NJVC Implementation of Cloud Computing Solutions in Federal Agencies
 

NJVC Implementation of Cloud Computing Solutions in Federal Agencies

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This paper outlines the essential steps to constructing a solid cloud computing roadmap.This paper outlines the essential steps to constructing a solid cloud computing roadmap.

This paper outlines the essential steps to constructing a solid cloud computing roadmap.This paper outlines the essential steps to constructing a solid cloud computing roadmap.

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NJVC Implementation of Cloud Computing Solutions in Federal Agencies NJVC Implementation of Cloud Computing Solutions in Federal Agencies Document Transcript

  • Overview: Implementation of Cloud Computing Solutions in Federal Agencies An NJVC Executive White Paper Kevin L. Jackson General Manager, Cloud Services September 2011NJVC and Driven by Your Mission are registered trademarks of NJVC, LLC. © 2011 NJVC, All Rights Reserved 1
  • Executive SummaryCloud computing is a game changer. The value of the new approach of cloud computing to theprovisioning and consuming information technology lies within its ability to enable more efficientand effective information sharing. Its merit is not just in cost savings, but in enhanced mission andbusiness enhancements and improved allocation of resources. Its characteristics not onlydramatically transform how an IT infrastructure is managed, but also the traditional roles ofenterprise IT professionals to a more service management orientation—as they becomeresponsible for helping their internal customers better use the externally provided IT services.Building a cloud computing roadmap is essential to unlocking the value of the cloud in a predictablefashion with acceptable risk. This paper outlines the essential steps to constructing a solid cloudcomputing roadmap.As a young approach, cloud computing is not without itschallenges. Few established tools, procedures and formats,potential risks exist. Primary challenges exist in securitycontrols—particularly related to the protection of sensitivedata—lack of federal regulations and compliance standards, anddata sovereignty.The benefits of cloud computing are recognized by the federalgovernment, including the defense and intelligencecommunities. Dialogue on cloud computing has been ongoingwithin the government for years, but agencies are still in theearly stages of implementing and adopting this new ITapproach. The Obama administration has publicly identifiedcloud computing as a viable solution to help cut the federalbudget. The administration adopted a “cloud-first policy” as partof its 25-point IT reform plan, which mandates all federalagencies to develop and implement one cloud-based solution byDecember 2011 and three such solutions by June 2012. For thefederal government, the evolution to the cloud is not somethingto consider in the future—it is something to put into operationtoday. The Obama administration has publicly identified cloud computing as a viable solution to help cut the federal budget. The administration adopted a “cloud-first” policy as part of its 25-point IT reform plan … For the federal government, the evolution to the cloud is not something to consider in the future— it is something to put into operation today.The government can learn many lessons from the private sector pertaining to the implementationof cloud computing solutions, as the private sector embarked on the journey to the cloud some timeago. These valuable lessons include the need to expect a multi-year transition to the cloud, use aconsistent cloud opportunity identification process to reduce the risk of project failure andformulate appropriate metrics (economic, operational and service) that are directly tied to mission.NJVC and Driven by Your Mission are registered trademarks of NJVC, LLC. © 2011 NJVC, All Rights Reserved 2
  • Use of a gate-driven cloud adoption process designed to terminate failed projects early in theproject lifecycle and deliver measurable capabilities within a quick timeframe is recommended.The defense and intelligence communities require utility computing methods that scale on demandand enable self discovery and self-service access to secure, timely and relevant information insupport of mission. Designing software independence from the hardware through the use of cloudcomputing solutions allows an operating system, applications and data to “live” across theenterprise and is fundamental to the transformation of compute, storage and network functionality.Facing an estimated $178 billion in budget cuts during the next several years, the Department ofDefense is exploring a number of administrative and structural cost-cutting measures—and IT isone of the first areas for consideration. Defense Secretary Robert Gates recently stated that theagency is reviewing how to reform how it currently uses IT, which costs the agency approximately$37 billion annually. DoD is in the process of consolidating hundreds of data centers and utilizingcloud computing in this shift, and the fact that the defense community is beginning to explore cloudcomputing through various smaller-scale projects is promising to proponents.For intelligence professionals, the use of cloud computing can not only make the automation of theinterpretation of documents and translation of data into operationally relevant entities and eventspossible, but it enables real-time continuous processing of the now digital document flow of ouradversaries. This commodity also removes the human from this tedious task, allowing intelligenceprofessionals to apply higher order professional analysis and insight. For intelligence professionals, the use of cloud computing can not only make the automation of the interpretation of documents and translation of data into operationally relevant entities and events possible, but it enables real-time continuous processing of the now digital document flow of our adversaries.The human-based documentation exploitation process has led to a reliance on “operationallyproven” processes and filters. Instantiated by the use of multi-page structure query language (e.g.,Boolean) and the ubiquitous goal of obtaining an appropriate “working set” of data, these processeswere born from the need to meet critical decision timelines within a computationally inadequateenvironment. Cloud techniques and technologies can now be used to work on all the data. And withan ability to leverage the power of a supercomputer at will, the working set requirement is now ananachronism and critical decision timelines can now be more easily met.Cloud computing can uniquely address important issues associated with mission support—particularly related to its ability to remove information silos among various organizations that havejoined forces on the same mission. Moving IT operations to the cloud assists in enhancedcollaboration to meet mission needs. It is critical to our national defense. As a bonus, cloudcomputing also can improve IT enterprise efficiencies and incur marked cost savings during projectlifecycles to alleviate some of the pressure of budget reductions for the defense and intelligenceagencies.NJVC and Driven by Your Mission are registered trademarks of NJVC, LLC. © 2011 NJVC, All Rights Reserved 3
  • IntroductionCloud computing is a new approach in the provisioning and consumption of information technology(IT). While technology is a crucial component, the real value of cloud computing lies in its ability toenable new capabilities or in the execution of current capabilities in more efficient and effectiveways.Although the current hype around cloud computing has focused on expected cost savings, the truevalue is really found in the mission and business enhancements these techniques can provide.When properly deployed, the cloud computing model provides greatly enhanced mission andbusiness capability without a commensurate increase in resource (time, people or money)expenditures.Cloud Computing: Changing the GameThe use of commodity components, coupled with highly automated controls, enable cloudcomputing.1 These characteristics also enable the economic model that makes it so disruptive to thestatus quo. As an example, the software-as-a-service cloud delivery model typically does notrequire any advance usage commitment or long-term contractual arrangements. SaaS not onlychanges the typical software vendor business model, but also radically changes the strategy,budgeting, buying and management options for the buyer. When Salesforce.com proved theviability of SaaS, the software subscription model was instantly endangered as a profitable businessmodel. Amazon Web Services is similarly attacking data center hosting with its Virtual PrivateDatacenter Infrastructure as a Service (IaaS) offering. Different cloud computing deployment models are actually changing what it means to be an IT professional … This transition puts the enterprise IT professional into a service management role, responsible for helping his or her internal customers better use externally provided IT services.Looking at this phenomenon from another angle, different cloud computing deployment models areactually changing what it means to be an IT professional. Since the days of the first computer, ITworkers have prided themselves in their ability to design, build, operate and fix the enterprisehardware and software components that comprise the IT lifeblood of organizations—both in thepublic and private sectors. These tightly knit teams worked hard to keep these custom-madeplatforms updated, patched and ready to meet daily business and mission requirements. In thecloud computing world, IT infrastructure that is not delivering differentiating value is viewed asworthless cost. Critical business applications like email, Customer Resource Management (CRM),Human Resource Management and Enterprise Resource Planning are being routed to more capablecloud providers of these same services. This transition puts the enterprise IT professional into aservice management role, responsible for helping his or her internal customers better useexternally provided IT services. The new enterprise IT department is more a services organizationthan the traditional delivery organization.NJVC and Driven by Your Mission are registered trademarks of NJVC, LLC. © 2011 NJVC, All Rights Reserved 4
  • The new cloud economic model also radically changes the view of what’s actually possible.Traditional IT procurement and provisioning processes have historically driven timelinesassociated with the delivery or fielding of improved information and data processing capabilities.Multiple threads of development, test, training and maintenance can also tax an organization’sshort- and long-term financial resources. IaaS and Platform as a Service options can not onlyeliminate or limit capital expenditures, but can reduce or eliminate the expectation of operationsand sustainment costs. The time required to realize mission or business value also is substantiallyreduced. With these differences, the impossible can suddenly become not only possible, but oftencan lead to new mission capabilities or brand-new cloud-enabled, revenue-generating businesses.Challenges of Cloud ComputingDespite the myriad benefits of cloud computing solutions, several challenges still exist. Being ayoung industry, there are few tools, procedures or standard data formats or service interfaces inplace to guarantee data, computer application and service portability. As evidenced with the recentsituation involving the services failure of Amazon’s Elastic Compute Cloud, outages can be apotential risk—and can have widespread implications for consumers of cloud services. This riskbecomes 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 ofcloud computing. A variety of security concerns exist. According to the article, “Three CloudComputing Risks to Consider,” in Information Security Magazine (June 2009), “the logging andauditing controls provided by some [cloud] vendors are not yet as robust as the logging providingwithin enterprises and enterprise applications,” which can put critical and sensitive data andinformation at risk. Security, of course, becomes increasingly critical in defense and intelligence ITenvironments.For the government market, the lack of regulations and compliance standards are also cause forconcern. Currently, no federal regulations are in place to govern cloud computing, and according toan April 2011 Information Systems Audit and Control Association survey of 1,800 Chief InformationOfficers (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 publicclouds. Specific to federal environments, data sovereignty is a challenge. According to a speechgiven by former Federal CIO Vivek Kundra at an April 7, 2010, National Institute of Standards andTechnology (NIST) forum," [Data sovereignty] is not going to be a question of technology. [Datasovereignty] is going to be a question of international law, and treaties that we will need to engagein the coming years.” CIO Kundra later added: “Weve got a very diverse interpretation and a verydiverse perspective when it comes to privacy or international security, if you look at ourneighbors—Canada or Mexico—versus whats happening in the European Union.”NJVC and Driven by Your Mission are registered trademarks of NJVC, LLC. © 2011 NJVC, All Rights Reserved 5
  • Cloud Computing and the Federal GovernmentThe Obama administration has identified cloud computing as a means to achieve savings in ITbudgets 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. Inhis Fiscal Year (FY) 2011 budget, President Barack Obama ordered a three-year freeze in spendingfor non-defense, intelligence and national security programs and the trimming of the budgets ofsome federal agencies by five percent. At a July 1, 2010, House subcommittee hearing, CIO Kundratestified: “To do more than less [in terms for federal spending], we need game changingtechnologies. Cloud computing is one such technology.”The federal government is in the early stages of a decade-long process to “move to the cloud,” buthas taken definitive steps in its adoption. Several key milestones have been achieved during thepast 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 agreementsThe Obama administrationadopted a “cloud-first” policy aspart of its earlier referenced 25-point federal IT reform plan. Thisplan was developed afterextensive review of federal ITprojects with a particularly hardeye on 26 large-scale projects atrisk due to being over budget andbehind schedule. This policy is partof the 2012 budget process. Source: 25-Point Implementation Plan to Reform FederalOne of the first steps in the “cloud-first” Information Technology Management, February 2009adoption is the requirement for everyfederal agency to develop and implement one cloud-based solution by December 2011 and threecloud-based solutions by June 2012. As of April 2011, agencies are making progress in thisendeavor.NJVC and Driven by Your Mission are registered trademarks of NJVC, LLC. © 2011 NJVC, All Rights Reserved 6
  • During a special White House event, CIO Kundra said that CIOs from 15 agencies have alreadyinformed the Office of Management and Budget that they will evolve to cloud-based email solutionsby the December 2011 deadline.Cloud computing also has been identified by the Obamaadministration as a viable solution to the administration’schallenge to cut the federal budget via the consolidation of800 of the government’s 2,094 data centers by 2015. CIOKundra has specifically identified cloud computing as acentral measure to reduce the costs and increase theefficiencies of federal data centers. Cost savings are alreadybeing achieved. At an April 12, 2011 Senate subcommitteehearing, Dave McClure, Associate Administrator, GSA Officeof Citizen Services and Innovative Technologies, testified thatthe consolidation of just 12 data centers to three will save $2million a year. Mr. McClure also testified that GSA’s move to acloud-based email system will save $15 million over the Source: “Federal Cloud Computing Strategy,” Office of the U.S.next five years. Chief Information Officer, Executive Office of the President of the United States, Feb. 14, 2011So, whether or not federal agency CIOs support cloudcomputing, the evolution to the cloud in their specific IT environments is not something to considerin the future: it is something to undertake today—and is mandated. Therefore, the way the federalgovernment conceives of IT operations must change from traditional practices and operatingsystems 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 newbusiness processes in place, highly automated resources provide the extensible platform needed tomeet agency or mission needs.Cloud Transition Lessons LearnedWhile the benefits and value of the federal cloud computing policy can be debated, the world’stransition to cloud computing as an integral component of any IT infrastructure cannot be denied.The prudent government executive should, therefore, heed the lessons learned from the manyprivate industry corporations that already have miles behind them on this journey.When identifying a potential cloud computing project, one should always count on a multi-yeartransition. Organizations should always use a consistent cloud opportunity identification process toreduce the risk of project failure by leveraging data from successful cloud implementations. Clientsneed to determine set metrics (economic, operational and service) with direct linkage to specificmission requirement(s). Use of a gate-driven cloud adoption process designed to terminate failedprojects early in the project lifecycle and deliver measurable capabilities within a quick timeframe(weeks—not years) is highly recommended.NJVC and Driven by Your Mission are registered trademarks of NJVC, LLC. © 2011 NJVC, All Rights Reserved 7
  • A risk mitigation plan also must be formalized that addresses each of the following concerns:2  Loss of Governance. When moving to a cloud environment, clients relinquish control to the CP on a number of security-related issues. A gap in security defenses may also exist as service level agreements may not adequately address CP-related security requirements.  Portability. Issues related to provider lock in are outlined in the Challenges section of this white paper on page 5.  Isolation Failure. Multi-tenancy and collaboration are at the core of cloud computing. Resource isolation failure addresses mechanisms separating storage, memory, routing and reputation among different clients on the same cloud (e.g., guest-hopping attacks). However, it must be noted that attacks on these mechanisms are not as pervasive and much more difficult to attempt versus attacks on traditional operating systems.  Compliance Risks. Investments in certifications (e.g., industry standard or regulatory requirements) may be compromised or lost when moving to the cloud.  Management Interface Compromise. Security is an issue with client management interfaces with the public cloud provider. The reason? These services are provided via the internet and permit access to a larger set of resources than traditional operating systems. Security risk can dramatically increase when this is combined with remote access and web browser vulnerabilities.  Data Protection. It may be difficult for clients to effectively check the data-handling practices of their CPs to ensure critical and sensitive data is handled lawfully and ethically. This problem can be aggravated in cases of multiple transfers of data (e.g., between federated clouds). However, it must be noted that some CPs share information on their data-handling practices with clients and others offer certification summaries on their data processing and data security activities and their various security controls (e.g., Statement on Auditing Standards 70 Certification.  Insecure or Incomplete Data Deletion. As with most operating systems, when a request to remove a cloud resource is made, a true erase of data may not happen. Adequate or timely data deletion also may not be feasible (or undesirable from a client perspective) because extra copies of data are stored but not readily available or the disk to be destroyed also houses other data from other clients. When multi-tenancies and the reuse of hardware resources are added to the mix, this risk can increase.  Malicious Insider. Cloud architectures necessitate the creation of certain staff positions (e.g., CP system administrators and managed security service providers) that can be extremely high risk in terms of internal security threats. Frequently observed signs for failure should be avoided  Lack of formal planning process  Missing or poor IT governance  Poor or missing responsibility matrix  Neglecting the human resource management challenges  No established program/project management office  Missing inventory of assets  Lack of executive oversight  Lack of established service level agreements (especially in multiple cloud provider scenarios)NJVC and Driven by Your Mission are registered trademarks of NJVC, LLC. © 2011 NJVC, All Rights Reserved 8
  • Creating a Cloud Computing Roadmap for Federal AgenciesFirst StepsAccording to, GovCloud: Cloud Computing for the Business of Government, when a governmentagency is ready to undertake the implementation of a cloud-based solution, it must determinewhich IT services, business functions and processes to deploy in the cloud environment. A five-yearroadmap should be created that includes the desired order to move each of the services to the cloudfor each year during that time period.3 Requirements for each service to be deployed in the cloudshould be developed and a cost/benefits analysis performed to establish the rationale why eachtargeted service should move to the cloud.Implementation of a Low-Risk Test CaseA low-risk test case should be implemented prior to undertaking a wholesale transfer of services tothe cloud.4 This is harder than it may sound as some IT services that may seem simple to deploy tothe cloud are not so easy. Four questions should be asked (and answered) to decide which ITservices are best suited to live in the cloud5: 1. Can compliance requirements be balanced with other IT prioirities? 2. Is this an IT function or service the agency has mastered? 3. Can the agency use a standardized service? 4. Is the test case easily implementable?A misconception may exist that just because an application or service being deployed to the cloudisn’t mission critical, the process will be simple and straightforward. This is not always true. If theagency is new to the cloud and wishes to establish a private cloud it will take time to determine theappropriate split of responsibilities between the service provider and the agency’s IT team.6Compliance and liability issues can also be tricky, as defining compliance conditions andestablishing liability for intellectual property protection with cloud vendors reach well beyond theIT world—and, as such, with so many moving parts may take time to properly address andresolved.7 NIST has launched the U.S. Government Cloud Computing Business Case Working Groupto assist agencies with the development of cloud-compatible user cases. Email, geospatial dataexchange and services management are among the first user cases currently in development.NJVC and Driven by Your Mission are registered trademarks of NJVC, LLC. © 2011 NJVC, All Rights Reserved 9
  • Additional RecommendationsThe authors of GovCloud: Cloud Computing for the Business of Government also offer sevenrecommendations that must be considered during the development and implementation of anagency’s cloud roadmap:  Own the information, even if you own nothing else. An agency must claim its right to own the information even if it doesn’t own the infrastructure, application or service associated with that information. Any agency is liable for its information—regardless of where it lives—and some education will likely be needed about this fact among its IT team. While it may be unrealistic to prevent departments from provisioning their own cloud application, the agency must institute policies and procedures to ensure it can monitor how information deployed to the cloud is managed. As it is often hard to envision future uses of information, it also is recommended that agencies make sure cloud-dwelling data can be brought back into the enterprise if needed.  Don’t take terminology for granted. It is vital to ensure that important terminology is defined in the same way by the agency and the cloud service provider—room for different interpretation always exists. A review of information governance policies must take place to identify the areas of highest risk so authoritative definitions for vocabulary in these areas can be developed and adopted.  Hope for standards, but prepare to integrate. In short, the cloud is young and isn’t established enough to have developed standard specifications for platform interoperability and data exchange. Strategic groundwork for future data integration needs to be laid in the early stages of any movement to the cloud. Agencies must insist that their cloud service providers provide clear documentation on the data formats and schemas used for information storage in their systems.  Control cloud platform proliferation. Agencies should minimize the number of different cloud platforms that require support to limit information fragmentation and decrease the chance of a future huge integration effort. To the greatest extent possible, an agency’s IT team should help departments look for shared requirements in standardized business functions. The team can identify cloud platforms that meet these needs and consolidate the agency’s services on them, when possible. Not only will the ability to share information increase, this will result in greater leverage when negotiating contract terms and pricing.  Make the information “cloud ready.” Agencies that organize their data sets well enough for use across multiple platforms will be best positioned to take advantage of cloud services, and will be better able to deploy enterprise information to the cloud more easily.IT teams need to get into the habit of encrypting data into one common format (probably XML)—a process even more important if data moves through externally operated resources to the cloud.  Master solution integration. The shift to the cloud requires IT professionals to change their focus from owning and operating enterprise systems to becoming master information service integrators. In addition to linking legacy databases to SaaS, IT teams need to connect their private and public clouds to create a seamless technology environment that works like a single cloud custom-made for their specific enterprises.NJVC and Driven by Your Mission are registered trademarks of NJVC, LLC. © 2011 NJVC, All Rights Reserved 10
  • Cloud Computing for Defense and IntelligenceThe defense and intelligence communities are not immune to cloud computing. Arguably more thanany other government agencies, their missions require a fabric of utility computing that scales ondemand and enables self discovery and self-service access to secure, timely and relevantinformation in support of mission: individual or shared. The traditional IT model requires systemengineering that binds most software to the hardware and does not provide an enterprise suite offunctionality or allow for increased flexibility and a governed lifecycle of services. Designingsoftware independence from the hardware allows an operating system, applications and data to“live” across the enterprise and is fundamental to the transformation of compute, storage andnetwork functionality. Designing software independence from the hardware allows an operating system, applications and data to “live” across the enterprise and is fundamental to the transformation of compute, storage and network functionality.Defense is dealing with a $78 billion budget cut—the first since September 11, 2001—and another$100 billion in other cost-cutting measures over a five-year period commencing in FY 2012.Defense Secretary Robert Gates is directing that the budget be cut from agency administrative andstructural areas (e.g., the Office of the Assistant Secretary of Defense for Network Intelligence andInformation, the Business Transformation Agency, and the Joint Forces Command are in the processof being eliminated or disestablished with some essential functions transferred to otherorganizations with the Pentagon).In an official statement on the proposed budget costs provided on January 6, 2011, Secretary Gatessaid: “First, reforming how the department uses information technology, which costs us about $37billion a year. At this time all of our bases and headquarters have their own separate ITinfrastructure and processes, which drive up costs and create cyber vulnerabilities. The departmentis planning to consolidate hundreds of data centers and move to a more secure enterprise system,which we estimate could save more than $1 billion a year.” Department of Defense ChiefInformation Officer Terry Takai also publically commented about the potential IT budget cuts at anApril 21, 2011, INPUT event, stating DoD’s support of the move of some of its IT operations to thecloud—particularly data centers.DoD has begun to explore cloud computing through several smaller-scale projects; some of theseare outlined in the “Examples of Successful Federal Cloud Solution Implementations” on page 13.NJVC and Driven by Your Mission are registered trademarks of NJVC, LLC. © 2011 NJVC, All Rights Reserved 11
  • Cloud Computing and Mission SupportInformation is often the decisive discriminator in modern conflict. Studies of recent mission failureshighlighted this fact, finding that many of these failures were caused by:  Existence of data silos  Human-based document exploitation process  Reliance on “operationally proven” processes and filters typically used to address the lack of computational power or decision timeAlso disturbing is that in most of these cases, the critical piece of information necessary for missionwas in possession. The failure wasn’t in obtaining the information, but in locating and applying it tothe mission at hand. Cloud computing uniquely addresses all of these important issues.Data silos evolved from a system-centric IT procurement policy and an almost reflexive reliance onrelational database technology. In developing early data processing systems, the high cost ofmemory and storage led to a premium being placed on the efficiency of application data access andretrieval. Relational database technology effectively addressed this need, which in turn led to itspervasive use across government. In modern IT system development, memory and storage arecheap—and getting cheaper—which has led to internet-scale storage and search paradigms thatare the stuff of everyday use today. The world’s largest databases cannot, in fact, be searchedquickly using a relational database management approach. Today’s ability to search multi-petabytedata stores in milliseconds virtually eliminates the need for data silos. This capability is realized incloud-based storage. Source: United States Army Intelligence and Security CommandNJVC and Driven by Your Mission are registered trademarks of NJVC, LLC. © 2011 NJVC, All Rights Reserved 12
  • Documents are the persistent records of human activity. As such, they are used to provide insightinto the societal structure and processes of our opponents. Conflict, however, is entity and eventcentric. The intelligence professional must, therefore, interpret documents and translate that datainto operationally relevant entities and events. The time and resource intensive nature of thisskillcraft is perfectly suited for the precision search and analytic capabilities of the moderncompute cloud. The use of highly standardized and virtualized commodity infrastructure, not onlymake the automation of this function possible, but it enables real-time continuous processing of thenow digital document flow of our adversaries. This commodity also removes the human from thistedious task, allowing intelligence professionals to apply higher order professional analysis andinsight.The human-based documentexploitation process led directly to aninstitutional reliance on theaforementioned “operationallyproven” processes and filters.Instantiated by the use of multi-pagestructure query language and theubiquitous goal of obtaining anappropriate “working set” of data,these time-honored processes wereborn from the need to meet criticaldecision timelines within acomputationally inadequateenvironment. Cloud techniques andtechnologies can now be used to workon all the data. And with an ability toleverage the power of asupercomputer at will, the workingset requirement is now an Source: United States Army Intelligence and Security Commandanachronism and critical decisiontimelines can now be more easily met.Cloud computing is unique in its ability to address these critical defense and intelligence missionneeds. That’s why cloud computing is critical to our national defense. As a bonus, cloud computingoffers defense and intelligence agencies the ability to increase efficiencies and incur marked costsavings during their lifecycles to alleviate some of the pressure of budget reductions. Moving IToperations to the cloud also will assist in enhanced collaboration.NJVC and Driven by Your Mission are registered trademarks of NJVC, LLC. © 2011 NJVC, All Rights Reserved 13
  • Examples of Successful Cloud ImplementationsArmy Experience Center Pilot Program, United StatesArmy Solution Benefits  Fewer recruiters required toTwo years ago, the United States Army initiated a pilot handle the workload of the fiveprogram to explore how to better utilize new technologies traditional recruiting centersin support of its marketing and recruiting work. The Army that the AEC replacedExperience Center (AEC) in Philadelphia, PA, uses a variety  Faster application upgrades  Dramatic reduction in hardwareof exciting technology—touch-screen career exploration and IT staff expenseskiosks, virtual reality simulators and social networking  Significant increase in stafftools to educate potential recruits about the Army and help productivitythem make informed decisions about enlisting. As part ofthe center operations, the Army needed a customerrelationship management system to track prospect engagement (virtual and in person) to helppersonnel better manage the recruitment and enlistment process.Despite constant updates over the years, the Army’s legacy data system could not be modified tomeet the new requirements of the AEC, specifically social networking and other web 2.0applications, data access from multiple platforms including mobile devices, the tracking of AECvisitor information and the amalgamation of marketing and recruiting data. After reviewing bidsfrom both traditional and “non-traditional” IT vendors, the Army chose a customized version ofSalesforce for the pilot program. The annual cost of the pilot is only $54,000—compared to theproposed operational costs from traditional vendors of $500,000 to $1 million a year.This cloud-based, mobility solution CRM tool allows the Army to track potential recruits as theyparticipate in the different virtual activities in the AEC, and recruits can remain engaged withrecruiters after they leave the center through social media and email. Due to the mobility of theplatform, recruiters also can access potential recruit information anytime and anywhere.Rapid Access Computing Environment, DefenseInformation Systems Agency Solution Benefits  Avoidance of high start-up costs andThe Defense Information Systems Agency made the leap additional ROI through software reuseto the cloud by establishing the Rapid Access Computing  Savings of between $200,000 and $500,000Environment in 2008. RACE is the agency’s secure, per project due to rapid project start-ups atstable, private cloud that utilizes virtual server lower coststechnology to provide on-demand server space for  An estimated $15 million in cost avoidancedevelopment teams. RACE is made up of several virtual by using open source software that providesservers co-located in a single physical server. for software reuse and collaborative development—in addition to lower funds for licensing and support  Improved software for agency users by providing version control and traceabilityNJVC and Driven by Your Mission are registered trademarks of NJVC, LLC. © 2011 NJVC, All Rights Reserved 14
  • RACE, which uses virtual server technology to provide on-demand server space for developmentteams, aims to be more secure and stable than a traditional public cloud. RACE consists of manyvirtual servers inside a single physical server. Within this virtual environment that meets DoDsecurity standards, customers use a self-service portal to provision computing resources in 50 GBincrements. The cost for RACE access is reasonable and can be established with an approvedgovernment-issued credit card.RACE offers the same level service and availability as a traditional server environment. Since RACEwas implemented, hundreds of military applications, including command and control systems,convoy control systems and satellite programs have been developed and tested on this cloud-basedsolution.Forge.mil Program, DISA Solution Benefits  Cost savings by dividing the costs ofForge.mil is the secure software development provisioning and operating oneenvironment established by DISA designed to provide physical server among severalDoD with tools and services to rapidly develop, test and virtual serversdeploy new software and systems. CollabNet provided  Rapid provisioning of functionalDISA with a cloud-based software development platform server space to users (24 hours),to allow customers to reuse and collaborate on software compared to a traditional dedicatedcode. To date, forge.mil manages more than 5,000 users server environment (three to sixwith more than 300 open source projects, 500 file weeks)release posts and 30,000 downloads.  Improved security through built-in application separation controls so all applications, databases and webForge.mil hosts an array of projects for different DoD servers are separated, and a strictagencies, including the Army, Navy, Air Force, Marine data cleaning processCorps and the Joint Chiefs of Staff.Personnel Services Delivery Transformation, Air ForcePersonnel Center Solution Benefits:Due to the mandated manpower reduction initiative, the  Savings of $4 million annuallyAir Force Personnel Center had to find a new, viable way to  Seventy percent increase indeliver human resource tools and services, while customer engagement in theimproving customer experiences by providing self-service knowledge basesolutions and the ability to track customer needs. AFPC  Reduction on the time required fordecided that the SaaS solution by RightNow was the customers to find answers fromsolution necessary for improved knowledge management, more than 15,000 documents oncase and contact center tracking and the ability to meet file: from 20 minutes to only twoclient survey mission requirements. minutes.After implementation of the RightNow solution, customersearches on the knowledge base have risen to nearly 2million per week. This cloud-based platform also provides the ability to scale services to meetfluctuating demand without any impact to customer experience.NJVC and Driven by Your Mission are registered trademarks of NJVC, LLC. © 2011 NJVC, All Rights Reserved 15
  • Appendix 1: References1. Mell, Peter, and Grance, Timothy. “The NIST Definition of Cloud Computing: Recommendations of the National Institute of Standards and Technology.” January 2011. Jackson, Kevin L., and Philpott, Don. GovCloud: Cloud Computing for the Business of Government: Desk Reference, March 20112. “Cloud Computing: Benefits, Risks and Recommendations for Information Security.” European Network and Information Security Agency. November 2009.3. Jackson, Kevin L., and Philpott. Don. GovCloud: Cloud Computing for the Business of Government: Desk Reference, March 2011.4. Jackson, Kevin L., and Philpott. Don. GovCloud: Cloud Computing for the Business of Government: Desk Reference, March 2011.5. Jackson, Kevin L., and Philpott. Don. GovCloud: Cloud Computing for the Business of Government: Desk Reference, March 2011.6. Jackson, Kevin L., and Philpott. Don. GovCloud: Cloud Computing for the Business of Government: Desk Reference, March 2011.7. Jackson, Kevin L., and Philpott. Don. GovCloud: Cloud Computing for the Business of Government: Desk Reference, March 2011.NJVC and Driven by Your Mission are registered trademarks of NJVC, LLC. © 2011 NJVC, All Rights Reserved 16
  • Appendix 2: Cloud Computing ResourcesInfo.apps.gov (http://www.info.apps.gov/node/19)Federal Cloud Computing Initiative (http://www.info.apps.gov/node/2)Federal Risk and Authorization Management Program (FedRAMP) –(http://www.info.apps.gov/content/federal-risk-and-authorization-management-program-fedramp)Cloud Computing Resources (http://www.info.apps.gov/node/14)“Cloud Musings by Kevin L. Jackson” (http://kevinljackson.blogspot.com/)“Cloud Musings on Forbes” (http://blogs.forbes.com/kevinjackson/)“Government Cloud Computing on Ulitzer”(http://govcloud.ulitzer.com/)NIST Business Use Case Template (https://collaborate.nist.gov/twiki-cloud-computing/bin/view/cloudcomputing/businessusecasescall03)NIST Computer Security Division, Computer Security Resource Center, Cloud Computing(http://csrc.nist.gov/groups/SNS/cloud-computing/)NJVC and Driven by Your Mission are registered trademarks of NJVC, LLC. © 2011 NJVC, All Rights Reserved 17
  • About the AuthorKevin Jackson is General Manager, Cloud Services, at NJVC. Before joining the company, Mr. Jacksonserved in various senior management positions with Dataline, LLC; Cryptek, Inc.; IBM; and JPMorgan Chase. Recently, he was named a “Cyber Security Visionary” by U.S. Black Engineer andInformation Technology magazine. Mr. Jackson is the founder and author of “Cloud Musings”(http://kevinljackson.blogspot.com) and “Cloud Musings on Forbes”(http://blogs.forbes.com/kevinjackson), a Forbes magazine online blog dedicated to public sectorcloud computing. He is also founder and editor of “Government Cloud Computing on Ulitzer“electronic magazine (http://govcloud.ulitzer.com ). His first book, GovCloud: Cloud Computing forthe Business of Government was released in spring 2011. Mr. Jackson has been deeply involved inthe broad collaborative effort between industry and the U.S. National Institute of Standards andTechnology on the federal government’s adoption of cloud computing technologies. He is theNetwork Centric Operations Industry Consortium’s Cloud Computing Working Group Chairman.About NJVCNJVC is one of the largest information technology solutions providers supporting the U.S.Department of Defense. We provide innovative and high-quality IT solutions to the government andcommercial organizations, and specialize in supporting highly secure IT enterprises, particularly forthe intelligence and defense communities. To learn more, visit www.njvc.com.NJVC and Driven by Your Mission are registered trademarks of NJVC, LLC. © 2011 NJVC, All Rights Reserved 18
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