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DISA reaches milestone in quest to manage and negotiate cloud contracts

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The Defense Information Systems Agency is one step closer to standing up cloud broker services for the Defense Department.

As DoD’s cloud broker, DISA will manage the use, performance and delivery of cloud services and negotiate contracts between cloud service providers and DoD consumers.

DISA announced Tuesday that it has developed a process for gathering and assessing DoD’s cloud computing requirements, evaluating vendors’ cloud offerings against contract requirements and has created a catalog for cloud services. In a June 2012 memo, DoD Chief Information Officer Teri Takai said all DoD components must acquire government or industry-provided cloud services using DISA, or obtain a waiver.

DISA will manage cloud services categorized as low or moderate in terms of potential impact on DoD operations in the event of a disaster or cyberattack. The agency will also ensure that cloud offerings comply with the department’s  information assurance and cybersecurity policies.

DISA is using Federal Risk and Authorization Management Program (FedRAMP) standards to vet cloud providers. The security program provides baseline standards to approve cloud services and products for governmentwide use.

By June 2014, all cloud services and products in use at federal agencies or in an active acquisition process must meet FedRAMP requirements.

So, far, CGI Federal and North Carolina-based Autonomic Resources are the only companies that have completed the FedRAMP security reviews. The companies will be the first FedRAMP-approved vendors to host DoD’s public data inside commercial data centers.

DoD approval of these companies to provide commercial cloud services is imminent,  according to DISA. Both companies have already seen big business among civilian agencies and have spots on the General Services Administration’s cloud computing contract.

GSA is deciding whether to stand up similar cloud broker services for civilian agencies, which could entail private companies serving as brokers.

 

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