What states can teach agencies about cloud computing

November 21, 2010

State governments, just like the federal government, are looking for ways to do things better, faster, and cheaper.

Michael Kerr, senior director of state and local government for Tech America, says one of these areas is cloud computing.

“We are seeing states taking the lead on the application and implementation of certain concepts and technologies, among them virtualization. They are well down that road. Now they are moving to cloud solutions at a little faster pace than, perhaps, even the federal government.”

Kerr says there have been several successful projects in these areas in New York City, Los Angeles, and in the states of Minnesota and California over the past few months.

As states have to confront the prospect of leaner budgets, they really do need to look at different scales and different efficiencies that are available through some of these solutions, which previously may have seemed daunting. I know there are some issues in the government space with the adoption of cloud. However those big states and cities have been able to work their way around those.

Kerr joined the DorobekINSIDER to talk about these issues and the release of the new Tech America report, “Why Think Enterprise? State and Local Government Options for Reducing Costs and Improving Services.” Hear the full interview by clicking the link at the top of the page.

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NASA Goddard CIO discusses cloud as a priority

November 15, 2010

Adrian Gardner has been the chief information officer at NASA Goddard Space Flight Center for 10 months. Federal News Radio’s Jason Miller spoke with Gardner recently about his priorities for the agency.

Gardner says one of his goals is to understand the needs of the scientific community.

If you look at computing here at Goddard and the vision I have — all the way from looking at the desktop and possibly virtualizing the desktop; then almost to a virtualized data center; then looking at cloud and cloud computing and how that plays in; and then looking at high-performance computing and high-end computing — that whole range now represents what the scientist probably would need to actually fulfill their daily tasks.

What we’re trying to do as an organization in concert with [NASA] Ames and Linda [Cureton] and her staff at headquarters, looking at both cloud and other desktop capabilities, is really trying to understand across the board what are the attributes that make each one of those environments the right environment for that particular task. And then, beginning to educate the scientists and engineers, as well as our own staffs, about what kind of things should we run in those various environments in such a way as they’d be optimized in those environments.

We’re very much looking at that whole range of compute, drawing a circle around that, and saying, ‘that then is scientific mission computing for Goddard and potentially for NASA as a construct.’

As for what vendors, especially those interested in cloud computing, should know about working with his office? Gardner says he’s creating a new position that will deal with emerging technologies like cloud and social media. More info on this as we get it!

Hear Jason Miller’s entire interview with Gardner by clicking the audio link above.


How can cloud computing help people with disabilities?

November 2, 2010

A really cool interview for you this week about a cloud computing contest the Federal Communications Commission is running. Federal News Radio’s Amy Morris and Tom Temin spoke with Pam Gregory, Director of the FCC’s Accessibility and Innovation Initiative.

Gregory told Federal News Radio the FCC recognizes that “cloud is the future” and leveraging its power could help the 54 million Americans living with disabilities.

That’s why the FCC developed its Lifted by the Cloud: Visions of Cloud-Enhanced Accessibility contest. It’s one of the contests you can find on the government’s Challenge.gov site, which was set up to help the government crowd source ideas to help fix some of its biggest problems.

The contest asks those interested to create a multimedia presentation that shows how cloud computing can create new opportunities for people with disabilities.

Monetary prizes will be awarded! Click on the interview above to learn more.