recommended reading

DISA Plans $450 Million Commercial Cloud Buy


This story has been updated. 

The Defense Information Systems Agency has embraced the use of commercial cloud computing services for Defense Department organizations and plans kick off bidding on a five-year contract valued at $450 million by the end of August.

DISA, in a draft request for proposals released Monday said it initially wants to use commercial cloud services for data storage, Web and database hosting, and virtual machines that run applications.

DISA tried to position itself in January 2011 to provide private cloud services to all of Defense with its network of 14 data centers, which can store roughly four petabytes of data.

Those plans foundered in December 2011 when Congress directed Defense Chief Information Officer Teri Takai to develop a plan to use commercial cloud computing services instead of DISA's. Language tucked into the 2012 Defense Authorization Act told Takai to develop a plan for "migration of Defense data and government-provided services from department owned and operated data centers to cloud computing services generally available within the private sector."

Warren Suss, president of Suss Consulting, said that DISA is following Congress’ direction with its commercial cloud plans, and added military end users believe the agency would still like to host private clouds in its data centers.

Suss said numerous companies offer commercial cloud services at “extraordinary price points,” which could help the Pentagon save money in budget-strapped times.

He said he expected DISA will at first use commercial cloud services to host non-sensitive and administrative data and services. In April Navy Chief Information Officer Terry Halvorsen directed the Navy and Marine Corps to use to commercial cloud service providers to host non-sensitive publicly releasable information.

Bidders on the multiple award commercial cloud contract must adhere to Federal Risk and Authorization Management Program and internal DISA security standards. Amazon Web Services, Autonomic Resources, CGI Federal, HP and Lockheed Martin have won approval from the General Services Administration, which manages FedRAMP, to offer commercial cloud services to federal agencies.

(Image via brainpencil/

Threatwatch Alert

Thousands of cyber attacks occur each day

See the latest threats


Close [ x ] More from Nextgov

Thank you for subscribing to newsletters from
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

  • 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.

  • Effective Ransomware Response

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

  • Forecasting Cloud's Future

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

  • 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.


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