GovCloud Network

A GovCloud Network Property

Friday, March 26, 2010

Cloud Computing's Next Challenge

Earlier this month, Melvin Greer and I teamed up on a Military Information Technology piece. Melvin is a senior research engineer and cloud computing chief architect at Lockheed Martin, and a member of NCOIC’s Cloud Computing Working Group (CCWG). Titled "Cloud Computing's next Challenge", the article provides an update on the work being done by the NCOIC CCWG. After focusing on cloud computing interoperability and portability issues, the group is expanding it's collaboration efforts with other cloud computing organizations. The CCWG’s initial efforts are focused on developing a hybrid cloud computing (HCC) capability pattern.

This net-centric pattern contains a set of instructions based on expert guidance that, when applied correctly, gives developers pragmatic advice about building interoperable products and systems. It also includes recommendations about which open standards developers should use in conjunction with the pattern. The HCC pattern could also support “tactical cloud computing,” which is typically defined as localized, short-lived information access and processing infrastructures.


Read the article for more information on the NCOIC's cloud computing efforts.




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Monday, March 22, 2010

NCOIC Discusses e-Discovery and Cloud Computing

Last week during its weekly meeting, the NCOIC Cloud Computing Working Group (CCWG) examined some of the legal aspects surrounding electronically stored information. With government use of cloud computing expected to grow, the group reach out to Mr. Jason R. Baron, Director of Litigation for the United States National Archives and Records Administration for some guidance. Mr. Baron is an internationally recognized speaker and author on the preservation of electronic records.  In 2009 he was named Co-Chair of The Sedona Conference® Working Group on Electronic Document Retention and Production, and has previously served as Editor-in-Chief of The Sedona Conference Best Practices Commentary on the Use of Search and Information Retrieval Methods in E-Discovery (2007), and Co-Editor-in-Chief of The Sedona Conference Commentary on Achieving Quality in the E-Discovery Process (2009).

In case you didn't know, the US Federal Records Act requires the taking of appropriate preservation measures for all electronically stored information that falls within the federal record definition outlined in 44 USC 3301. With this in mind, potential federal records "in the cloud" could include:
  • Google Docs
  • Gmail
  • Facebook, Twitter and YouTube postings
  • Email and structured databases of all kinds hosted on private servers; and
  • PDA text messages
Even the US Supreme Court has ruled on the matter, stating:

 “’Document retention policies,’ which are created in part to keep certain information from getting into the hands of others, including the Government, are common in business * * * It is, of course, not wrongful for a manager to instruct his employees to comply with a valid document retention policy under ordinary circumstances.” --Arthur Andersen LLP v. U.S., 125 S. Ct. 2129 (May 31, 2005)

In order to dramatize the scope of this issue, Mr Baron collaborated with Mr. Ralph Losey in producing the following informative video.





For more on e-discovery, please visit e-Discovery Team at http://e-discoveryteam.com/ .

The National Archives also has a "Frequently Asked Questions About Managing Federal Records In Cloud Computing Environments" available (http://www.archives.gov/records-mgmt/faqs/cloud.html).


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Saturday, March 20, 2010

Take the survey, get a book!

"Cloud Musings", in cooperation with Aditya Yadav & Associates, is conducting a new cloud computing survey. This short, eight (8) question poll, is designed to gauge general corporate plans around cloud computing. As a free thank you gift for participating, you can recieve one of two books:
Aditya Yadav & Associates is a boutique consulting company located in Bangalore, India. They represent the opinion of about 300 large Asia/Pacific companies. Survey results will be available in about 2 months.

Cloud Musings

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Thursday, March 11, 2010

Army Knowledge Leaders Study Cloud Computing

This week it was my pleasure to explore cloud computing with Army Knowledge Leaders (AKL) !

AKL is an intensive 2 year experience of training and work rotations designed to develop leadership, business and technology competencies to support the Army Chief Information Officer (CIO) mission (Clinger-Cohen Act of 1996). In doing this, the Army is cultivating a new breed of IT leaders for a knowledge-centric organization. Program participants are self-starters and lifelong learners with solid peer/mentor relationships and a commitment to public service.

Through the use of a cloud computing mind map, these knowledge leaders covered many aspects of cloud computing, including:
  • Definition and characteristics
  • Use cases and operational requirements
  • Security concerns and techniques
  • Industry standards
  • Cloud computing reference model
  • Mission driven solution design; and
  • Adoption and expansion process
The group I was with this week was truly impressive!! Kudos to the US Army for their visionary approach to information technology.  I would also like to thank the Army Knowledge Leaders Program for giving me the opportunity to interact with such an impressive group.

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Monday, March 8, 2010

Northrop Grumman & Lockheed Martin Selected for CANES

   Last week the US Navy awarded initial CANES contracts to Northrop Grumman and Lockheed Martin. Navy officials place the contract values at $775M for Northrop and $937M for Lockheed. As the key development program for afloat information technology infrastructures, this program represents the Navy's next-generation command and control, integrating servers, workstations, and networking systems to the Global Information Grid.


   As I wrote in "CANES and the CLOUD", CANES can be seen as the Navy’s transition to virtualization, SOA and cloud computing.The Navy's CIO, Robert Carey, Carey has suggested that cloud computing seems to be a logical step forward to make computing more effective and efficient, and that both NGEN and CANES programs would leverage cloud computing. He also has described a future of “grey clouds” on each ship. Carey has, in fact, consistently presented a view that the Navy must take advantage of this transformational opportunity to leverage its computing assets as part of NNE 2016. While recognizing that the Navy’s ships at sea and Marine war fighting units present challenges unique to the naval service, he views most garrison environments as prime candidates to test cloud computing. Citing CANES as a representational step towards his goals, he has outlined parallel paths of defining where the cloud computing model is applicable, and defining a business case to develop new applications within this new cloud model.

    Since the Navy's Space and Naval System's Command (SPAWAR) is actively evaluating where and how cloud computing can be best applied and  the Navy's CIO seems to be a strong proponent of moving in this direction, Northrop and Lockheed seem poised to be major players in the Defense Department's transition to the cloud.

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