cloud checklist

ANALYSIS

What the CIA wants in a new cloud

As the CIA maps out the Cloud Computing Enterprise contract for the intelligence community, it is  asking vendors for information on how they'd structure such a commercial cloud environment.

A market survey that outlines C2E strategy and requirements also includes a 12-question survey, in which the CIA is seeking answers on service innovation, technical parity with the commercial environment and application and data interoperability across IC cloud environments, including those from different providers.

The IC agencies are interested in cloud capabilities out to edge nodes, particularly ones that have limited network communications and intermittent network interruptions. Related to that is a question about remote management capabilities. This suggests that getting cloud computing capabilities out to the field is very important. And you can imagine where some of these locations are.

But the IC also wants to know what resources are needed to supply cloud computing services on-premise at government locations. It also asks how many customers vendors have with at least 100 virtual machines running at any one time, which indicates that IC agencies are looking for cloud service providers with scale.

How new services are identified and brought into the cloud environment, is of interest, as is how that is done securely.

The question on acquisition approaches has multiple parts. It asks vendors about the contract type they think is the most effective and how multiple cloud providers and task orders would be best managed.

Some of the key takeaways from the survey:

  • Multiple cloud providers are a priority.
  • Getting closer to how the commercial market buys and manages cloud services is a goal.
  • Understanding the intelligence mission is a requirement.
  • Ongoing innovation and the introduction of new technology is critical.

The survey is available at the National Security Agency’s Acquisition Resource Center. Responses are due April 8.

This column was first posted on Washington Technology, a sibling site to GCN.

About the Author

Nick Wakeman is the editor-in-chief of Washington Technology. Follow him on Twitter: @nick_wakeman.

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