Security control room at QTS Richmond data center

QTS opens secure cloud test lab for government

Quality Technology Services (QTS) has opened a test lab in its data center in Richmond, Va., to develop secure cloud computing services for federal civilian, defense and intelligence agencies.

QTS, an Overland, Ka.-based provider of data center facilities and managed services, will work with i2 Sentinel Associates to develop and test next-generation secure cloud computing systems based on the requirements of federal agencies, according to a company announcement.

The firm said it is expanding the Richmond Data Center to 500,000 square feet to accommodate testing and evaluation of government cloud and data center requirements, including different power configurations, security fixes and continuity of operations upgrades.

Any prospective system can also be set up with very high bandwidth and security settings, including FISMA and special compartmentalized information (SCIF) facility requirements.

In addition, the firm is set up to design and test various data center configurations, including virtual and consolidated systems. 

The goal is to speed development of technology into operational settings including high performance computing, information service provisioning, cloud computing, cross community partnerships and shared knowledge transfer, Scott Shinberg, executive vice president of QTS’ federal systems group, said in a statement.

The Richmond lab contains some of the most advanced technologies in cloud computing, Shinberg said.  The technology, paired with the secure environment, will provide a way to enhance the performance and interoperability of government applications, he added.

The QTS Richmond campus features both physical and IT security, including:

  • 500-foot setback to all buildings surrounded by an energized fence protecting the campus perimeter.
  • K-12 delta vehicle barriers with K-12 rated fencing at all vehicle entrances.
  • Hardened 24x7x365 visitor screening facility rated National Institute of Justice (NIJ) Ballistic Level 3.
  • Metal detection devices and x-ray scanning instruments screen all visitors.
  • Central command center with 24x7x365 security staff with roving armed security officers.
  • Security monitoring with video surveillance and security cameras.
  • Card access, biometric fingerprint and iris scan identification systems throughout the facility.

As more government agencies consolidate data centers and transfer operations to the cloud, there is a growing demand for providers that can meet the compliance, regulatory and security requirements that go  with hosting and storing government applications and data in the cloud.

For instance, Iron Mountain, a storage and information management company, has opened a storage facility 220 feet below ground in Boyers, Pa., for agencies and others seeking a secure, multi-tenant data center. It offers Iron Mountain Data Centers, a portfolio of services for data migration, networking, tape handling and the recycling or of data center assets. Agencies can outsource the complete management of their data centers, company officials said.

About the Author

Rutrell Yasin is is a freelance technology writer for GCN.

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