DoD to issue commercial cloud policy directive

August 24, 2011

The Department of Defense will soon issue a commercial cloud computing policy, according to agency chief information officer Teri Takai.

“We’re going to be moving in many cases toward a private cloud construct, but we’re thinking about the possibilities for commercial cloud,” Takai told an audience at the annual Defense Information Systems Agency conference, according to Information Week. “One of the things my office is working on is, as we move toward commercial cloud, what does that mean and what do we need from a DoD perspective.”

Takai didn’t give any more details on the actual release of the policy.

Takai also discussed the Army’s new enterprise email system and what it means for other branches of the military. The Army’s system is built in the Defense Information Systems Agency’s private cloud. She said she would like to see others use it if they see value in it.

“Remember that enterprise email doesn’t necessarily mean that everybody goes to DISA. We have to get to a common identity management structure, we have to get to a common directory structure, we have to be able to collaborate. That’s really the infrastructure that’s critical here. We’re working with the Navy right now to say, ‘What does that look like for Navy?’ My preference is to work through the technical details to get to our end objective, because when you do that, you don’t have to dictate. Otherwise, if I dictated something, I’m going to be the bad guy every time somebody’s BlackBerry doesn’t work. That doesn’t get you to the end objective.”

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This week’s latest cloud news

July 28, 2011

Two big stories Federal News Radio is following this week when it comes to cloud computing.

Industry leaders are calling on the federal government to revise its acquisition and budgeting practices, in hopes of accelerating the adoption of cloud services. The CLOUD2 commission made recommendations to government earlier this week.

“Agencies should demonstrate flexibility in adapting current procurement models and existing contracts to take advantage of new cloud offerings,” according to the group.

Federal News Radio’s Ruben Gomez reports the CLOUD2 report was requested by Federal Chief Information Officer Vivek Kundra.

The commission also recommended industry launch new transparency efforts to publicize information about operational aspects of cloud services, including portability, performance and reliability.


In other cloud news, the General Services Administration became the first agency to migrate its entire staff into a cloud email system. All 17,000 of its users are officially in the cloud as of this week.

“In GSA, we have a motto that we have broad shoulders,” said Dave McClure, GSA’s associate administrator for citizen services and innovative technologies. “We need to be actually doing what we’re recommending other agencies do.”

Federal News Radio’s Jared Serbu reports 15 other agencies have identified almost one million federal email accounts they want to move to the cloud.


What is the government’s role in cloud computing?

January 23, 2011

The Commerce Department and the National Institute of Standards and Technology are trying to figure out what the federal government’s role in cloud computing should be. The agencies are hosting a panel discussion Tuesday with industry leaders and experts from academia to discuss this as well as other national needs.

A media advisory from the Commerce Department says, “Achieving national priorities – which include a Smart Grid for electricity distribution, electronic health records, cybersecurity, cloud computing and interoperable emergency communications –depends upon the existence of sound technical standards. The standards being developed through public-private partnerships for these new technology sectors are helping to drive innovation, economic growth and job creation.”

Some of the questions the agencies hope to answer at the event:

  • What is the appropriate role for the federal government in convening industry stakeholders and catalyzing standards development and use?
  • How should the federal government engage in sectors where there is a compelling national interest?
  • How are existing public-private initiatives in standardization working?

U.S. Commerce Secretary Gary Locke, Federal Chief Technology Officer Aneesh Chopra, and NIST Director Patrick Gallagher will all speak at the event.

Confirmed panelists include:

  • Mark Chandler, General Counsel, Cisco
  • Arti Rai, Professor of Law, Duke Law School
  • Geoff Roman, Chief Technology Officer, Motorola Mobility
  • Raj Vaswani, Chief Technology Officer, Silver Spring Network
  • Stephen Pawlowski, Senior Fellow and General Manager, Central Architecture and Planning, Intel Corp.
  • Ralph Brown, Chief Technology Officer, CableLabs

The event will be held from 9:30 a.m. – 12 p.m., Tuesday, January 25, 2011 at the Department of Commerce.