|By Kevin Jackson||
|September 12, 2011 09:00 AM EDT||
(This is part 2 of the series entitled "Implementation of Cloud Computing Solutions in Federal Agencies" that first appeared on Forbes.com. This series provides the content of a whitepaper I recently authored. A copy of the complete whitepaper will be available at NJVC.com starting September 7, 2011.)
Despite the myriad benefits of cloud computing solutions, several challenges still exist. Being a young industry, there are few tools, procedures or standard data formats or service interfaces in place to guarantee data, computer application and service portability. As evidenced with the recent situation involving the services failure of Amazon’s Elastic Compute Cloud, outages can be a potential risk—and can have widespread implications for consumers of cloud services. This risk becomes even more severe if a mission-critical environment could be impacted.
A benefit as well as a challenge, security concerns have also slowed the widespread adoption of cloud computing. A variety of security concerns exist. According to the article, “Three Cloud Computing Risks to Consider,” in Information Security Magazine (June 2009), “the logging and auditing controls provided by some [cloud] vendors are not yet as robust as the logging providing within enterprises and enterprise applications,” which can put critical and sensitive data and information at risk. Security, of course, becomes increasingly critical in defense and intelligence IT environments.
For the government market, the lack of regulations and compliance standards are also cause for concern. Currently, no federal regulations are in place to govern cloud computing, and according to an April 2011 Information Systems Audit and Control Association survey of 1,800 Chief Information Officers (CIOs), compliance is a top risk. Approximately 30 percent of the CIOs surveyed said that “compliance projects are the biggest driver for IT risk-related projects”—particularly in public clouds. Specific to federal environments, data sovereignty is a challenge. According to a speech given by Federal CIO Vivek Kundra at an April 7, 2010, National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) forum," [Data sovereignty] is not going to be a question of technology. [Data sovereignty] is going to be a question of international law, and treaties that we will need to engage in the coming years.” CIO Kundra later added: “We've got a very diverse interpretation and a very diverse perspective when it comes to privacy or international security, if you look at our neighbors—Canada or Mexico—versus what's happening in the European Union.”
Cloud Computing and the Federal Government
The Obama administration has identified cloud computing as a means to achieve savings in IT budgets across federal agencies—across the board—and to address various other challenges (e.g., delays to capabilities and other inefficiencies) that have negatively impacted IT implementations. In his Fiscal Year (FY) 2011 budget, President Barack Obama ordered a three-year freeze in spending for non-defense, intelligence and national security programs and the trimming of the budgets of some federal agencies by five percent. At a July 1, 2010, House subcommittee hearing, CIO Kundra testified: “To do more than less [in terms for federal spending], we need game changing technologies. Cloud computing is one such technology.” The federal government is in the early stages of a decade-long process to “move to the cloud,” but has taken definitive steps in its adoption. Several key milestones have been achieved during the past two years in support of this effort:
- 2009: Establishment of the General Services Administration (GSA) Cloud Computing Program Office to coordinate the government’s cloud computing efforts; assembly of a public-private sector Industry Summit to discuss the benefits and risks of cloud computing; and creation of Security and Standards Working Groups to encourage collaboration and discussion on cloud computing by federal agencies
- 2010: Commencement of the development of federal security certification and accreditation processes for cloud services; convening of a NIST-hosted, public-private sector “Cloud Computing Forum and Workshop” to collaboratively develop cloud standards; release of 25-point federal IT reform plan; announcement by GSA and Federal Chief Information Officers Council on the requirements for the Federal Risk and Authorization Management Program, a standard approach for the federal government to access and authorize secure cloud-computing services and products
- 2011: Release of the Federal Cloud Computing Strategy (per the Obama administration’s 25-point IT reform plan) and award of 12 GSA IaaS blanket purchase agreements
The Obama administration adopted a “cloud-first” policy
as part of its earlier referenced 25-point federal IT reform plan. This plan was developed after extensive review of federal IT projects with a particularly hard eye on 26 large-scale projects at risk due to being over budget and behind schedule. This policy is part of the 2012 budget process. One of the first steps in the “cloud-first” adoption is the requirement for every federal agency to develop and implement one cloud-based solution by December 2011 and three cloud-based solutions by June 2012. As of April 2011, agencies are making progress in this endeavor. During a special White House event, CIO Kundra said that CIOs from 15 agencies have already informed the Office of Management and Budget that they will evolve to cloud-based email solutions by the December 2011 deadline.
Cloud computing also has been identified by the Obama administration as a viable solution to the administration’s challenge to cut the federal budget via the consolidation of 800 of the government’s 2,094 data centers by 2015. CIO Kundra has specifically identified cloud computing as a central measure to reduce the costs and increase the efficiencies of federal data centers. Cost savings are already being achieved. At an April 12, 2011 Senate subcommittee hearing, Dave McClure, Associate Administrator, GSA Office of Citizen Services and Innovative Technologies, testified that the consolidation of just 12 data centers to three will save $2 million a year. Mr. McClure also testified that GSA’s move to a cloud-based email system will save $15 million over the next five years.
So, whether or not federal agency CIOs support cloud computing, the evolution to the cloud in their specific IT environments is not something to consider in the future: it is something to undertake today—and is mandated. Therefore, the way the federal government conceives of IT operations must change from traditional practices and operating systems to new enterprise resource controls, standards and business processes and operations. With the computing stacks functioning as a utility within the infrastructure as a platform and new business processes in place, highly automated resources provide the extensible platform needed to meet agency or mission needs.
( Thank you. If you enjoyed this article, get free updates by email or RSS - KLJ )
An IoT product’s log files speak volumes about what’s happening with your products in the field, pinpointing current and potential issues, and enabling you to predict failures and save millions of dollars in inventory. But until recently, no one knew how to listen. In his session at @ThingsExpo, Dan Gettens, Chief Research Officer at OnProcess, will discuss recent research by Massachusetts Institute of Technology and OnProcess Technology, where MIT created a new, breakthrough analytics model f...
Sep. 26, 2016 07:15 AM EDT Reads: 1,875
If you’re responsible for an application that depends on the data or functionality of various IoT endpoints – either sensors or devices – your brand reputation depends on the security, reliability, and compliance of its many integrated parts. If your application fails to deliver the expected business results, your customers and partners won't care if that failure stems from the code you developed or from a component that you integrated. What can you do to ensure that the endpoints work as expect...
Sep. 26, 2016 07:15 AM EDT Reads: 1,596
SYS-CON Events announced today that Bsquare has been named “Silver Sponsor” of SYS-CON's @ThingsExpo, which will take place on November 1–3, 2016, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA. For more than two decades, Bsquare has helped its customers extract business value from a broad array of physical assets by making them intelligent, connecting them, and using the data they generate to optimize business processes.
Sep. 26, 2016 07:00 AM EDT Reads: 2,645
Technology vendors and analysts are eager to paint a rosy picture of how wonderful IoT is and why your deployment will be great with the use of their products and services. While it is easy to showcase successful IoT solutions, identifying IoT systems that missed the mark or failed can often provide more in the way of key lessons learned. In his session at @ThingsExpo, Peter Vanderminden, Principal Industry Analyst for IoT & Digital Supply Chain to Flatiron Strategies, will focus on how IoT de...
Sep. 26, 2016 06:45 AM EDT Reads: 1,073
Fact is, enterprises have significant legacy voice infrastructure that’s costly to replace with pure IP solutions. How can we bring this analog infrastructure into our shiny new cloud applications? There are proven methods to bind both legacy voice applications and traditional PSTN audio into cloud-based applications and services at a carrier scale. Some of the most successful implementations leverage WebRTC, WebSockets, SIP and other open source technologies. In his session at @ThingsExpo, Da...
Sep. 26, 2016 06:30 AM EDT Reads: 1,568
SYS-CON Events announced today that Roundee / LinearHub will exhibit at the WebRTC Summit at @ThingsExpo, which will take place on November 1–3, 2016, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA. LinearHub provides Roundee Service, a smart platform for enterprise video conferencing with enhanced features such as automatic recording and transcription service. Slack users can integrate Roundee to their team via Slack’s App Directory, and '/roundee' command lets your video conference ...
Sep. 26, 2016 04:30 AM EDT Reads: 1,417
Digital transformation is too big and important for our future success to not understand the rules that apply to it. The first three rules for winning in this age of hyper-digital transformation are: Advantages in speed, analytics and operational tempos must be captured by implementing an optimized information logistics system (OILS) Real-time operational tempos (IT, people and business processes) must be achieved Businesses that can "analyze data and act and with speed" will dominate those t...
Sep. 26, 2016 04:30 AM EDT Reads: 1,058
Information technology is an industry that has always experienced change, and the dramatic change sweeping across the industry today could not be truthfully described as the first time we've seen such widespread change impacting customer investments. However, the rate of the change, and the potential outcomes from today's digital transformation has the distinct potential to separate the industry into two camps: Organizations that see the change coming, embrace it, and successful leverage it; and...
Sep. 26, 2016 03:15 AM EDT Reads: 1,091
There is growing need for data-driven applications and the need for digital platforms to build these apps. In his session at 19th Cloud Expo, Muddu Sudhakar, VP and GM of Security & IoT at Splunk, will cover different PaaS solutions and Big Data platforms that are available to build applications. In addition, AI and machine learning are creating new requirements that developers need in the building of next-gen apps. The next-generation digital platforms have some of the past platform needs a...
Sep. 26, 2016 03:00 AM EDT Reads: 1,770
Almost two-thirds of companies either have or soon will have IoT as the backbone of their business in 2016. However, IoT is far more complex than most firms expected. How can you not get trapped in the pitfalls? In his session at @ThingsExpo, Tony Shan, a renowned visionary and thought leader, will introduce a holistic method of IoTification, which is the process of IoTifying the existing technology and business models to adopt and leverage IoT. He will drill down to the components in this fra...
Sep. 26, 2016 01:00 AM EDT Reads: 1,644
SYS-CON Events announced today that Numerex Corp, a leading provider of managed enterprise solutions enabling the Internet of Things (IoT), will exhibit at the 19th International Cloud Expo | @ThingsExpo, which will take place on November 1–3, 2016, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA. Numerex Corp. (NASDAQ:NMRX) is a leading provider of managed enterprise solutions enabling the Internet of Things (IoT). The Company's solutions produce new revenue streams or create operating...
Sep. 26, 2016 01:00 AM EDT Reads: 1,962
IoT is fundamentally transforming the auto industry, turning the vehicle into a hub for connected services, including safety, infotainment and usage-based insurance. Auto manufacturers – and businesses across all verticals – have built an entire ecosystem around the Connected Car, creating new customer touch points and revenue streams. In his session at @ThingsExpo, Macario Namie, Head of IoT Strategy at Cisco Jasper, will share real-world examples of how IoT transforms the car from a static p...
Sep. 26, 2016 12:30 AM EDT Reads: 1,547
I'm a lonely sensor. I spend all day telling the world how I'm feeling, but none of the other sensors seem to care. I want to be connected. I want to build relationships with other sensors to be more useful for my human. I want my human to understand that when my friends next door are too hot for a while, I'll soon be flaming. And when all my friends go outside without me, I may be left behind. Don't just log my data; use the relationship graph. In his session at @ThingsExpo, Ryan Boyd, Engi...
Sep. 26, 2016 12:30 AM EDT Reads: 1,255
SYS-CON Events announced today that Pulzze Systems will exhibit at the 19th International Cloud Expo, which will take place on November 1–3, 2016, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA. Pulzze Systems, Inc. provides infrastructure products for the Internet of Things to enable any connected device and system to carry out matched operations without programming. For more information, visit http://www.pulzzesystems.com.
Sep. 26, 2016 12:15 AM EDT Reads: 1,824
The Internet of Things can drive efficiency for airlines and airports. In their session at @ThingsExpo, Shyam Varan Nath, Principal Architect with GE, and Sudip Majumder, senior director of development at Oracle, will discuss the technical details of the connected airline baggage and related social media solutions. These IoT applications will enhance travelers' journey experience and drive efficiency for the airlines and the airports. The session will include a working demo and a technical d...
Sep. 25, 2016 10:00 PM EDT Reads: 1,709
SYS-CON Events announced today that Commvault, a global leader in enterprise data protection and information management, has been named “Bronze Sponsor” of SYS-CON's 19th International Cloud Expo, which will take place on November 1–3, 2016, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA. Commvault is a leading provider of data protection and information management solutions, helping companies worldwide activate their data to drive more value and business insight and to transform moder...
Sep. 25, 2016 09:30 PM EDT Reads: 2,531
The Transparent Cloud-computing Consortium (abbreviation: T-Cloud Consortium) will conduct research activities into changes in the computing model as a result of collaboration between "device" and "cloud" and the creation of new value and markets through organic data processing High speed and high quality networks, and dramatic improvements in computer processing capabilities, have greatly changed the nature of applications and made the storing and processing of data on the network commonplace.
Sep. 25, 2016 09:00 PM EDT Reads: 969
The vision of a connected smart home is becoming reality with the application of integrated wireless technologies in devices and appliances. The use of standardized and TCP/IP networked wireless technologies in line-powered and battery operated sensors and controls has led to the adoption of radios in the 2.4GHz band, including Wi-Fi, BT/BLE and 802.15.4 applied ZigBee and Thread. This is driving the need for robust wireless coexistence for multiple radios to ensure throughput performance and th...
Sep. 25, 2016 02:30 PM EDT Reads: 1,541
Enterprise IT has been in the era of Hybrid Cloud for some time now. But it seems most conversations about Hybrid are focused on integrating AWS, Microsoft Azure, or Google ECM into existing on-premises systems. Where is all the Private Cloud? What do technology providers need to do to make their offerings more compelling? How should enterprise IT executives and buyers define their focus, needs, and roadmap, and communicate that clearly to the providers?
Sep. 25, 2016 02:00 PM EDT Reads: 1,535
SYS-CON Events announced today that SoftLayer, an IBM Company, has been named “Gold Sponsor” of SYS-CON's 18th Cloud Expo, which will take place on June 7-9, 2016, at the Javits Center in New York, New York. SoftLayer, an IBM Company, provides cloud infrastructure as a service from a growing number of data centers and network points of presence around the world. SoftLayer’s customers range from Web startups to global enterprises.
Sep. 25, 2016 01:00 PM EDT Reads: 870