DoD outlines cloud strategy

The Defense Department outlined its strategy for transitioning to cloud computing, including plans for meeting security requirements and ensuring information is available to warfighters when needed.

The 44-page DoD Cloud Computing Strategy, released (.pdf) July 12 by DoD's chief information officer, Teri Takai, includes four concurrent steps for transitioning to cloud computing. They are:

  1. Fostering adoption of cloud computing by establishing a joint governance structure to drive the transition, shifting the culture to one of "enterprise first," reforming related policies and practices to improve agility and reduce costs, and winning buy-in from major stakeholders;
  2. optimizing data center consolidation to virtualize legacy applications and data;
  3. establishing the DoD Enterprise Cloud Infrastructure. Steps include incorporating core cloud infrastructure into data center consolidation, using a cloud service broker to deliver multi-provider cloud services, using the product-focused Agile development model,  and exploiting cloud innovation to drive secure information-sharing;
  4. leveraging commercial cloud services to expand cloud offerings beyond those provided by DoD.

Takai's office will establish a joint enterprise cloud-computing governance structure to manage implementation of the strategy, according to the report. DoD says it anticipates challenges including sustaining funding, migrating and managing data, and tactical users' dependency on the network.

In his "Open for Discussion" blog at, Brian Proffitt notes that the Pentagon says its server utilization is less than 30 percent.  One cloud-computing goal is to increase that to at least 60 percent, he writes.

In the vernacular of all things government, DoD calls the initiatives for "achieving improved mission effectiveness and cybersecurity in a reengineered information infrastructure" the Joint Information Environment, or JIE. The DoD Enterprise Cloud Environment is a component of achieving JIE goals, and the actual DoD cloud computing strategy is the formal path toward "an agile, secure, and cost-effective service environment that can rapidly respond to changing mission needs."

The Pentagon plans to use the Federal Risk and Authorization Management Program, or FedRAMP, to standardize the authorization and management of cloud-computing services and providers.

Julie Bird is a freelance reporter.

For more:
- download the cloud computing strategy (.pdf)

Related Articles:
DISA made DoD cloud middleman
Q&A: Rob Carey on the Joint Information Environment
DoD program managers wary of cloud computing

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