Update on Federal Cloud Computing

January 12, 2009
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My last several briefings, including one yesterday at the FIAC, have addressed some of the dramatic changes underway in the IT world.   That briefing is attached here: Download FIACGourleyBrief.pdf The conference had a focus on information assurance, computer security, network…

My last several briefings, including one yesterday at the FIAC, have addressed some of the dramatic changes underway in the IT world.   That briefing is attached here: Download FIACGourleyBrief.pdf

The conference had a focus on information assurance, computer security, network security and Chief Information Assurance Officers (CISO) in the federal space.   So I not only updated my briefing with the latest tech trends but changed it to focus on lessons learned from industry on compliance monitoring and automation of remediation and related topics.

But I also mentioned cloud computing.  Some points:

  • Cloud computing (use of computations services from ???the grid???) will accelerate
  • Government IT powerhouses (like NSA, NGA, DIA, DISA, IMO) will deliver more and more capability to users via the grid

And of course I mentioned that a key way to track what tomorrow's IT will look like is to track what community leaders are doing.  This includes DISA. 

This morning I checked Facebook and noticed a friend and CTO sent me a link to a great article on the topic of could computing.  I wish I would have seen that before the conference, I would have pointed everyone to that.  The link is here:

DISA CIO:  Cloud Computing 'Something We Absolutely Have to Do'

I recommend that article to everyone who wants to track the future of cloud computing in the federal space.   I believe fast followers will track DISA and their lessons learned and we will see similar things in the large organizations outside DoD.   Or maybe DISA will just scale up and provide this as a service to the entire federal enterprise?  Who knows? 

I also thought I should, as a former federal CTO, point out that building this sort of capability requires lots of hard work in multiple areas.  Attention has been paid to comms capacity planning, changing to server standards, improvement to security policy, fielding working identity management concepts, planning on conops, building alliances with mission partners in government and lots of work with technologists in and out of government.   My hat's off to the DISA senior leadership, including their CIO and CTO and IA crew, for bringing this initiative forward.  It will one day benefit the entire government and the citizens it serves.

More later.

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