recommended reading

DISA pitches cloud email for all of Defense

The cloud email setup the Defense Information Systems Agency developed for the Army could serve the entire Defense Department, DISA revealed in an obscure June contract award.

DISA said it plans to pay $2.2 million for the email server software to support 1.4 million Army personnel, and added the system -- based on Microsoft Exchange 2010 Enterprise Email -- "is scalable to support the 4.5 million DoD user personas, which are actual user accounts and other defined entities such as group email addresses, which are required by Exchange." According to DISA, the Army has already paid $14.4 million for 800,000 Exchange licenses.

The June notice stated that the Microsoft Enterprise Email package will provide a single solution to customers Defensewide, with messages hosted in 16 sites within DISA's Defense Enterprise Computing Centers. Market research conducted last summer determined no other products worked with the agency's existing, older version of Microsoft email.

Laura Williams, a DISA spokeswoman, said the Africa, European, Northern, Strategic and Transportation commands all have agreed to use the department's cloud email system, and except for Northern Command will make the switch by the end of this year. Northern Command email accounts will move in 2012.

DISA has engaged in preliminary discussions with the Air Force and Navy about its cloud email system, including its fielding base, Williams said. The Air Force and Navy did not return queries on whether or not they plan to use the DISA system.

Today, the Navy and Marine Corps provide email to the majority of their personnel through the decade-old Navy Marine Corps Intranet, managed and hosted by HP Enterprise Services. The Navy plans to have a follow-on to that contract, Next-Generation Enterprise Network, in operation by 2014.

Warren Suss, president of Suss Consulting, said DISA has a good chance of picking up all Defense email business for its cloud based on the high-level push to standardize systems and software, which will increase interoperability and productivity.

Google, which has its eye on servicing federal agencies through its cloud offerings could try to make a case for the DISA email business, Suss said, quickly adding it would be a tough case since Defense long ago standardized on Microsoft email products. Google did not provide any comment on the DISA Microsoft-based cloud email system and whether it planned to offer an alternative.

The Army and DISA face another potential hurdle before they proceed with their cloud email systems. The House Armed Services Committee, in its version of the fiscal 2012 Defense Authorization bill passed May 26, chopped the requested Army email budget by 98 percent until the service conducts a business case analysis of the project.

Suss said he believed the Army already had developed a strong business case, and should be able to convince the committee to allow the funding.

Threatwatch Alert

Thousands of cyber attacks occur each day

See the latest threats

JOIN THE DISCUSSION

Close [ x ] More from Nextgov
 
 

Thank you for subscribing to newsletters from Nextgov.com.
We think these reports might interest you:

  • Modernizing IT for Mission Success

    Surveying Federal and Defense Leaders on Priorities and Challenges at the Tactical Edge

    Download
  • Communicating Innovation in Federal Government

    Federal Government spending on ‘obsolete technology’ continues to increase. Supporting the twin pillars of improved digital service delivery for citizens on the one hand, and the increasingly optimized and flexible working practices for federal employees on the other, are neither easy nor inexpensive tasks. This whitepaper explores how federal agencies can leverage the value of existing agency technology assets while offering IT leaders the ability to implement the kind of employee productivity, citizen service improvements and security demanded by federal oversight.

    Download
  • Effective Ransomware Response

    This whitepaper provides an overview and understanding of ransomware and how to successfully combat it.

    Download
  • Forecasting Cloud's Future

    Conversations with Federal, State, and Local Technology Leaders on Cloud-Driven Digital Transformation

    Download
  • IT Transformation Trends: Flash Storage as a Strategic IT Asset

    MIT Technology Review: Flash Storage As a Strategic IT Asset For the first time in decades, IT leaders now consider all-flash storage as a strategic IT asset. IT has become a new operating model that enables self-service with high performance, density and resiliency. It also offers the self-service agility of the public cloud combined with the security, performance, and cost-effectiveness of a private cloud. Download this MIT Technology Review paper to learn more about how all-flash storage is transforming the data center.

    Download

When you download a report, your information may be shared with the underwriters of that document.