A couple of weeks ago, I was offered a chance to meet Mr. Vivek Kundra at the Eisenhower Executive Office Building in downtown Washington, DC. Needless to say, I was honored to be given the opportunity. Although I was clear on my own views of how the Federal government could use cloud computing, the Obama administration's plans were, at that time, anything but certain. What a difference a week makes !!
As has been widely reported, the President's 2010 Budget submission has firmly set cloud computing as a "key tool for improving innovation, efficiency and effectiveness in Federal IT. The GSA has emphasized this edict by releasing a request for information (RFI) for Infrastructure as a Service offerings. This rapid and fairly decisive course change to the way Federal IT will be procured in the future can potentially change an entire industry. Looking at what has happened in the financial and automotive industries, this could also be seen as the administration flexing its muscle yet again in order to set the direction of a crucial component of the US economic system.
So now, with a little over a week before my meeting with Mr. Kundra, what do I talk about? Since the administrations direction has now been set, there's clearly no need to discuss cloud computing as the right direction for Federal IT. Not being a political pundit or economic advisor, I will definitely stay away from the debates around government influence over the commercial sector. So as a technologist, I will stick to my knitting and discuss what technologies the coming GovCloud implementation will be able to leverage going forward.
If you have any suggestions for me, I would be happy to hear about them. The only thing I ask is for your recommendations to be focused on general technologies, industry standards or open source approaches. Please, no specific commercial products or specific technology implementations.
Of particular interest to me will be those technologies, standards or approaches that are "shovel ready", and available for pilot implementations today! As outlined in the budget, "... pilot projects will be implemented to offer an opportunity to utilize more fully and broadly departmental and agency architectures to identify enterprise-wide common services and solutions, with a new emphasis on cloud-computing. The pilots will test a variety of services and delivery modes, provisioning approaches, options, and opportunities that cloud computing brings to Federal Government. Additionally, the multiple approaches will focus on measuring service, cost, and performance; refining and scaling pilots to full capabilities; and providing financial support to accelerate migration".
I look forward to your assistance on this!