Defense Department Looking to Award $450 Million Cloud Builder Contract

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The Defense Information Systems Agency is currently undergoing a recruitment process to potentially award a five-year $450 million contract to build a cloud for the entire U.S. Defense Department.

The move comes a few months after a bipartisan bill was introduced in the US Senate that would require federal agencies to submit annual reports on their progress migrating their infrastructure to cloud computing.

The cloud service is expected to be awarded by the end of August, and operative a year from the date is award. The contract will contain an extension for additional years, possibly through 2017.

According to the draft request for proposal, the project will require the contractor to develop storage, database hosting and virtual services in a cloud infrastructure.

The request does not say whether the cloud service will be in the form of a public cloud, private cloud or a hybrid, but it does disclose that it will be a “commercial cloud service” that will be able to meet the needs of the Department of Defense.

As a result, the DISA cloud is likely to be a private cloud in some part, with servers dedicated to a single user or group of users within the Defense department.

The DISA request also states that the agency is set to become the cloud supplier to the entire Defense Department if it can successfully find a proper cloud vendor.

Industry insiders say that they expect DISA to initially use commercial cloud for managing non-sensitive data and administrative operations, with plans to host private clouds in its data centers.

DISA initially wanted to provide cloud services to all defense agencies from its data center network but the Pentagon’s chief information officer was ordered by Congress to seek commercial cloud providers to comply with the 2012 Defense Authorization Act.

In August 2012, the US General Services Administration began offering cloud based email services, making it easier for government agencies to move to the cloud.

Are you currently providing cloud services for any Federal government agencies? Who do you think would be the front-runners for the DISA contract?

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