Miller reports, her office wants to make it easier for DHS components to do rapid application development in a cloud environment. DHS also is working on two other cloud test and development environments using IBM’s Websphere and one for open source.


Upcoming cloud events around town

December 4, 2009

Today we bring you news about events around town regarding the cloud.

Dec. 8, 2009
First up — we already told you about FedScoop’s Cloud Computing Shoot Out. It’s their second event that will focus on U.S. CIO Vivek Kundra’s five pillars of transparent government. This time, panelists will address concerns related to issues surrounding cloud portability, interoperability and security.

Some of the attendees:

  • Werner Vogels, CTO, Amazon.com
  • Yousef A. Khalidi, Distinguished Engineer, Cloud Computing, Microsoft Corporation
  • Michael G. Hill, Vice President, Enterprise Initiatives IBM
  • Prasad L. Rampalli, Vice President, Intel Architecture Group, Intel Corporation
  • Eran Feigenbaum, Director of Security, Google Enterprise
  • Kaveh Vessali, Vice President of Public Sector Solutions, Salesforce.com
  • Jeff Bergeron, Chief Technologist, U.S. Public Sector, HP

The Shoot Out will be held at the Newseum and starts at 8 a.m. Register here.

Dec. 9, 2009
The Digital Government Institute presents its Cloud Computing Conference.

Chris Kemp, Chief Information Officer, Ames Research Center, NASA, will deliver the keynote, Government Cloud Computing for 2010: Moving Towards Efficient Operations.

Also, Chris Dorobek of DorobekInsider and Federal News Radio’s Daily Debrief will moderate the panel How to Take Advantage of Cloud Computing Today.

You can register for it here.

Dec. 17, 2009
Also, AFCEA Bethesda Chapter presents IT Infrastructure Management as part of its monthly breakfast series.

The panel will focus on how cloud computing environments, such as NASA’s Nebula and DISA’s Rapid Access Computing Environment (RACE), are changing the landscape of government IT infrastructure management, as well as helping to streamline system, network and storage management.

Speakers include:

  • Casey Coleman, Chief Information Officer, General Services Administration (moderator)
  • Chris Kemp, Chief Information Officer, NASA Ames Research Center
  • Alfred Rivera, Director, Computer Services Directorate, Defense Information Systems Agency
  • Keith Trippie, Executive Director, Enterprise System Development Office (ESDO), Office of the Chief Information Officer, Department of Homeland Security
  • Pete Tseronis, Associate Chief Information Officer, Department of Energy

Register here.

FCB will, of course, attend all of these events and report back, just in case you can’t make it.