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FCW : April 30, 2014
Agencies in the Defense Department now have a govern- ment-operated cloud services portfolio they can tap for cloud computing. The Defense Information Systems Agency announced the service, dubbed milCloud, in March. DISA billed it as a deliverer of cloud services tailored to DOD and said it can reduce costs and increase control, exibility and security for mission partners that handle classi ed and controlled unclassi ed information. DISA Chief Technology Of cer David Mihelcic said two Defense Enterprise Computing Centers --- in Oklahoma City and Kansas City, Mo. --- have implemented milCloud, which he described as "a government-operated private cloud internal to the DOD s unclassi ed network, the NIPRnet." He added that a version of milCloud internal to the SIPRnet classi ed network was expected to be activated this spring. According to DISA, milCloud features a "shared, virtualized computing infrastructure environment" commonly referred to as a virtual data center (VDC) "in which mission partners can manage compute, store and network resources." Within that virtual environment, "a self-service, on-demand, Web- based, management interface...enables mission partners to order, provision and directly manage their VDC resources." Mihelcic said users who place orders for services are given a quote for recurring costs before those services are provi- sioned through DISA s existing IT contracts. "We avoided making large capital investments by lever- aging a series of previously awarded capacity services con- tracts for processing, storage and networking components," Mihelcic said. "We pay for capacity as we use it versus buying it upfront. The capacity services costs as well as our other costs for milCloud are recovered through rates customers pay when they use the service." Competition heats up Cloud service providers (CSPs) have been competing for several years over contracts in the private sector and at civilian federal agencies, but DISA s milCloud signals a new era of competition for cloud services at DOD --- this time between the agency s own offering and commercial provid- ers. Many industry leaders, however, feel the deck is stacked against them. To compete for cloud contracts at DOD Impact Levels 1 and 2, which cover the department s unclassi ed public and unclassi ed private information, CSPs must comply with 298 baseline standards under the Federal Risk and Authori- zation Management Program. They must also comply with two dozen controls and enhancements in the latest version of the National Institute of Standards and Technology s Spe- cial Publication 800-53, "Security and Privacy Controls for Federal Information Systems and Organizations." Achieving compliance is a complex process for cloud providers, and it can take an average of six months to com- ply with FedRAMP alone. It s not cheap either: One large CSP reportedly spent some $5 million to earn approval from FedRAMP s Joint Authorization Board. 24 April 30, 2014 FCW.COM As DISA launches an internal cloud service, industry leaders worry the deck might be stacked against them Much ado about BY FRANK KONKEL what industry already has?" "MilCloud is a bastardization of DISA data centers
April 15, 2014
May 15, 2014