Path to the cloud could go through SEWP
SEWP IV helps agencies fulfill the Obama administration's cloud-first mandate
When NASA officials created the Solutions for Enterprise-Wide Procurement (SEWP) IV governmentwide acquisition contract (GWAC) four years ago, they were not necessarily thinking about cloud computing, but they included in the contract’s scope of work technologies that today are essential to the cloud, such as virtual computing and virtual storage. “We didn’t have the words ‘cloud computing’ in the contract, but we had all of the pieces as part of the SEWP capability and scope,” said Joanne Woytek, SEWP IV program manager.
The ability to provide the IT products and solutions required for cloud computing is extremely important to both the SEWP IV program and its agency customers, who are fulfilling federal mandates to put in place new cloud programs and services. The White House directed federal agencies last December to move one service to the cloud in 12 months and two more services in 18 months. Administration officials estimate that 25 percent of annual federal IT spending — or about $20 billion — will eventually go to cloud computing initiatives.
Federal agencies have already begun using SEWP IV to help meet federal cloud computing goals. “Our customers are already buying to implement cloud solutions today, some more aggressively than others, but it’s hard to go a week, if not a day, without having a cloud discussion with either our partners or our customers,” said Jennifer Keating, director of civilian sales at CDW-Government Federal.
NASA’s private cloud solution, Nebula, was purchased through SEWP IV, Woytek said. Nebula, which is an open-source cloud computing platform, provides NASA scientists with infrastructure as a service for scalable computing andstorage for science data and Web-based applications. “I’m currently in conversations with the NASA CIO’s office regarding what else NASA might want to do with the cloud and how they might leverage SEWP for that effort,” she said.
In fact, the SEWP IV program is a user of cloud services. SEWP IV’s new Web-based customer service software is outsourced to a cloud provider, as is its FAQ page. Woytek said she is also considering using NASA’s cloud services for disaster recovery and other requirements.
“The cloud works. Software as a service works,” she said.