Government's first cloud service now open for business
IDG News Service - White House CIO Vivek Kundra unveiled the first service in the U.S. government's new cloud computing initiative on Tuesday, launching a new Web site where federal agencies can buy online apps and basic computing services.
Run by the U.S. General Services Administration, Apps.gov is an online storefront where government agencies can buy online applications from companies such as Google and Salesforce.com. IT services such as storage, Web hosting and virtual machines will eventually be offered here as well.
Speaking at a press event at NASA's Ames Research Center Tuesday, Kundra said that the government could save a lot of money by using many of the Web-based and cloud technologies that are already available to consumers. It costs the U.S. Transport Safety Administration (TSA) $600,000 to set up a blog, he said. By contrast, consumers can get a Blogger account free.
"If in our lives, we can go online and provision Webmail within a matter of minutes, why must the government spend billions and billions of dollars on information that may not be sensitive in nature?" he said.
Kundra is hoping that the cloud will provide a way to streamline the government's annual $75 billion IT spending by using cheaper commercial hosting services and by using virtualization technologies to load more applications onto its servers.
Following up on Tuesday's Apps.gov launch, the government will roll out a number of pilot projects in 2010, making lightweight applications available to users. By 2011, federal agencies will start getting guidance on how they are expected to move to the cloud.
"There is a whole class of the solutions that can be deployed within the federal government, where we can literally leverage some of the consumer technologies that are out there," Kundra said.
Observers say that the government could clearly save money by moving to Web-based apps and consolidating data centers, but Kundra is going to have to overcome some major obstacles as he moves forward.
"There will be resistance for years to come, predicated upon culture," said Bruce Hart, the chief operations officer with data center company Terremark Worldwide, who was previously deputy CIO with the U.S. Central Intelligence Agency.
Another major issue will be security. Many agencies will be reluctant to move sensitive data to computers that are outside of their control. "We're going to see the word 'security' used as the counter-ammunition to his initiatives," Hart said.
Kundra agreed that it will take work to make cloud computing succeed in the federal government. "This is not going to happen overnight," he said. "It's going to take a number of months to years to address some of these deep-seated policy issues and technology issues."
- 18 Hot IT Certifications for 2014
- CIOs Opting for IT Contractors Over Hiring Full-Time Staff
- 12 Best Free iOS 7 Holiday Shopping Apps
- For CMOs Big Data Can Lead to Big Profits
- Slideshow: 5 ways to lock down your mobile device
- Slideshow: 10 mistakes companies make after a data breach
- How to rob a bank: A social engineering walk through
- Which smartphone is the most secure?
If you like your iPhone, you can keep your iPhone. Period.
President Obama has revealed that he's not permitted to carry an iPhone. It's too insecure for the job, he says. Instead, he's stuck with a BlackBerry. Well, someone's got to have one still. However, it turns out that the Pentagon has also outlawed non-BlackBerry smartphones. In IT Blogwatch, bloggers joke that 2006 called and they want their smartphones back.
- IT Certification Study Tips
- Register for this Computerworld Insider Study Tip guide and gain access to hundreds of premium content articles, cheat sheets, product reviews and more.
- Mitigating DDoS Attacks with F5 Technology
- This document examines various DDoS attack methods and the application of specific ADC technologies to block attacks in the DDoS threat spectrum while...
- The DDoS Threat Spectrum
- Bolstered by favorable economics, today's global botnets are using distributed denial-of-service (DDoS) attacks to target firewalls, web services, and applications, often simultaneously.
- Defending Against Denial of Service Attacks
- By utilizing end-user interviews, this whitepaper explores a deeper understanding of DDoS defense plans and reveals the knowledge gaps around the Denial of...
- Strategic Solutions for Government IT
- This paper outlines why F5 is the optimum partner to help achieve the levels of security, performance and availability that are vital to...
- BYOD Invasion: A Computerworld Report on the Consumerization of IT
- We profile three companies that aren't just coping, but learning valuable lessons. If, like them, you're thinking about mobile device management our definitive... All Government IT White Papers
- Video: 5 Secrets To Scaling Enterprise Apps Watch this video to learn how to successfully scale enterprise apps>>
- Collaboration 2013: Where Mobility Meets Connectivity Mobility and collaboration are quickly converging and users are demanding more capabilities. It's no longer enough to enable file sharing. This Webcast dives...
- Modernizing SAP environments with minimum risk - a path to Big Data Hear from top IDC analyst, Richard Villars, about the path you can start taking now to enable your organization to get the benefits...
- The Power of the Citrix Mobility Solution, XenMobile Does everything become a smartphone? Or does the smartphone begin to do everything? How can we afford to support BYOD? Rather, how can...
- BYOD Happens: How to Secure Mobility How to navigate the journey of securing mobility, including the BYOD corruption of IT, the top ten mobility strategies, and the mobility management...
- All Government IT Webcasts
Does your organization offer extensive benefits, cool perks, competitive salaries, opportunities for training and advancement? Then get it recognized!
Nominate your company or another deserving organization for Computerworld's 2014 Best Places to Work in IT list now through Dec. 12, 2013.