Hashmi: Private clouds aren't really 'cloud'

Grazed from FederalTimes. Author: Aaron Boyd.

Federal agencies are under presidential order to consider cloud-first policies when developing IT projects, however the type of cloud environment they use is left up to the discretion of agency officials. During a cloud panel hosted by Red Hat on Feb. 12, several agency CIOs debated the virtues of public and private clouds, with one suggesting private clouds don't really fit the as-a-service model.

"The private cloud concept is a little bit of a transitional concept between where we were and where we need to be," GSA CIO Sonny Hashmi said. "Are we at the point in the industry where full public cloud can meet all of our challenges in terms of security, control, compliance, auditability?...

VMware hybrid vCloud gets FedRAMP approval

Grazed from GCN. Author: Editorial Staff.

VMware announced that its VMware vCloud Government Service (vCGS), provided by Carpathia, has achieved provisional authority to operate (ATO) through the Federal Risk and Authorization Management Program (FedRAMP) program. vCGS is a government community hybrid cloud service built on VMware’s vSphere data center platform.

It lets agencies run new and existing applications in the cloud and offers on-demand compute, network and storage resources via a self-service portal or application programming interface (API). With vCGS – an infrastructure-as-a-service offering – agencies using vSphere-based virtual infrastructure in the data center can move workloads easily between their internal data center resources and the vCGS, VMware said in its announcement...

Cloud Computing: VMware CIO quits firm to join White House

Grazed from CloudPro. Author: Joe Curtis.

VMware CIO Tony Scott is joining the White House to perform the same role for President Barack Obama. Scott is leaving the virtualisation firm to become the US government’s third CIO, charged with delivering the administration’s Smarter IT Delivery Agenda. According to a statement from the White House released yesterday, his responsibilities include providing world-class digital services, deriving value from existing IT investments and protecting IT assets.

Scott, who joined VMware in 2013, succeeds previous US government CIOs Vivek Kundra and Steve VanRoekel, who helped establish the US Digital Service (USDS), which took inspiration from the UK’s Government Digital Service (GDS). Jennifer Pahlka, who set up USDS, was at Whitehall’s Sprint 15 event this week to talk about the progress USDS has made in transforming public services...

Cloud Computing: How Are Feds Handling Data Center Defense?

Grazed from Talkincloud. Author: Dan Kobialka.

A new MeriTalk survey of 300 U.S. federal IT decision-makers showed that the number of reported breaches on U.S. federal computer networks has nearly doubled since 2009. The majority of these professionals are concerned about cybersecurity as they update their data centers as well.

The survey, underwritten by Palo Alto Networks (PANW), revealed 67 percent of U.S. Feds are concerned with cybersecurity as they modernize their data centers. Also, 49 percent said they believed that the data center modernization process makes cybersecurity more challenging...

Read more from the source @ http://talkincloud.com/cloud-computing-research/02032015/how-are-feds-handling-data-center-defense

GSA Spends Over $100 Million for New Cloud Services

Grazed from Nextgov.  Author:  Frank Konkel.

The General Services Administration is the latest agency to commit big bucks to cloud computing, awarding Laurel, Maryland-based Aquilent a 5-year blanket purchase agreement for cloud services worth up to $100 million.

Awarded through GSA’s Office of Citizen Services and Innovative Technologies, the contract will be a GSA-wide procurement vehicle, meaning any organization or department within GSA has a quick route by which to procure many variations of cloud services...

For Cloud Computing Guidance, Look To Washington (Seriously)

Grazed from Forbes.  Author: Joe McKendrick.

Let’s face it, cloud computing is uncharted territory for many organizations. To sort-of paraphrase Winston Churchill, never in the field of computing have so many depended on so few. Enterprises are gradually, and inexorably, turning over significant portions of their infrastructures to outside cloud providers. Lately, there’s been talk of consolidation of big cloud providers to a few major providers.

The potential over-reliance on cloud providers is, in fact, making many enterprise CIOs and business leaders nervous. This may be the second round of angst in the cloud maturity cycle, once the first hurdle is passed. For some lessons on what to expect here, look no further than the U.S. federal government’s huge web of agencies...

Federal Agencies Cautious Of Cloud Commitment

Grazed from HSToday. Author: Amanda Vicinanzo.

Although government agencies understand the benefits of migrating services to the cloud, nearly three quarters of federal cloud users remain wary of fully committing to cloud computing, according to MeriTalk, a public-private partnership focused on improving the outcomes of government IT. Meritalk’s new report, Cloud without Commitment, underwritten by Red Hat and Cisco, examined federal barriers to cloud adoption including migration, data portability, integration and future agility.

Surveying 150 public sector IT professionals, Meritalk found most federal cloud users want to migrate more services to the cloud, with nearly one in five saying they deliver some of their agency’s IT services fully or partially via the cloud. However, security and control concerns are preventing them from fully embracing the cloud...

How DOD Is Navigating the Cloud Landscape

Grazed from FedTech. Author: Nicole Blake Johnson.

The Department of Defense’s vision for cloud computing is about more than hosting public websites and data in commercial facilities. DOD is pursuing several opportunities for migrating sensitive military data to the cloud to reduce costs and boost performance. Options include cloud hosting in facilities outside the United States, moving defense enterprise cloud services such as email to a commercial environment, and modernizing milCloud, the Defense Information Systems Agency’s (DISA) private cloud offering.

“As we work through using commercial providers, DOD CIO is going to make a determination as to whether or not those commercial providers can be used for all unclassified workloads, even national security systems,” DISA’s Chief Technology Officer David Mihelcic, told FedTech during the Federal Cloud Computing Summit in Washington, D.C., last week. “National security systems are things that, even if unclassified, are defined as mission critical. They are things that DOD needs to go to war.”...

Read more from the source @ http://www.fedtechmagazine.com/article/2015/01/how-dod-navigating-cloud-landscape

DISA releases new security guide for cloud computing

Grazed from DefenseSystems. Author: Kevin McCaney.

The Defense Information Systems Agency has released its new security requirements guide for cloud computing, which is intended to make it easier—and quicker—for Defense Department agencies to procure commercial cloud services while still ensuring security. The new SRG puts out to pasture the Cloud Security Model, under which only a handful of vendors had received authorization, and more closely follows the Federal Risk and Authorization Management Program used by civilian federal agencies—although it does set additional requirements in areas where extra security is needed. In many cases, cloud providers will seek to comply with the SRG in coordination with their FedRAMP reauthorization.

"The SRG is designed to ensure that DOD can attain the full economic and technical advantages of using the commercial cloud without putting the department’s data and missions at risk," Mark Orndorff, DISA Risk Management Executive, said in a statement. The new guide sets the security requirements for information up to the Secret classification, sets standards for what systems or information can be handled in a virtual environment and what data should be physically separated, and tweaks the impact levels identified under the old Cloud Security Model...

BrightLine to Exhibit at the Federal Cloud Computing Summit

Grazed from MarketWire. Author: PR Announcement.

BrightLine CPAs & Associates, Inc., a leading provider of cloud computing compliance and attestation reporting services, will be a sponsor and exhibitor at the Federal Cloud Computing Summit. The event, scheduled for January 14-15, will take place at the Marriott Metro Center in Washington, D.C. BrightLine professionals will be on-hand to discuss compliance initiatives, including FedRAMP and FISMA as well as complementary assessment programs such as SSAE 16, SOC 2/3, ISO, PCI, and the Cloud Security Alliance STAR Certification and Attestation programs.

The Federal Cloud Computing Summit provides Federal Government and private sector technology subject matter experts an opportunity to discuss the latest tools, trends and strategies driving the adoption of mobile, cloud, virtualization and big data technologies throughout the government. The sessions provide collaboration and learning through panel discussions, round table discussions, breakout sessions and a showcase featuring demonstrations of cutting-edge technology and professional services.