What is cloud computing? The term has proven so difficult to define that the National Institute of Standards and Technology has released 15 versions of the definition.

According to NIST's latest thinking, "Cloud computing is a model for enabling convenient, on-demand network access to a shared pool of configurable computing resources (e.g., networks, servers, storage, applications, and services) that can be rapidly provisioned and released with minimal management effort or service provider interaction." An Office of Management and Budget "cloud firstmandate requires every agency to have one cloud solution in place by December 2011 and up to three cloud-based programs by June 2012.


federal cloud computing

Latest Headlines

Latest Headlines

Final NIST cloud roadmap sets 'action plans' for gov't cloud adoption

The National Institute of Standards and technology Oct. 21 published a final version of its U.S. Government Cloud Computing Technology Roadmap (pdf). The document lays out 10 requirements – each accompanied by "priority action plans" and target completion dates – necessary for cloud adoption by the federal government.

FedRAMP program office releases transition plan to new controls baseline

Private sector cloud providers with a FedRAMP provisional authorization making them eligible to sell services to federal agencies will have about a year to implement the new minimum set of security controls.

New FedRAMP controls baseline coming this summer

Private sector cloud computing providers will have a changed set of security controls to adhere to when selling to federal agencies starting later this summer.

Intelligence community IT integration contract could be worth $6B

Federal intelligence agencies could spend up to $6 billion over five years on a wide-ranging information technology contract aiming to integrate IT services into a common environment. The contract will support the IC ITE, an effort to consolidate IT services across the intelligence community in a bid to to improve information sharing and collaboration. 

Lack of funding hampering innovation, study says

Budget constraints are hindering federal agencies from implementing innovative technologies and strategies that drive down costs and increase efficiency, according to research conducted by the Association of Government Accountants and Accenture Federal Services.

Integrate cybersecurity with federal cloud computing adoption, says Karen Evans

A paper co-authored by a former government executive who occupied the position now known as the federal chief information officer recommends greater integration of cybersecurity efforts with federal cloud adoption.

New maritime domain awareness plan calls for cloud computing and info sharing

Although light on specifics, as federal strategic plans typically are, the new plan calls for organizations involved in monitoring the maritime domain to transition from "organization-centric databases to web-centric enterprise services that retrieve data from multiple sources (e.g. clouds, databases)."

DHS tries new cloud services acquisition method

The Homeland Security Department is using a new method to pay for cloud services--put money onto a contract with a variety of line items and allow an as-needed drawdown of the funds, said Keith Trippie, executive director for enterprise system development within the DHS office of the chief information officer.

Private sector cloud is secure? Prove it with an insurance policy, says DHS official

"It all boils down to one thing. Do the cloud providers have skin in the game?" Jeff Eisensmith said at the Federal Cloud Computing Summit in Washington, D.C. Eisensmith said a requirement to buy insurance for everyone whose personally identifiable information is lost can be the basis for security in a service level agreement.

NDAA cloud interoperability language doesn't pertain to intelligence community, says White House

The White House says it interprets proposed legislative language regarding Defense Department supervision of cloud computing solutions for intelligence analysis as not "intending to supersede" an ongoing intelligence community unified cloud architecture effort.