Government CIOs fret over apps reliability in the cloud

Grazed from CIO.  Author: Editorial Staff.

Government CIOs in states and local districts increasingly are looking to push applications to the cloud, but security and a reliable user experience remain principal challenges, a new survey reports.

Akamai, which provides a leading online content delivery network, tapped the Center for Digital Government to canvas state and local government IT workers to gauge their technology priorities and concerns, finding that poor user experience is a major obstacle for the spread of e-government services.  Government CIOs are struggling to meet rising expectations among consumers for what level of service a website should deliver, and 70 percent of the respondents in Akamai's survey said that a consistent user experience is an "unmet need."...

US Air Force Takes To The Cloud With Office 365

Grazed from TechAeris.  Author: John Vincent.

The United States Air Force. Cloud computing. The pun-filled headlines virtually write themselves. However we’ll try to refrain from being too punny.  Last week, the Air Force, in partnership with the Defense Logistics Agency (DLA), announced that it awarded more than 100,000 seats of a Department of Defense dedicated version of Microsoft Office 365 to Microsoft, Dell and General Dynamics.
As part of the deployment, which will begin in the next government fiscal year, the Air Force will have access to secure e-mail, calendaring, Office Web Applications, Skype for Business, and other important collaboration tools, helping the agency communicate more easily across active, civilian, and reserve personnel and move toward a consolidated mobile and messaging platform. Just as important, the Air Force anticipates that the migration will help it realign critical resources to better support its mission in a trusted cloud environment...

DoD Sets Ambitious Cloud Goals

Grazed from e-CommerceTimes. Author: John K. Higgins.

The U.S. Defense Department, often cited as a bit sluggish in taking advantage of the benefits of cloud computing, appears now to be emerging as a government leader in adopting the technology. In the short run, DoD has far outpaced other federal agencies in setting up cloud contracts. During the first quarter of fiscal 2015, the value of all federal contracts for cloud projects amounted to US$668 million, of which the overwhelming amount, $531 million, was attributed to the Defense Department.

The DoD upsurge in 2015 versus 2014 "is largely attributable to the award of the Defense Information Systems Agency's Enterprise Storage Solutions II contract, which calls for a hybrid cloud data storage service, with vendors supplying hardware housed in the agency's data centers," said Alex Rossino, a research analyst at Deltek...

The DOD's New Cloud Security Requirements: What Hosts Should Know

Grazed from Datamation. Author: Editorial Staff.

Towards the middle of January, the Defense Information Systems Agency - a subdivision of the United States Department of Defense - released a new cloud computing security requirements guide, which we first heard talk of back in November. The primary purpose of this SRG is to make the process of acquiring commercial cloud services more efficient for DoD agencies (without undermining security, of course). Not surprisingly, this means that the SRG effectively renders obsolete the DoD’s original Cloud Security Model, under which only a few select vendors received authorization.

“In plain language, the new guide explains that components “remain responsible for determining what data and missions are hosted” by cloud service providers,” writes Frank Konkel of Nextgov. “Each use of cloud services will also require an enterprise IT business case analysis, with each analysis required to consider DISA-provided cloud services such as DISA’s milCloud offering.”...

Government cloud on the rise: NSA and DOJ move to Amazon Web Services

Grazed from CloudComputingNews.  Author: Editorial Staff.

 At the Amazon Public Sector Symposium last week, the NSA announced that it will be moving some of its IT infrastructure to AWS. The NSA follows several other federal agencies, including the Department of Defense and the National Geospatial-Intelligence Agency (NGA), in joining the CIA in the Amazon cloud in the last nine months.
“The infrastructure as a service which Amazon provides has shown us significant IT efficiencies,” said Alex Voultepsis, chief of the engineering for the NSA’s Intelligence Community Special Operations Group, at a panel last week. Voultepsis then estimated that the agency will save 50-55% on infrastructure costs alone by moving to AWS...'s success on AWS inspires federal cloud use

Grazed from TechTarget.  Author: Beth Pariseau.

The United States federal government is moving beyond high-level cultural concerns as it looks to catch up to the private sector in cloud computing.  Instead of conversations about culture, this week's Amazon Web Services Public Sector Symposium here featured discussions about legislation and regulatory initiatives that are in the works to connect the federal government to public cloud.

Federal government poster children were paraded before the crowd at a keynote presentation with tales of success in the trenches with cloud computing -- including  The site famously experienced freezes, crashes and other glitches when it first opened to the public in October 2013...

Moving Forward with the Cloud

Grazed from GovLoop.  Author: Olivia Jefferson.

 Unless you’ve been pulling a Rip van Winkle in the woods for the past 20 years, you’ve probably heard of cloud computing by now. Many private sector companies have successfully integrated cloud services into their infrastructure; now government organizations are beginning to follow suit.  At Govloop’s Evolution of the Cloud event, Deputy CIO of the FCC John Skudlarek discussed how his organization is leading the way in the public sector adoption of cloud computing.
Growing up, Skudlarek didn’t have much of an interest in computers; however, his brother worked at Princeton’s computer center. Seeing the massive IBM 360/91 computer with all of its tape drives whirring through racks of equipment fascinated him. Connected by large physical terminals, this massive computer had to be stored under the school’s parking lot...

The future of the cloud is now (or maybe FY 2016)

Grazed from FederalTimes. Author: Jennifer Sakole.

At a recent Federal IT Acquisition Summit, a panel of government representatives discussed cloud adoption by the federal government. Comments made during the panel – particularly by Stan Kaczmarczyk, Director of the Cloud Computing Services Program Management Office within the General Services Administration's Office of Integrated Technology Services (ITS) – offer insight into what the future of federal cloud computing might look like.

Mr. Kaczmarczyk recognized the frustration that both employees and industry have with the slow adoption of cloud by the federal government. He pointed to several contributing factors, including the lengthy federal budget cycle, reduced budgets, and the temptation for agencies to exercise options on contracts already in place for legacy systems rather than initiating new procurement efforts required to move to cloud...

Cloud Computing: Verizon Brings Pay-As-You-Go Pricing to Government

Grazed from NextGov. Author: Frank Konkel.

When you think about the hallmarks of cloud computing -- on-demand service, resource pooling, elasticity, scalability and the like -- it’s easy to overlook how you pay for those cloud services. Federal agencies often still use a fixed pricing model, where an agency purchases an allotment of cloud services and pays for them, whether they are fully used or not.

However, in the spirit of true cloud computing, it appears cloud vendors are coming around to offering government customers the same pay-as-you-go approach popular among commercial customers. Verizon Enterprise Solutions, buoyed by demand from existing federal customers, announced last week it is offering a new consumption model for federal customers who use its Enterprise Cloud platform...

Cloud Computing: SAP/HANA Does Big Data

Grazed from SysConMedia.  Author: Kevin Jackson.

While SAP is globally renowned as a provider of enterprise management software, the name is hardly ever associated with the spooky world of intelligence. That is one reason why I jumped at the opportunity to talk with SAP executives responsible for the company's work in that clandestine marketplace.

SAP National Security Services, Inc.™ (SAP NS2™) is an independent U.S. subsidiary of the company and offers a full suite of SAP enterprise applications, analytics, database, cyber security, cloud, and mobility software solutions. These offerings, however, are endowed with specialized levels of security and support needed to meet the unique mission requirements of US National Security Agencies and critical national infrastructure customers...