GovCloud Network

A GovCloud Network Property

Sunday, October 25, 2009

DoD, DHS and FBI Highlight Identity Management Interoperability

Cloud Musings

During this week's Federal Executive Forum, key decision makers from DoD, DHS and FBI highlighted identity management interoperability as their key priority for 2010. Panelist included:
  • Robert Mocny, Acting Director, US-VISIT Program Department of Homeland Security;
  • Stephen Morris, Criminal Justice Information Services Division, FBI; and
  • Thomas Dee, Director, Defense Biometrics, Office of the Secretary of Defense
In fulfilling his responsibility for provide policy and programmatic oversight on DoD biometric programs, Mr. Dee indicated that his priority was to institutionalize proven identity management capabilities honed in Iraq and Afghanistan.





Mr. Morris' top priority is to establish interoperability among DoD, FBI and DHS biometric databases even though information is already shared daily during millions of transactions.





Citing the 10-finger print match capability with the FBI as a major improvement, Mr. Mocny echoed the other panelist adding that the next priority is to get a hardwire between the FBI Criminal Justice Information Services (CJIS), the DHS Automated Biometric Identification System (IDENT) and the DoD Automated Biometric Identification System (ABIS).




The complete show, "Identity Management-Progress & Best Practices", will be webcast on October 27, 2009 at 2:00 pm.

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Wednesday, October 21, 2009

EuroCloud Launches !!


Congratulations to Pierre-Jose Billotte for the successful launch of EuroCloud !!


Cloud Musings

Established as a pan European network, EuroCloud are communities that represent a knowledgeable network of companies engaged local and European activities related to SaaS and cloud computing. The network is organized in two tiers with a national level (France, Spain, England, Belgium, etc.) and a European level. The national level focuses on local topics while the European level addresses European topics,under the EuroCloud brand (or another if appropriate in a national setting). Only companies who have an interest in Cloud Computing and participate in the Cloud ecosystem can be members of the network. EuroCloud goals include:
  • Building relationships with the European authorities (Commission and Parliament) to help recognise the Cloud Computing industry as the future of IT in Europe and to promote a stimulating environment for development and growth of the industry;
  • Promote business relationships between members throughout Europe and internationally with counterparts such as SIIA; and
  • Promote technological relationships between members throughout Europe and internationally.
Companies listed below support the EuroCloud initiative, combining their expertise, experience and insight of the SaaS ecosystem to lead to better solutions for our customers.


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Friday, October 16, 2009

Government Cloud Economics

Cloud Musings

In the The Economics of Cloud Computing, Gwen Morton and Ted Alford have published an EXCELLENT economic evaluation of the federal government's push to cloud computing. Anyone interested in this market should definitely read it, analyse it, and believe it !! The conclusion acknowledges the value of cloud computing, but also offers these practical considerations:
  • It will take, on average, 18-24 months for most agencies to redirect funding to support this transition, given the budget process.
  • Some up-front investment will be required, even for agencies seeking to take advantage of public cloud options.
  • Implementations may take several years, depending on the size of the agency and the complexity of the cloud model it selects (i.e., public, private, or hybrid).
  • It could take as long as 4 years for the accumulated savings from agency investments in cloud computing to offset the initial investment costs; this timeframe could be longer if implementations are improperly planned or inefficiently executed.

Final recommendations are:

  • OMB, GSA, and other organizations, such as National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST), should provide timely, well-coordinated support-in the form of necessary standards, guidance, policy decisions, and issue resolution-to ensure agencies have the necessary tools to efficiently plan and carry out migrations to cloud environments. As the length of the migration period increases, the potential economic benefits of the migration decrease.
  • OMB and GSA should seek to identify those agencies with the highest near-term IT costs and expedite their migration to the cloud.
  • To encourage steady progress, OMB should establish a combination of incentives and disincentives; e.g., consider allowing agencies to retain a small percentage of any savings realized from cloud computing for investments in future initiatives. To monitor progress and heighten transparency and accountability, OMB could incorporate cloud-related metrics into the new government-wide IT dashboard.
  • Agencies should consider which of the high-level scenarios described in this article best suits their needs, with the understanding that regardless of scenario chosen, proper planning and efficient execution are critical success factors from an economic perspective.
  • Given the significant impact of scale efficiencies, agencies selecting a private cloud approach should fully explore the potential for interdepartmental and interagency collaboration and investment (consistent with emerging OMB and GSA guidance). This, in effect, leads to the fourth cloud deployment model-the community cloud. A community cloud is a collaboration between private cloud operators to share resources and services.
  • Agencies should identify the aspects of their current IT workload that can be transitioned to the cloud in the near term to yield "early wins" to help build momentum and support for the migration to cloud computing.

Definitely a must read !!


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Tuesday, October 13, 2009

Deputy CIA CIO Newest Ulitzer Author


Jill Tummler Singer, Deputy Chief Information Officer at the Central Intelligence Agency (CIA), is now a Ulitzer author. Appointed in November 2006, Ms Singer is responsible for ensuring CIA has the information, technology, and infrastructure necessary to effectively execute its missions. Prior to her appointment as Deputy CIO, she served as the Director of the Diplomatic Telecommunications Service (DTS), United States Department of State, and was responsible for global network services to US foreign missions.

Speaking at the recent GovIT Expo in Washington DC, Ms Singer highlighted cloud computing as an important CIO tool for quick and rapid provisioning of infrastructure to support business needs.

" Cloud computing makes all of this possible through inexpensive, commodity-based components that you can daisy chain together with a few clicks on the keyboard. You need temporary storage or fast dedication of storage to a new effort; the storage cloud can do that. If you need compute power, you can call up a dozen new servers to improve processing time and then decommission those servers when your peak has subsided. Or, if you need on-demand security services to process sensitive data, Cloud Computing can give you a private enclave with a full suite of security services in a matter of minutes and not months."


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Wednesday, October 7, 2009

Leading Federal Integrators Address Tactical Cloud Computing

Yesterday during the first annual Government IT Conference and Expo, tactical cloud computing was cited as a critical component within this new paradigm. Joining me to address the issue were:
  • Kartik Mecheri, the Chief Technologist for a large government contract for Unisys Federal Division. He is a leader in designing transformational modernization strategies building on enterprise SOA, BPMS, and asset re-use;
  • Melvin Greer, Senior Research Engineer, SOA / Cloud Computing Chief Architect, and Director SOA Competency Center, Lockheed Martin, Advanced Technologies Office; and
  • David Ayoub, the CTO for the GEOINT Research Development & Technology Division of Science Applications International Corporation (SAIC) in McLean, Virginia.
Links to presentations from the event are below:

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Tuesday, October 6, 2009

Carpathia Creates Government Solutions Business Unit

In a strong statement of focus, Carpathia Hosting has announced the formation of Carpathia Government Solutions, a unit dedicated to providing solutions specifically for federal civilian and defense agencies. This move was a direct result of the company's recent acquisition of ServerVault and looks to be a strong bid to provide secure managed cloud solutions to the federal marketplace.

The new business unit boasts ATOs (Authority to Operate) for over 20 federal agencies, support for private agency networks and an active facility clearance. During my interview with General Manager Seth Finkel their intent to redefine the federal hosting market was clear. According to Seth, their solution portfolio will range from traditional co-location and managed hosting to federally-compliant cloud services delivered via the most secure, federally-compliant hosting facility in the world.

"I’m thrilled to be leading an impressive team dedicated to the delivery of a comprehensive suite of secure, compliant solutions for federal agencies and other public sector organizations," said Finkel. "With Carpathia Hosting and ServerVault joining forces, we now have ten datacenters across the country and an expanded services portfolio that can leverage our proven Federally Compliant Application Platform(FCAP). The range and overall value of the IT services that CGS offers the government market is second to none in the industry."

Prior to the acquisition, Finkel led sales, sales engineering, marketing, product and business development efforts for ServerVault, including new customer acquisition, account management, channel and partner development, and other activities pertaining to product development/marketing, revenue generation and retention. Before ServerVault, Finkel was a key executive within PSINet’s global Web hosting business. He helped grow the business unit from infancy to a multi-national presence and $100M+ annual revenue. Finkel also held positions at MCI and American Management Systems (now CGI).

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