|By Kevin Jackson||
|April 14, 2009 03:00 AM EDT||
Federal agencies are now officially exploring cloud computing as an option for some of their information technology requirements. This development represents a significant shift from the quiet pilot activity so characteristic of new technology in the Federal space. Examples of this apparent increase in interest include:
- A recent Navy Next Generation Enterprise Network industry day during which the Navy also announced the intent on releasing additional Request for Information (RFI) regarding several different aspects of the NGEN segments. One of the topics of interest was cloud computing
- A Health and Human Services Center for Disease Control information technology infrastructure procurement that list cloud computing as a capability that needed to be supported
- A Defense Information Systems Agency (DISA) Broad Area Announcement that is seeking proposals on a Cloud Computing Infrastructure Pilot that "... establishes a private cloud computing capability, like that of Google, for the Department of Defense (DoD) that will run on the Global Information Grid (GIG)..."
Until now most of these efforts have been quietly pursued under existing contract as exploratory pilots. These three examples, however, represent focused interest by funded programs of record, an apparent acceptance by these organization in the inevitability of cloud computing as a mainstream technology.
The Washington Post actually highlighted this trend in a March article titled "Tech Firms Seek to Get Agencies on Board With Cloud Computing".
"Proponents say cloud computing could mean a big shift for traditional government IT providers, such as defense contractors SAIC and CACI. 'We think this thing is going to fundamentally change the way we leverage, procure and utilize IT,' said Michael Farber, a Booz Allen Hamilton vice president."
2009 is certainly turning into a big year for Federal cloud computing.
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In his general session at 18th Cloud Expo, Lee Atchison, Principal Cloud Architect and Advocate at New Relic, discussed cloud as a ‘better data center’ and how it adds new capacity (faster) and improves application availability (redundancy). The cloud is a ‘Dynamic Tool for Dynamic Apps’ and resource allocation is an integral part of your application architecture, so use only the resources you need and allocate /de-allocate resources on the fly.
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