recommended reading

DISA returns to the drawing board on cloud plans

Congress told Defense to switch to private services, such as this Silicon Valley server farm, offering the same security at a lower cost.Newscom

The Pentagon has pushed back a Jan. 15 deadline for military services and federal agencies to report on congressionally mandated strategies for downsizing computer rooms, a Defense Information Systems Agency official said. A provision in the 2012 National Defense Authorization Act, enacted two weeks ago, had ordered Defense Department components to develop plans by that date as part of a recommended Defensewide shift to commercial cloud services.

The mandatory rethinking could upend ongoing efforts to save $680 million annually by providing information technology services through DISA clouds.

Defense Department Chief Information Officer Teri Takai intends to instruct military agencies on how to comply with Congress' request within the next few weeks, Tony Montemarano, DISA director for strategic planning and information, told Nextgov. The legislation requires Takai by April 1 to submit to Congress a departmentwide approach for reducing the equipment, utilities and personnel supporting military server farms.

Congress directed the Pentagon to switch to private cloud services that offer the same degree of security at a lower cost as DISA-operated computer services. During remarks at a Tuesday conference hosted by the Armed Forces Communications and Electronics Association, however, Montemarano noted that the law means Defense must "look at how it's going to move cloud computing to a commercial environment -- to the degree it can." That qualification means the military must first study whether private data centers are even capable of meeting the department's safety and price requirements, he said.

The law already has delayed the Army's migration of unclassified email to a cloud operated by DISA. Until the service submits a cost-benefit analysis and categorizes the endeavor as a formal acquisition program overseen by the Army's acquisition executive, military officials cannot use congressional funds for the transition.

"I think they have done due diligence, but Congress has asked for some formality," Montemarano said. "I'm sure we'll be off and running within a month or two."

To better coordinate Defensewide IT consolidation, DISA on Tuesday created a single enterprise services division that officially will launch mid-February, said Alfred Rivera, DISA director for computing services.

Threatwatch Alert

Network intrusion / Software vulnerability

Hundreds of Thousands of Job Seekers' Information May Have Been Compromised by Hackers

See threatwatch report


Close [ x ] More from Nextgov

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

  • It’s Time for the Federal Government to Embrace Wireless and Mobility

    The United States has turned a corner on the adoption of mobile phones, tablets and other smart devices, outpacing traditional desktop and laptop sales by a wide margin. This issue brief discusses the state of wireless and mobility in federal government and outlines why now is the time to embrace these technologies in government.

  • Featured Content from RSA Conference: Dissed by NIST

    Learn more about the latest draft of the U.S. National Institute of Standards and Technology guidance document on authentication and lifecycle management.

  • A New Security Architecture for Federal Networks

    Federal government networks are under constant attack, and the number of those attacks is increasing. This issue brief discusses today's threats and a new model for the future.

  • Going Agile:Revolutionizing Federal Digital Services Delivery

    Here’s one indication that times have changed: Harriet Tubman is going to be the next face of the twenty dollar bill. Another sign of change? The way in which the federal government arrived at that decision.

  • Software-Defined Networking

    So many demands are being placed on federal information technology networks, which must handle vast amounts of data, accommodate voice and video, and cope with a multitude of highly connected devices while keeping government information secure from cyber threats. This issue brief discusses the state of SDN in the federal government and the path forward.

  • The New IP: Moving Government Agencies Toward the Network of The Future

    Federal IT managers are looking to modernize legacy network infrastructures that are taxed by growing demands from mobile devices, video, vast amounts of data, and more. This issue brief discusses the federal government network landscape, as well as market, financial force drivers for network modernization.


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