CIO of Defense Department Agency Cautions Against Rush to Cloud

Grazed from CIO. Author: Kenneth Corbin.

For all the enthusiasm surrounding the government's move to the cloud – and there's no shortage – one prominent federal CIO is emphatic that cloud computing, for all its virtues, is no panacea for the government's technology challenges. That would be David Bennett, CIO at the Defense Information Systems Agency, or DISA.

At a government IT conference hosted by the tech consortium MeriTalk, Bennett acknowledged that "the cloud is a very viable scenario" for the feds, but he urges CIOs and other agency leaders to carefully consider which data sources and applications are suitable for a remotely hosted and managed environment...

Cloud Computing: DOD Deputy CIO - 'Cybersecurity should vary by mission'

Grazed from FCW. Author: Cobly Hochmuth.

No "one size fits all" at the Pentagon. The different levels of mission risk at the Defense Department have posed a major challenge to building out DOD's cybersecurity posture. Now, according to Deputy CIO Richard Hale, the department is working to make distinctions on the varying levels of risk by mission in order to make better decisions.

"Cybersecurity should vary by mission," Hale said in his keynote at the MeriTalk Cloud Computing Brainstorm event in Washington, D.C., on Sept. 10. "I shouldn’t spend as much money on morale and welfare website as I do on nuclear command control, it doesn’t make any sense."...

AT&T Unveils Cloud Storage Solution for Federal Government Agencies

Grazed from TalkinCloud. Author: Dan Kobialka.

AT&T has launched a cloud-based storage solution that is designed to meet the security requirements of federal government agencies. The new release, AT&T Synaptic Storage-as-a-Service (STaaS) for Government, enables federal government agencies to store information in the cloud.

"Federal agencies want the mobility, collaboration, information sharing and efficiency that the cloud offers, but they can't afford to adopt cloud solutions that sacrifice performance, reliability and above all, security," AT&T Government Solutions President Kay Kapoor said in a prepared statement. "Our new STaaS for Government [offering] delivers the key attributes federal buyers require and allows them to move to the cloud with ease and confidence."...

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NSF's $20 Million Investment Will Fuel Cloud-Based Research

Grazed from FedTechMagazine. Author: Nicole Blake Johnson.

The National Science Foundation wants to transform the way cloud services are designed and delivered to support a new wave of applications for medical devices, power grids, transportation systems and other critical areas. NSF is funding two $10 million projects aimed at empowering “academic researchers to experiment with novel cloud architectures and pursue new, architecturally enabled applications of cloud computing,” NSF CIO Amy Northcutt wrote in a recent blog post.

“While most of the original ideas that laid the foundation for cloud computing came from the academic research community, as clouds grew in popularity, industry has more recently driven their design and use,” Northcutt explained. That’s why the NSF-funded projects will complement industry efforts...

Amazon Achieves DoD Cloud Authorization for Sensitive Workloads

Grazed from TalkinCloud. Author: Chris Talbot.

Amazon Web Services (AWS) has bumped its credentials with the Department of Defense. Following on a previous announcement in March in which Amazon received DoD Provisional Authorization under the DoD Cloud Security Model for Impact Levels 1-2, the cloud infrastructure-as-a-service (IaaS) provider has increased its credentials to include Impact Levels 3-4.

Amazon said it is the first cloud services provider to receive certification for Impact Levels 3-4, anabling it to offer cloud services for sensitive workloads via GovCloud. "As part of the Level 3-5 Authorization, our partners and DoD customers will be able to implement a wide range of DoD requirements necessary to protect their data at these levels, including AWS Direct Connect routing to the DoD's network, comprehensive computer network defense coverage, and Common Access Card (CAC) integration," wrote Jeff Barr, chief evangelist for Amazon Web Services, in a blog post...

New government bare-metal clouds to probe virtualization, IoT frontiers

Grazed from ZDNet. Author: Joe McKendrick.

We've only just begun to embrace the potential of cloud. As the so-called Internet of Things takes hold, cloud computing services will need to acquire a new depth and breadth to handle petabytes of data, demanding, complex applications, and millions of users. New, evolving architecture is needed. The National Science Foundation (NSF) wants to promote a new generation of applications, including real-time and safety-critical applications such as those used in medical devices, power grids, and transportation systems.

These are among the reasons NSF recently announced two $10 million projects to create cloud computing testbeds--to be called "Chameleon" and "CloudLab"-- that will enable researchers to develop and experiment with, as they put it, "novel cloud architectures and pursue new, architecturally-enabled applications" of cloud computing. Ultimately, the goal of the NSFCloud program and the two new projects is to advance the field of cloud computing broadly, its promoters said...

NSF greenlights 'Chameleon' and 'CloudLab' for innovative cloud computing research

Grazed from FierceGovernmentIT. Author: Dibya Sarkar.

The National Science Foundation said it's funding academic research to develop and experiment with innovative cloud computing architectures. NSF announced Aug. 20 two $10 million projects to create cloud testbeds - one called "Chameleon" and the other, "CloudLab," according to a press release.

Cloud computing, which essentially is the use of remote servers to store, manage and process data, has gained enormous popularity in recent years due to the greater capacity, scalability, flexibility and savings it provides. Organizations can tap into new applications and services, enhance collaboration and ensure service reliability, among other benefits...

DISA harnesses the power of the cloud

Grazed from C4ISRNet. Author: Editorial Staff.

The Department of Defense CIO tasked DISA to be the DoD Cloud Broker to make it easier, safer and more productive to navigate, integrate, consume, extend and maintain cloud services, within the department and from other federal and commercial cloud service providers. As the department evolves to meet future requirements and a mounting demand for services and capabilities, DISA is charting the course to develop a robust cloud environment.

Likewise, while the department continues to gain momentum transitioning to a Joint Information Environment (JIE), the agency is acting on the necessity for a more streamlined, centralized, transparent and cost-effective system to fit current and future needs of all DoD agencies. Equally important, the JIE reduces the department’s overall attack surface to ensure secure cloud computing...

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CIA's Amazon-Built Cloud Goes Live

Grazed from NextGov. Author: Frank Konkel.

The Central Intelligence Agency is now officially an Amazon Web Services cloud consumer. Less than 10 months after a U.S. Court of Federal Claims judge ended a public battle between AWS and IBM for the CIA’s commercial cloud contract valued at up to $600 million, the AWS-built cloud for the intelligence community went online last week for the first time, according to a source familiar with the deal.

The cloud -- best thought of as a public cloud computing environment built on private premises -- is yet far from its peak operational capabilities when it will provide all 17 intelligence agencies unprecedented access to an untold number of computers for various on-demand computing, analytic, storage, collaboration and other services...

The EPA doesn't know what clouds it has - and neither do you

Grazed from InfoWorld. Author: David Linthicum.

Do you know how much cloud computing is really going on in your organization? If you're like IT management in most companies and government agencies, you don't have a clue. For example, the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) doesn't know how many cloud computing contracts it has or how secure they are, according to a recent audit by the agency's inspector general, in a report released last week.

In at least one instance, the EPA may not have had access to a subcontractor's cloud for investigative purposes. Worse, that same subcontractor was not compliant with the Federal Risk and Authorization Management Program (FedRAMP), which sets security standards for cloud providers. Most IT leaders don't have a real understanding of how many cloud computing (or other technology) resources are being used -- and to what extent -- right under their noses. It's called "shadow IT" for a reason: Those technologies are in the shadows...