June 2011 • Volume 2 • Number 4

Unleashing The Power of Cloud

 With a cloud computing approach, a cloud customer can spend less time managing complex IT resources and more time investing in core mission work.

Click here to download Government Cloud Computing:The Federal Cloud Computing Strategy Unleashes The Power of Cloud.



Think “Cloud First” first!


“To harness the benefits of cloud computing, we have instituted a Cloud First policy,” wrote Federal CIO Vivek Kundra in the Federal Cloud Computing Strategy.


Over time, this strategy — if fully implemented — will funda­mentally change the way government approaches, uses and buys computing infrastructure and resources.


Cloud computing offers the government an opportunity to be more efficient, agile, and innovative through more effective use of IT investments, and by applying innovations developed in the private sector asserts Kundra.


“If an agency wants to launch a new innovative program, it can quickly do so by leveraging cloud infrastructure without hav­ing to acquire significant hardware, lowering both time and cost barriers to deployment.”


The rapid progression from the Federal Data Center Consoli­dation Initiative (FDCCI) to the 25 Point Implementation Plan to Reform Federal IT Management to the Federal Cloud Computing Strategy demonstrates the desire to accelerate the government’s migration to cloud based services and save budget dollars.


“This policy is intended to accelerate the pace at which the government will realize the value of cloud computing by requiring agencies to evaluate safe, secure cloud computing options before making any new investments.”


So, the debate is over for Federal program and IT managers. It’s “Cloud First” first.


Now, it is on the shoulders of both government and the private sector (whose must really deliver on their promises) to unleash the power of the cloud for government.


This issue of On The FrontLines focuses on government efforts to finally unleash the power of cloud. According to the Federal Cloud Computing Strategy, an estimated $20 billion of the Federal $80 billion in IT spending is a potential target for migration to cloud solutions in 2012.


To make that happen, leaders at OMB, GSA, DHS, NIST and others are stepping up efforts to bolster cloud security and provide contract vehicles that are as flexible as the cloud computing model they will purchase. Read about their efforts in this On The FrontLines.

Click here to download Government Cloud Computing: The Federal Cloud Computing Strategy Unleashes The Power of Cloud.

Inside The Federal Cloud Computing Strategy Unleashing The Power of Cloud 

Change Is Good! You Go First!

Dr. David McClure (GSA), Pete Tseronis (DOE) and David Mihelcic (DISA) are three leaders of the government charge to unleash the power of cloud.


Cloud Proving Grounds

Early cloud successes with email and collaboration applications at DHS, GSA and USDA are proving the benefits of service provisioning over asset ownership.


Fast Tracking FedRAMP

FedRAMP -- the Federal Risk and Authorization Management Program -- is being established to provide a standard approach to security for cloud computing services and products.


OTFL Interview: Alan Lewis, Vice Director, Computing Services, DISA

DISA operates a DoD community cloud that pro­vides a global content delivery services to users worldwide.


Cloud Shopping Made Easy

GSA Infrastructure and Email as-a-service BPAs are designed to give buyers access to secure cloud-based solutions to meet 2012 cloud migration deadlines.  


Cloud Experts Speak Out

Cloud experts from HP, Brocade and DLT and Unisys provide practical advice on moving to the Cloud.



Federal Computing Strategy is filled with resources. Get links to them along with videos and other views you can use.

Click here to download Government Cloud Computing
: The Federal Cloud Computing Strategy Unleashes The Power of Cloud.

Volume 2 • Number 7 • October/November 2010

Government Cloud Computing
Scalable and Secure, Agile and Affordable.
Click to download PDF.

Enormous opportunities for greater agility, scalability, productivity and cost savings abound when you embrace a “Cloud-First” culture.


But the stark reality is that while Cloud services are available and deliver proven IT savings and ROI, a government “Cloud-First” culture must be built over time.

Federal CIO Vivek Kundra acknowledged just this in his July 1, 2010 House testimony on moving to the Cloud:


“We recognize that the shift to Cloud computing will not take place overnight…we are still in the early stages of a decade-long journey. As we move to the Cloud, we must be vigilant in our efforts to ensure the security of government information (and) protect the privacy of our citizens… (and) fully consider the advantages and risks associated by defining standards and security requirements.”


The good news is that management—both technical and non-technical—sees the benefits of the Cloud:

·         Its economical pay-as-you-go approach to IT

·         Its flexibility to scale capacity and costs as conditions dictate

·         Its rapid implementation with clear-cut procurement and certification processes

·         Its consistent service and reliability

·         Its effectiveness providing more time for mission-critical tasks.


Plus it is Green and energy efficient because resources are pooled.

So, whether your agency decides to use a public, private or hybrid in the future, rest-assured these benefits will drive a “Cloud-First” culture in government over the next decade.

This edition of On The FrontLines examines Government Cloud Computing  and profiles ongoing government and private sector efforts to bring the economic gains of the Cloud to government enterprises nationwide and worldwide.

Read what NASA's Chris Kemp has to say about the Nebula Cloud Computing Platform in an exclusive OTFL interview. Learn what  GSA's Dave McClure is doing to help government agencies embrace the Cloud.

Find out how the role of the IT  professional is going to change in a Cloud-First culture and find out from some of the best private sector "Cloud" minds around how being in the Cloud can open up a new world of applications and increase security at the same time.

Kevin Jackson author of the Cloud Musings blog explores the economic gains of the Cloud and of course, there are videos, whitepapers and web links in the Resource Center.

Download Government Cloud Computing PDF!

Inside The Cloud 

Cultivating a “Cloud-First” Culture

Enormous opportunities for greater agility, scalability, productivity and cost savings abound when you embrace a “Cloud-First” culture.


Cloud Drivers

Federal IT leaders are serious about moving from today’s capital intensive Data Center IT infrastructures into flexible, agile Cloud infrastructures and software environments.


Viewpoints: Kevin Jackson, Author of Cloud Musings Blog

The Cloud’s real economic value means that individuals can design, build, deploy and globally market new and competitive products from their living room with minimal investment.


OTFL Interview: Chris Kemp, CTO NASA

Look for new NASA websites “where we intend to be transparent on how we do business and what we are working on. It’s going to be like “Gizmodo for space geeks”.


Changing Roles For IT Pros

Creating a Cloud-First culture changes the role of the IT professional and function in government. So get ready.


Clear Visions of Future Cloud Formations

Imagine a world where you don’t order servers and build things up from your IT group; simply there is a catalog of solutions, you just pull from the catalog and the entry includes everything you need to roll out that business service pre-configured.


Resource Center

Websites, White Papers, White House Memos and Videos

Download Government Cloud Computing PDF!


White Papers/Presentations 

American Council For Technology

Apps.gov (GSA)

CIO Council

Cloud Musings Blog (Kevin Jackson)


Effective Government eMagazine

Federal Cloud Blog
(Federal News Radio)

Federal Cloud Computing Wiki

FedRAMP – Federal Risk and Authorization Management Program

How Cloud Works

Linux Foundation

Nebula Cloud Computing Platform


OpenStack – The Open Source, Open Standards Cloud

Ulitzer Government Cloud


Worldwide Telescope


Case Studies, Research, White Papers & Special Reports


Army Experience Center

Brookings Institution, Economic Gains of Cloud Computing
Cloud Computing

Cloud Computing Basics

Cloud Computing Concepts

Cloud Computing: An Operational Perspective from DISA

Cloud Definition -- NIST


Effectively & Securely Using the Cloud Computing Paradigm (NIST)


Federal Cloud Computing Initiative (GSA Presentation)

Federal Data Center Consolidation Initiative FAQs

Federal Data Center Consolidation Initiative Final Baseline Inventory

Federal Data Center Consolidation Initiative Initial Data Center Consolidation Plan

Government Cloud Computing (Dataline)


Magellan - DOE


Moving Into The Cloud Step By Step – Dave Linthicum

Moving To The Cloud

Ongoing Virtualization Activities at NRC

Open Cloud Manifesto

Privacy Recommendations for the Use of Cloud Computing by Federal Departments and Agencies

Public Sector Cloud Computing Case Study: Agency-wide E-mail

Public Sector Cloud Computing Case Study: Agency-wide E-mail

Public Sector Cloud Computing Case Study: Be a Martian

Public Sector Cloud Computing Case Study: Case Management System

Public Sector Cloud Computing Case Study: Cloud Computing Migration

Public Sector Cloud Computing Case Study: Enterprise Data Center Strategy

Public Sector Cloud Computing Case Study: Forge.mil

Public Sector Cloud Computing Case Study: Online Answers Knowledgebase (SOASK)

Public Sector Cloud Computing Case Study: Rapid Access Computing Environment

Public Sector Cloud Computing Case Study: Recovery Accountability and Transparency Board

Public Sector Cloud Computing Case Study: Securities and Exchange Commission

Public Sector Cloud Computing Case Study: Supporting Electronic Health Records

Public Sector Cloud Computing Case Study: USA.gov

Public Sector Cloud Computing Case Study: World-Wide Telescope

State of Public Sector Cloud Computing Case Study: Personnel Services Delivery Transformation

Streaming at 1:00: In the Cloud

Transition to IPv6

Update on the Federal Data Center Consolidation Initiative

Vivek Kundra Testimony on "Cloud Computing: Benefits and Risks of Moving Federal IT into the Cloud"

Vivek Kundra, Federal CIO – House of Representative Testimony, July 2010


Vivek Kundra, Federal CIO – The Economic Gains of Cloud Computing


Vivek Kundra - State of Cloud Computing – May 2010

Army Experience Center 
Cloud Architecture & Roadmap - Citrix Systems 
Cloud Computing Security - Booz Allen Hamilton 
Economics of Cloud Computing Security - Booz Allen Hamilton 
Effectively & Security Using The Cloud Computing Paradigm - NIST 
Federal Cloud Computing Initiative Presentation - GSA 
Government Cloud Computing - Dataline 
GSA IaaS/Cloud RFQ - July 2009
IT Security Risk Mitigation - Booz Allen Hamilton 
Magellan - DOE 
Moving Into The Cloud Step By Step - Dave Linthicum 
Open Cloud Manifesto 
Public Cloud Computing Security - Booz Allen Hamilton 
Security Authorization and Assessment - Booz Allen Hamilton 
The Cloud Computing Controversy - EMC 
Cloud Computing Snapshot - May 2009 - Federal Computer Week
The 2009 Cloud Consensus Research Report 
Cloudy With A Sense of SaaS - SafeNet 
Internet Society 2009 Report on Cloud Computing  

Shaping Government Clouds Overview
 Volume 2 • Number 1 • January 2010



You may have heard that Cloud Computing is coming. In fact, it is already here -- and it's here to stay. Read Shaping Government Clouds and you'll learn what Federal Cloud Shapers are working on right now and why they think Cloud Computing is going to make a difference in how we work.

For example, you can read how right now the power of the Cloud is powering the The Army Experience Center Pilot in Philadelphia to help the Army enlist 21st century Army recruits using 21st century technology. 

What Federal Cloud Shapers want Cloud Computing to do is:


·         Accelerate the migration towards a services based environment that is technology and vendor-agnostic.


·         Enable rapid deployment of technology solutions for the Federal government without developing stovepipes.


·         Enable scalability for existing and new capabilities.


·         Increase savings through virtualization.


·         Reduce the cost of infrastructure, buildings, power, and staffing.


·         Improve the government’s ability to create a transparent, open and participatory government.


These “wants” are not a wish list; they are the stated goals of the CIO Council Federal Government Cloud Computing Initiative.


Making these “wants” a reality is what Cloud Shapers who are “On The Frontlines” are diligently working on.


So, who are these Federal Cloud Shapers? And what are they saying?

In Shaping Government Clouds, you'll be able to read, watch and listen to what the Federal government’s leading Cloud Shapers have to say including:


·         Casey Coleman, CIO, GSA. She leads the Federal Cloud Computing Initiative.


·         Pete Tseronis, Associate CIO, DOE. He chairs the Federal Cloud Advisory Council.


·         Chris Kemp, CIO, NASA Ames Research Center


·         Alfred Rivera, Director, Computer Systems Directorate, DISA


·         Keith Trippie, Executive Director, ESDO, DHS


·         Henry Sienkiewicz, Technical Program Director, RACE,DISA


·         Mike Krieger, Deputy CIO, Army


·         Rob Carey, CIO, Navy


·         Major Larry Dillard, The Army Experience Center, Army


·         Josh Sullivan, Booz Allen Hamilton


·         Rue Moody, Citrix Systems


·         John Sindelar, HP


·         Jeff Bergeron, HP


·         Dr. Ron Ritchey, Booz Allen Hamilton



·         Cloud Muse blogger Kevin L. Jackson, Jim Flyzik and the Resource Center

All are deeply involved in shaping the future of Federal Cloud Computing. Read what they are doing and you could become a Cloud Shaper too.

Shaping Government Clouds Articles

Cloud Shapers

Federal “Cloud Shapers”—led by GSA CIO Casey Coleman— are laying the foundation to securely use the Cloud to drive efficiencies, spur collaboration and foster innovation. More


Embracing The Cloud

DOE Associate CIO Pete Tseronis —also the Chairman of the Federal Cloud Advisory Council—shares how you can embrace the possibilities Cloud Computing offers. More


Cloud Recruiting

Army Major Larry Dillard talks about how the Army Experience Center (AEC) Pilot in Northeast Philadelphia is using the Cloud for Army recruiting. More


“Big Data” Laden Clouds

Harnessing “Big Data” can give big results. Josh Sullivan from Booz Allen Hamilton explains how. More



Cloud Implementers

Experts from Citrix, HP and SafeNet are using their Cloud expertise to provide down-to-earth Cloud-based solutions for government. Read what they are doing. More


Shaping Government Clouds Viewpoints 

Jim Flyzik: What Goes Around Comes Around

Just how much sun is shining through the Clouds? Former Treasury CIO, now respected consultant Jim Flyzik explores the Cloud landscape. More

Kevin L. Jackson: Cloud Computing: Real or Fad?

Kevin L. Jackson, the editor of Government Cloud Computing e-zine and the Cloud Musings blog, talks about whether the Cloud is here to stay. More


Jeff Erlichman: Calling All Cloud Shapers

On The Frontlines editor Jeff Erlichman offers the one best reason to move your appropriate apps to the Cloud. More


 Cloud Shapers

Federal “Cloud Shapers” are laying the foundation to securely use the Cloud’s capabilities to drive efficiencies, spur collaboration and foster innovation.


By Jeff Erlichman, Public Sector Communications


We are asking a lot of Cloud Computing.


We want it to accelerate the migration towards a services based environment that is technology and vendor-agnostic.


We want it to enable rapid deployment of technology solutions for the Federal government without developing stovepipes.


We want it to enable scalability for existing and new capabilities.


We want it to increase savings through virtualization.


We want it to potentially reduce cost of infrastructure, buildings, power, and staffing.


And finally we want it to improve the government’s ability to create a transparent, open and participatory government.


These “wants” are not a wish list; they are the stated goals of the CIO Council Federal Government Cloud Computing Initiative.


Making these “wants” a reality is what Cloud Shapers throughout government are diligently working on.


Over the past year, I’ve had the opportunity to listen to and talk with Cloud Shapers in government. Here’s what some have to say. And in the spirit of collaboration, contact them with your questions, concerns and ideas.


Leading The Federal Cloud Initiative


Casey Coleman, GSA CIO, leads the CIO Council Federal Government Cloud Computing Initiative.


 She moderated the AFCEA-Bethesda December 17, 2009 breakfast panel featuring of some of government’s leading Cloud Shapers, including NASA’s Chris Kemp, DISA’s Alfred Rivera, DHS’s Keith Trippie and DOE’s Pete Tseronis.


She led a discussion that spoke to the ongoing need to understand how to take advantage of the Cloud—an environment that she said is by nature multi-tenant and scalable—and how to overcome its challenges, security being #1.


Coleman also focused on the fundamental question that once Cloud Computing is embraced, how does an agency decide whether data should be in a public, private, hybrid or community Cloud? And further what information could be in a public Cloud?


“Not everything has the same level of risk. In the FISMA classification scheme you have low, medium and high and within that you have your own agency assessments,” Coleman explained.


“But there is a significant portion of the IT portfolio—that is the websites, the collaboration sites and data that is already public. They might be candidates for the public Cloud.”


Further, she asserted that government can’t be walled off from advances in the consumerization of technology when we can take advantage of them.


Nebula, RACE and Magellan


Coleman also focused the discussion on the importance of standards, architecture and having a structured path to move Cloud infrastructure and applications forward. These were the themes the panelists spoke of when describing what they are doing with Cloud.


Chris Kemp is CIO at NASA Ames Research Center. “Nebula is a Cloud Computing environment that allows scientists and researchers across provision infrastructure for scientific applications,” Kemp told the audience.


The pilot is under development at the NASA Ames Research Center. It integrates a set of open-source components into a seamless, self-service platform and is currently being used for education and public outreach, for collaboration and public input, and also for mission support according to Kemp.


Alfred Rivera is DISA’s Computing Services Directorate director. Describing RACE (Rapid Access Compute Environment), Rivera said RACE had a major release in October 2009, “where we are able to allow users the self service provision inside our production environment, and at the same time we streamlined the accreditation process.” DISA was able to break the accreditation process down from an average of 80 days down to

40. They know they need to be even faster.


Working closely with Coleman is Pete Tseronis, Associate CIO at DOE. He heads up the Cloud Computing Advisory Council consisting agency IT infrastructure professionals and enterprise architects.


“There are 70 members—enterprise architects and those in charge of operations in their respective agencies,” said Tseronis, “talking weekly and about what agencies need more of or about a pilot. We circulate that information back up to the Executive Steering Committee.”


Tseronis also described DOE’s new Magellan project. Funded by ARRA, according to DOE, the program will examine Cloud Computing as a cost-effective and energy-efficient Computing paradigm for scientists to accelerate discoveries in a variety of disciplines, including analysis of scientific data sets in biology, climate change and physics.


Defense Shapers


The November Federal Executive Forum on Cloud Computing featured Army, Navy and DISA senior officials who talked about their Cloud programs today, what they are working on for tomorrow and what they envision in the future.


Henry Sienkiewicz, DISA Technical Program Director, Computer Services said, “when we look at these data centers of the future, what I see are hyper connected, highly virtualized environments where the military user is able to essentially plug in to the DISA operating environment. And we are able to deliver these services into highly disparate, geographically challenged environments.”


Mike Krieger, Army Deputy CIO, told the Forum audience from a CIO perspective what is exciting is that we are moving up the IT stack.


“Today hardware is a commodity. The operating systems are starting to become a commodity. As you talk Cloud Computing, now you are making storage a commodity and infrastructure-as-a-service a commodity. The exciting thing on the horizon for us is you’ve got this Eucalyptus open standard for Cloud Computing, because once you get a standard that’s developed across industry, then I move up and make more of the IT stack a commodity.


So my vision is that in 5 or 10 years we will have moved up the stack significantly and IT infrastructure will truly be a commodity that’s an enabler for the Warfighter.“


Rob Carey, Navy CIO sees a future where for users it is all about the experience they are having with that ubiquitous term called the network and the ability to access data when it’s needed, where it’s needed.


“Users just care about ‘I search, I find, I analyze, I act, I go do my thing.’ And so Cloud actually enables that and delivers this ability to have a ubiquitous computing environment. It delivers interoperability. So I think that the end state in 5 or 10 years is that we are moving to having the ability to get this data in front of the user when he needs it.”


So while Cloud Shapers talk of the future, pilots continue to emerge in the present. They will answer key questions: What to put in the Cloud? How to secure Cloud data in transit or at rest? How to prevent Cloud sprawl?


What about governance? What are the standards? What is your comfort zone in terms of who you share a server with? How do you get agencies to do an alternative analysis to see where Cloud can help? How do you make procurement easy?


And most importantly as DHS’s Executive Director, ESDO Keith Trippie eloquently asked, “How do you make Cloud a ‘customer first’ environment?”


Everything is evolving. This is just the beginning…stay tuned.

Contact Jeff Erlichman at jefferlichman@publicsectorcommunications.com 



Cloud Computing or “What Goes Around Comes Around”


Cloud is forcing us to do is to be proactive in looking at security, proactive in looking at costs, proactive in making these decisions, because they are complex.


By Jim Flyzik


It was the late 1970’s early 1980’s and everyone was talking about “Computer Time Sharing”. Instead of buying computers and software, organizations could “rent” time from a Computer Time-Share company such as CompuServe. Fast-forward to today. The talk is all about pushing our applications and data out to the “Cloud” and acquire IT as a service offering.


The concerns long ago with Computer Time-Sharing were security, performance and costs. Concerns I heard about Cloud Computing on our radio show were security, performance and costs. Why does this sound like déjà vu to me?


Is Cloud, like Time-Sharing of the past, a passing trend or is it a new era of computing to be sustained indefinitely? The history of computing since those early days has been analogous to a pendulum swinging. We have gone from the era of centralization on the mainframe, to pushing everything out to the regions in client/server environments, back yet again to data center centralization and consolidation. Now we are pushing IT services out to widely dispersed locations in the Cloud.


I hold the opinion that the movement to Cloud Computing will take off but likely be restricted in the early years to mostly administrative systems and “common-use” applications.


I doubt we will see mission-critical applications going to the service model anytime soon. Computer time-sharing lost its popularity when the internet took off because “common-use” services began popping up all over the network. But the security, performance and cost concerns prohibited the Internet from being seen as a reliable medium for mission-critical communications. However, unlike the past, there are many factors that make Cloud Computing more attractive today than computer time-sharing of the past.


First, is the availability of high-speed connectivity now and into the future with the proliferation of wireless broadband communications. It will be possible to acquire computer services from almost any populated area without a significant degradation in performance.


A second factor is, unlike the past where adding time-sharing and internet services to current environments added costs, Cloud Computing is pushing current environments out to the Cloud in attempts to reduce internal costs. Clearly, there will be a great deal of pressure on CIO’s to find ways to reduce operations costs in the years ahead as budget deficits are addressed.


And perhaps the biggest factor that makes Cloud attractive is the widespread availability of common-use open source applications that continue to grow in exponential fashion. The need to write new code internally to develop systems and applications will diminish as more and more common-use applications become available in the market.


Compare this trend to the popularity of PDA devices such as Blackberry, iPhone and the new Droid. Every day we hear about new “Apps” being created to run on these devices. This same trend will be seen in Cloud Computing. New services will show up to be deployed in the Cloud and made instantly available to the organization.


Although the centralization versus decentralization pendulum has been swinging back and forth for the past 40 years, the trend to managed services has been consistent. The day will come when government agencies will be primarily policy oriented and focused on mission with IT services being made available as support utilities.


Cloud Computing is the next extension of this trend although it will take time to evolve. And of course, the pendulum will continue to swing and the day will come when we will see “consolidation” of the services in the Cloud.


Jim Flyzik is President of The Flyzik Group, which specializes in providing strategic business consulting to business. In his 27 year government career, he served at Special Advisor to Tom Ridge, CIO at Treasury and held many senior IT positions as the Secret Service. He hosts the Federal Executive Forum on Federal News Radio and is the chair of the AFCEA 2010 Homeland Security Conference in February. Contact him at www.theflyzikgroup.com .



Embracing The Cloud


DOE’s Pete Tseronis urges you to conduct an “alternative analysis” to learn whether a secure Cloud solution can help solve your business problem.

By Jeff Erlichman, Public Sector Communications 

On Monday he spoke to a group from Australia about Cloud; on Tuesday, he spoke to a network intelligence interest group; on Wednesday he addressed data center consolidation and smart grid issues and opportunities; on Thursday he was talking with DOD and VA about where the government is heading with IPv6 and Cloud Computing.


With a speaking schedule like that (and as the chairperson of the Federal Cloud Advisory Council), there’s no doubt Pete Tseronis is on the frontlines of Federal Cloud efforts.


As Associate CIO at the Department of Energy (DOE), he also knows that Cloud and agency infrastructure go hand-in-hand.


 “All these solutions and architectures, whether it is Cloud, SOA, virtualizing and consolidating data centers, are linked together,” explained Tseronis in a recent interview.


“In government we tend to isolate these; even though we talk about shared services—initiatives like Cloud, TIC, IPv6, modernization of data centers or infrastructure in general—we can’t do one without affecting the other.”


Line of Sight


Articulating this “line of sight” is something Tseronis is passionate about; he is equally as passionate about advancing innovation and using the Cloud to build communities and deliver technology tools to citizens.


“I look at innovation as more community focused, having an interactive nexus that puts communication and technology tools directly into the hands of citizenry to innovate; and not just to respond to mandates,” explained Tseronis.


Tseronis advocates building innovation program offices in agencies. “Whether they are part of the CIO or higher up, IT has to be an agent of change and constantly looking to the future,” he counseled.


Infrastructure—The Common Thread


But right now his mission is to get Federal agencies thinking—and more importantly actively moving—to identifying and piloting areas where a Cloud Computing solution can solve current business issues.


“The paradox is we are pushing agencies to do an ‘alternative analysis’,” said Tseronis. “We want them to examine what you as an agency provide to the citizens and make a judgment call does ‘Cloud make sense for us?’”.


”That’s not saying ‘yes or no’ to Cloud,” he reiterated. “It’s looking at your data, systems and mission and determining does it make sense? You can’t just say, ‘it’s not secure and I’m going to build a private Cloud’.”


Tseronis recognizes there will probably never be one Federal Cloud. “But we don’t want to have 55 private Clouds either; we also don’t want to have Clouds that aren’t portable and interoperable.”


For agency executives and IT professionals, learning more about Cloud has another benefit according to Tseronis. “Cloud is another justification to think about examining your existing IT infrastructure and making sure it is the most efficient, most current, most up-to-date architecture.”


The fact is your infrastructure may need a facelift anyway according to Tseronis. Cloud—whether you use a public, private, hybrid or community—offers tangible and measureable opportunities to increase productivity and reduce infrastructure costs.


Overcoming Objections through Education


Tseronis acknowledges inhibiting Cloud growth is that “people get lost in the weeds, the message gets lost in translation.” What’s more, security makes them nervous because they are unsure of where their data is stored and who they share server space with.


So, how is Cloud going to come to fruition if people are ultimately hesitant to move in that direction because they are concerned about where the data ultimately resides on a server in a Cloud?


The answer is in trusting your network and the security it provides says Tseronis. “Trust the network so you can go to bed knowing your data is protected. It all comes back to education and being aware of how all this stuff ties together.”


What’s at stake is whether we become an integrated Federal government or whether we will stay in a stovepipe federated landscape.


“The data center is the heartbeat of an agencies IT service offerings and you have to make sure that is as current, and as up-to-date as possible,” said Tseronis.


 “You can’t have one agency with a great data center and one that is not great; that’s not good for the federal government as a whole,” he added. “We want to have state-of-the-art data centers whether on premise or off—whether in a Cloud or behind For Tseronis, IT modernization means continuous improvement.


“Don’t rest. Factor in new technologies. Prepare for new initiatives every year,“ counseled Tseronis. “You are staying on the frontlines and seeing things mature. That is the key to innovation.”

Contact Jeff Erlichman at jefferlichman@publicsectorcommunications.com.


Cloud Recruiting


Major Larry Dillard talks about how the Army Experience Center (AEC) Pilot in Northeast Philadelphia is using the Cloud for Army recruiting.


By Jeff Erlichman, Public Sector Communications


Right near the “Red Entrance” across from the Dave & Buster’s in the Franklin Mills Mall just off I-95 in Northeast Philly is The Army Experience Center (AEC).


According to its website, “The AEC serves as a 21st century destination for people to get accurate information about the Army directly from the source. Conceived and built over a ten-month period, the 14,500-square-foot technology and education center is fast becoming a model for Army recruiting nationwide.”


However without Cloud Computing, the AEC wouldn’t have 21st century technology to power it, said the Army’s Major Larry Dillard in a recent interview.


Major Dillard works in the Office of the Assistant Secretary Army (Manpower & Reserve Affairs). “We have oversight for the Army’s marketing budget,” Major Dillard explained in a recent interview.


During 2007, he was on a team studying the effectiveness of Army marketing and recruiting and tasked to come back with recommendations.


Skunk Works


“What we did was establish a Pilot program to implement commercial best practices into Army marketing and recruiting,” said Major Dillard.


The Pilot took one recruiting company with 30 soldiers in North Philly. It was small scale with not a lot of users. The plan was to start from the ground and re-envision the way the Army does recruiting.


It entailed doing a ‘soup-to-nuts’ look at process and technology and use it as kind of a “skunk works” to innovate and come up with better business practices and tools that could be used throughout the rest of the enterprise.


“This wasn’t about Cloud at beginning or Salesforce.com (the solution used)”, said Major Dillard emphatically. “It was all about solving that business problem.”


“We made the conclusion our homegrown IT system wasn’t up to the task of effectively managing our marketing and recruiting business,” explained Major Dillard.


The homegrown system was developed to replace an old paper based recruiting system. So basically it automated the paper-based process but wasn’t optimized to capture business intelligence and provide decision makers the information they need to make timely and accurate decisions.


IT was a key part of Major Dillard’s challenge. Needed was something that could be implemented on a very small scale with a modest budget and also provided enterprise level functionality.


After looking at traditional CRM and marketing automation solutions, we “came to the conclusion that the traditional model could not work on the scale we are talking about,” Major Dillard explained.


“It quickly became obvious that a Cloud based solution was the only thing we could implement on cost effective basis that would give us the functionality we required. Salesforce.com immediately came to the fore.”


Major Dillard explained the challenge is Salesforce.com is not DOD accredited. The AEC was taking what had traditionally been a homegrown IT solution hosted in government data centers behind the firewall and now moving that business process outside the government firewall.


“That was a big challenge for the AEC Pilot and will be an even bigger challenge should the Army decide to expand beyond the Pilot,” Major Dillard predicted. “This is the issue; it’s still out there and I think it is going to be the case for any government agency looking to implement SaaS.”


Functionality Please


Out of the box the Salesforce.com Cloud solution solved a lot of the challenges we have been trying to fix for years noted Major Dillard.


The problem is “we have this massive recruiting database; and we have a big problem of tracking individuals across multiple touch points throughout their experience,” said Major Dillard. He explained the Army has not been able to connect the dots between marketing efforts on the front end to get the recruiting outcome wanted on the backend.


With the Army’s current recruiting system, the Army has to write and test code and find a way to migrate data over a wireless network.


“Salesforce.com gives us a much a more robust look of an individual’s contact with us over time and it comes with built-in mobile functionality,” noted Major Dillard. “You install the app and you are done. The information – nothing sensitive – is stored in the Cloud and allows the Army an easier way of gathering data before you bring it back inside the Army firewall.”


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Major Dillard clearly believes the Army could be more effective if the Army adopts Salesforce.com and other applications like it.


“In the AEC Pilot, we are able to do email marketing campaigns and Facebook campaigns. We track how they heard about us, traditional broadcast media efforts, radio and billboards,” explained Major Dillard.


By bringing all that information in, it gives the AEC Pilot a much better sense of how effectively it is spending its budget.


“I am completely and totally convinced that the Cloud provides government users dramatically lower costs with significantly improved functionality,” remarked Major Dillard.


“We have been able to deploy new functionalities five, six, or seven times over a year. We can do this in 10 days, while many times it could take 4-5 years to do in-house.”


The AEC Pilot ends in August 2010. After that, who knows, Army recruiting may be really taking to the Clouds.

Profile AEC: Counting On The Cloud


Issue: The Army needed an innovative way to communicate its mission, values, resources and career opportunities to a new generation of Americans on a local level.


Strategy: A “soup-to-nuts” re-think to develop The Army Experience Center (AEC) as a 21st century destination for people to get accurate information about the Army directly from the source.


Action: Run AEC pilot based on the Cloud to test whether a state-of-the-art technology and education center can shatter outdated stereotypes, start new career conversations and become a model for Army recruiting nationwide.


Outcome: Pilot began in August 2008. In August 200 the Army will evaluate the program, decide whether to tweak, keep or end the pilot.

Learn more at www.TheArmyExperience.com.


Contact Jeff Erlichman at jefferlichman@publicectorcommunications.com.



Cloud Computing: Real or Fad?


By Kevin L. Jackson


Suffering from hype-cycle whiplash, many information technology professionals are wary about jumping onto the Cloud Computing bandwagon.


Wisely they ask, “Is Cloud Computing real or just a fad?”


After wondering that myself for a while, I’ve personally come to the conclusion that Cloud Computing is an inevitable transition that will forever change IT.


A bold statement certainly, but let me tell why I think you should believe this too.


Like everything nowadays, the real driver behind Cloud Computing is society’s ever increasing reliance on information. The realization of ubiquitous information access from the internet has led to unparalleled demand for an ability to process that information.


From your personal email to YouTube, unstructured data now rules the world. In the early search engine days, this demand also highlighted the inadequacies of relational database technology. Efforts to address these shortcomings eventually led to advancements in parallel process techniques like map-reduce.


On a separate track, Moore’s Law1 drove processing and memory access speeds ever faster. With this and a bit of entrepreneurial business savvy, the use of a large number of commodity components to create powerful Computing infrastructures became a reality and Cloud Computing was born.


When cost savings, scalability improvements and the on-demand business model were added, the inevitability of Cloud Computing was sealed.


Cloud Computing is also symptomatic of a cultural phenomena. The internet has truly changed the nature of information technology. No longer isolated to the realm of geeks and wire heads, computers in their many forms, now rule everyday society. How many Gigs do you have in your iPod®? Will your next car have laptop stowage? Who is your Facebook friend? Do you tweet? Is your phone a mobile computer or is your mobile computer also a phone? The line between corporate IT and personal IT has forever been blurred. This puts the corporate IT staff in a “winner take all” battle with commercial IT services for dominance.


Whatever services are delivered within the organizational boundary will now be compared with those same services now available from the public Cloud. How does your company email compare to Gmail or Yahoo? Not fair is it.


So in a real sense, the IT professional that ignores Cloud Computing will soon be in search of a new vocation. From new datacenter designs to “exascale2 Computing”, this transition heralds the industrialization of IT. Even if your organization can’t effectively use this new paradigm, it will surely need to interact or compete with those that will. If you choose to fight or ignore the natural evolution towards Cloud Computing, you will become part of the problem.


In the government that means you should plan for change and plan is the operative word. Security, interoperability, acquisition rules and vendor lock-in represent important obstacles that must be overcome. An even if Cloud Computing is inevitable; it is definitely not the right approach for everything.


Many current applications will never work on a modern Cloud platform. Even if it was technically feasible, the cost to do so could be prohibitive. The first step is to understand the technology. You should then evaluate organizational options and identify specific business or mission areas where value can actually be realized.


Data from this investigation will point out relevant metrics and a path towards appropriate pilot Cloud Computing projects. Pilots that meet the previously set value hurdles can then be transitioned. Model, pilot, measure and refine. That’s the way to your future in the Cloud.




1 Moore’s law describes a long-term trend in the history of Computing hardware, in which the number of transistors that can be placed inexpensively on an integrated circuit has doubled approximately every two years.


2 Computer systems that can handle a million trillion calculations per second.


Kevin L. Jackson is a senior information technologist specializing in information technology solutions that meet critical Federal government operational requirements. Currently, he serves as Vice President at Dataline, LLC, and editor of Government Cloud Computing e-zine.


Kevin blogs regularly at Cloud Musings.  Contact Kevin at http://kevinljackson.blogspot.com.


“Big Data” Laden Clouds


Big Data and the Cloud allow better decision making through a more effective way to store, manage and analyze data.


By Jeff Erlichman, Public Sector Communications


Imagine the Cloud as a back hoe filled with 40 quadrillion bytes of data as the workhorse.


It contains the brute strength to perform the tremendous amount of analytics needed to cull “golden nuggets” from an ever growing massive amount of “Big Data” that can come at any time and in any format.


Then it can pick the best set of data and feed these “golden nuggets” to precision instruments (e.g. Oracle, PeopleSoft) analysts can use to make decisions in as close to real time as possible.


So, when analysts are defending against cyber threats, they can analyze data in close to real time—not 24 hours old—thus improving defense capabilities exponentially to thwart attacks.


The ultimate goal is real-time situational awareness.


Big Data allows better decision making through a more effective way to store, manage and analyze data. Imagine its implications in the cyber world; think about how it is already being used in the financial world.


This is one big reason why Big Data is being called the Cloud’s “Killer App”. And if your agency is not already looking at Big Data, it will be in the near future.


Killer App


Josh Sullivan of Booz Allen Hamilton travels the world of Big Data, helping clients take Big Data applications from pilot to production.


In a recent interview he defined Big Data as data that “no longer scales within a cluster; or a volume of data that can no longer be processed by one single computer or a cluster of computers.”


 He pointed out three attributes of Big Data and why it is applicable to the Cloud.


1. Elastic scale—it elastically scales up or down to your computing needs so you can meet demand or lack of demand for processing data.


2. Predictive Models—it allows you to run predictive models and detailed analysis over tremendous volumes of data that provide better decision insight and better information advantage.


3. Pre-computation ability—the capability to compute and do data analysis and analytics at mass scale for many different problems at the same time; then have them ready for analysts and decision makers when they are needed.


“Big Data in the Cloud builds on existing SOA and EA that government agencies have already put into the place,” explained Sullivan.


One of the ways we have begun to pilot Big Data analytics is we will augment an existing system with a Cloud pilot, Sullivan noted.


“Analysts can use their existing suite of visualization and analysis tools and keep all the capital they had built up around using these tools, but the source feeding those precision instruments is the Cloud.”


Distribute The Load


Sullivan explained Cloud is another way of doing distributed computing fast. Let’s say you have only 1 hour to process 40,000 quadrillion bytes (40 pedabytes) of data and try to make some analysis and recommend decisions to decisionmakers.


“You need that element of distributed computing to avoid the limitation of trying to process on one computer or small group of computers,” Sullivan said.


“The idea is I have 140 servers and I put them all to work on that problem. It is ‘divide and conquer’ and I can process the 40 pedabytes in an hour—instead of 27 hours on one computer. That trade up is why Big Data and Cloud are being put together.”


“The precision instruments they are already using can be fed by a Cloud solution that can look at massive amounts of data and continually do data analysis (via predictive models using pre-computation capabilities).”


Ask The Unaskable


Sullivan also pointed out analysts can now ask previously unaskable questions of their data in the Cloud.


“Humans want to ask complicated questions,” remarked Sullivan. “Data analysis in a Cloud allows you to ask really complicated very high fidelity questions at scale to data.”


Because it’s so scalable and computing resources are readily available, questions churn across a hundred or several hundred machines until you get the answer.


“Without the Cloud you couldn’t do the complicated clustering algorithms needed, because a single machine or a cluster would take too long.” Sullivan added that as Cloud is adopted the leading edge of Cloud infrastructure has to keep up with the increasing load.


Ask The Right Questions


Agencies moving to the Cloud need to have a transition methodology or plan in place to make sure they are in sync with the budget cycles.


Then is the technical maturity piece said Sullivan. “Some of database technologies have been around since ‘70s; some others have been around for 18-24 months. People have to take that into account when doing a pilot.”


And they need to have a trusted advocate—one that is not vendor driven but solutions driven. It’s also important to have a staff with experience in developing distributed systems according to Sullivan.


“Working with pedabytes or larger data sizes is complex and if someone hasn’t worked with this stuff they may not know the ‘trap doors’ to move or store that much data reliably in a data center or multiple data centers.”


Finding the right people that have in-depth skills to correctly design, develop and put into production some of these Cloud solutions around data analysis is tough and it’s a challenge finding the right staff said Sullivan.

Contact Jeff Erlichman at JeffErlichman@publicsectorcommunications.com.


Cloud Implementers


By Jeff Erlichman


Crawl before you walk. Walk before you run. This common sense approach of moving one step at a time—gaining proof points every step of the way—is prudent when integrating new ideas, procedures and technologies.


That is exactly what’s happening today with Cloud Computing.


“This is a new way of how you deliver shared services,” explained HP’s John Sindelar in a recent Roundtable on Cloud Computing. “The government always has challenges. The technology is there, but it is a change and they need to take ‘baby steps’ and get proof points.”


“Government is taking ‘baby steps’ because Cloud is a new for them and they don’t trust where their data is being held,” said Citrix’s Rue Moody. “They need to be sure that security is being taken care of.”


Although security may be the 800 pound gorilla for those hesitant to venture into the Cloud, these Cloud Shapers do see progress.


Cloud Applications


“Cloud Computing lends itself to collaborative situations including government agency-to-government agency cooperation and service to the citizen,” noted SafeNet’s Russell Dietz.


These would include a range of State Department functions, law enforcement functions, “First Responders”, environmental response and remediation, and scientific work as well as government-to-citizen interactions like the benefits application/adjudication/distribution process according to Dietz.


“Of course all of these examples require appropriate standards, infrastructure (including security) and business processes.”


HP’s Jeff Bergeron said “We are looking it more as a Platform-as-a-Service (PaaS) starting with more commodity based software services where instant messaging, email, collaborative environments could be positioned as a service within a Cloud.”


“Then, as the market progresses, we see movement towards mision operations or business operations applications such as HR and financial management and progressing farther up into core business and mission operations—the back office stuff.”


Bergeron noted HP is seeing rapid adoption in runtime production environments (e.g. DISA RACE). He also sees rapid adoption in testing office environments where users are able to provision, develop, model and test when needed and decommission when development is over.


Both Bergeron and Sindelar stressed that agencies are looking for proof points of the capabilities starting with less impactful areas of the business.


Pilots Abound


Citrix’s Moody pointed out that many groups are doing their own pilots and “playing” with the technology to see how it works for them.


“Some are using simple applications and some are loading everything; it depends on the organization. Some say ‘it works for this, will it work for that?’” Moody added that Citrix can host any application that is hosted to the Cloud now.


SafeNet’s Dietz summed it up this way. “With proper privacy protections and identity management/authentication Cloud applications can increase the efficiency of collaborative efforts by both simplifying the human-facing processes and increasing the delivery “speed” of services to the citizen.” At the same time Cloud decreases the time and reduces costs associated with transactions.


Evolving Revenue Models


For Cloud to succeed, all the panelists agreed one big issue to be solved is the software licensing models that have been in place for decades. They need to evolve to consumption on a per-service or per-transaction business model.


If you look at email and those types of services, they are primarily priced out per-email box or per-employee or per-contractor, said HPs Bergeron.


“These types of financial models are rapidly adopted into a Cloud environment. However if you look at larger enterprise software where there is an enterprise or dedicated license to an agency, there need to be new financial models.”


The Cloud functions from a service consumption perspective. The dedicated world does not, noted Sindelar. From how the procurement is done, to how to run the operating environment, Cloud is different.

Different means a new role for CIOs who would have to focus more on sourcing rather than developing legacy systems; different means making a mental adjustment and changing some things they have done for years.


When you are buying virtual versus physical, it enables faster service; no longer do you have to buy software in versions. It means doing more in less time and being able to act quickly on the business decisions of the agency.


At Citrix, Moody said “we have gone to a SaaS licensing model this year. This is a ‘pay as you grow’ model so you can react upon demand. You can have a month-to-month or if you need to ramp up for 30,000 troops, you just rollup 30,000 more licenses to make sure the Warfighters are getting the information they need.”


The Coming Future


“Cloud moves us towards open source and collaboration for transparency,” said HP’s Sindelar.


Bergeron added, “there will be a cost benefit analysis as to whether this system that is core to my mission can be put into a multi tenant environment and could have resources pulled from in support of non-mission critical stuff. That is where the break point takes place. We will see some within the Cloud and some have dedicated resources as it is today”


SafeNet’s Dietz talked about the need for a trusted environment is paramount. “As the defined boundaries of the IT workspace (i.e., Cloud) become increasingly flexible ‘trust’ means many things including ‘traditional’ IT security concerns as well data integrity, very large scale identity management and authentication, and privilege management.”


Citrix’s Moody said Cloud is a mental adjustment and because DOD has dedicated communications channels they will adopt Cloud faster. Civilian agencies which rely on commercial carriers will be slower to adopt applications for business missions because of connectivity issues.

Contact Jeff Erlichman at jefferlichman@publicsectorcommunications.com.


Calling All Cloud Shapers!

Reach Out & Touch Someone!


Try it. You might like it. You’ll never experience the benefits of Cloud Computing unless you try it.


By Jeff Erlichman


I admit it. I am not a Cloud Computing expert.


Unlike the others giving their “Viewpoints” in this space, I have never been a CIO at the Treasury like Jim Flyzik or an information technologist who makes his living by understanding and communicating the intricacies of the Cloud like Kevin Jackson.


So, why should you read anything I have to say about the subject? Because like many of you; I have been trying to understand Cloud Computing.


For the last year, I have talked with experts, attended countless events, listened to numerous webinars, read blogs and scoured the Web for information. I have even written a Snapshot for 1105 Government Information Group that appeared in Federal Computer Week in June 2009.


I could be characterized as one of those who know enough to be dangerous. So what’s my “common man” take-away from all this? And

why should you care about Cloud Computing or, more importantly, the unlimited computing capabilities the Cloud can provide?


First of all, technically, much of it sounds like old mainframe, distributed computing delivered with a lot more network speed using processors with a lot more muscle. Storage in the Cloud is measured in terabytes and pedabytes. You pay for what you use or “by the drink”. That makes the computing — and cost savings — possibilities endless.


But that is not the real benefit of Cloud.


The Army’s Major Larry Dillard clearly stated the overarching benefit. You can smell, touch and feel what the Cloud can provide in the Army Experience Center Pilot in Philadelphia. The Pilot is part of the Army’s efforts to study the effectiveness of Army marketing and recruiting.


“This wasn’t about Cloud at beginning or Salesforce.com (the solution used)”, said Major Dillard emphatically. “It was all about solving that business problem.”


To solve their problem, the Army concluded their “homegrown system” wasn’t up to snuff and traditional models couldn’t provide the scale they needed.


“It quickly became obvious that a Cloud based solution was the only thing we could implement on cost effective basis that would give us the functionality we required,” explained Major Dillard.


From everything Major Dillard told me, Cloud Computing makes it easier for the Army to recruit and secure its most precious asset – its people on the frontlines.


The Pilot is scheduled to conclude in August 2010. Don’t be surprised if this Cloud Computing solution becomes the model for future Army recruiting efforts.


So, what other proof do you need to consider a Cloud Computing solution for applications that are appropriate?


No one is saying “take everything to the Cloud.” No one is saying you have to share server space with unwanted neighbors. No one is saying that sensitive personal data should be stored in the Cloud. After all, “adoption

is about managing perceived risks,” said Chris Kemp, NASA Ames Research Lab CIO.


But as you modernize your infrastructure, you will hopefully have an opportunity to put your proverbial “toe in the water”. Because Cloud is not about technology, it is about serving the people who use the technology.


So, “calling all Cloud Shapers”! Step 1 is to reach out and touch someone. One good place to start is by contacting the Federal Cloud Computing Initiative Program Office or The Federal Cloud Computing Advisory Council.


Jeff Erlichman is Managing Partner of Public Sector Communications. He publishes Effective Government and The Greening of Government online eMagazines. He is also the editor/writer of the On The Frontlines digital magazine series. Contact Jeff at jefferlichman@publicsectorcommunications.com.





Cloud Shapers Share Their Future Visions 

Dennis Aubley
Lockheed Martin
Ron Bechtold

Rob Carey
Tim Harder
Mike Krieger
Dr. Ron Ritchey
Booz Allen Hamilton
Henry Sienkiewicz
David Smith

Published by

Trezza Media Group

Tom Trezza




Public Sector Communications, LLC

Jeff Erlichman




The Flyzik Group

Jim Flyzik





Design/Production: Reuter & Associates  


© 2010 Trezza Media Group, Public Sector Communications, LLC


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