Thursday, July 26, 2012

The Department of Defense Cloud Computing Strategy

Goals presented “consolidate and share commodity IT functions resulting in a more efficient use of resources.”

The Department of Defense needs to accomplish its critical global missions despite a decreasing budget and rising cybersecurity threat. To that end, the Chief Information Officer of the DoD, Teri Takai, released its Cloud Computing Strategy, which outlines its goals to accelerate the adoption of cloud computing throughout the department.

In the strategy, the Office of the CIO explains why it wants to move to the cloud, its goals, the challenges that stand in its way and methods to mitigate them, and the coming steps the Defense Department plans to take to get there. The strategy uses the National Institute of Standards and Technology’s definition of cloud computing for their strategy.

NIST defines cloud computing as: “A model for enabling ubiquitous, convenient, on‐demand network access to a shared pool of configurable computing resources (e.g., networks, servers, storage, applications, and services) that can be rapidly provisioned and released with minimal management effort or service provider interaction.”

DoD likes this definition because it includes Software as a Service, Platform as a Service, and Infrastructure as a Service. According to the CIO, the DoD currently has a “duplicative, cumbersome, and costly set of application silos” that can benefit from more cloud computing. The goals presented in the Cloud Computing Strategy is to “consolidate and share commodity IT functions resulting in a more efficient use of resources.”

The DoD hopes to provide device and location independent on-demand secure global access to mission data and enterprise services. They also hope to enable rapid application development and reuse of applications by other organizations. This means both sharing and adopting the most secure commercially available cloud services.

The Cloud Computing Strategy also lays out four steps for implementing the Department of Defense Cloud Environment. The first will be to “Foster Adoption of Cloud Computing” by establishing a joint governance structure to drive the transition and an Enterprise First approach while reforming DoD IT finance, acquisition, and contracting and increasing cloud outreach and awareness.

The next step is to “Optimize Data Center Consolidation” by consolidating and virtualizing legacy applications and data. The third step is to “Establish the DoD Enterprise Cloud Infrastructure” so that it’s agile, consolidated, and secure.

The last step will be to “Deliver Cloud Services” using existing DoD cloud services and external providers. The CIO will provide oversight for component implementation of these steps.

Please refer here to download the strategy.

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