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FCC Gives IBM Green Light to Operate New Cloud Services


The Federal Communications Commission has granted IBM an authorization to operate its Softlayer Federal Cloud, meaning Big Blue is about to have both a new federal customer and a second cloud service in compliance with FedRAMP.

The agency ATO applies to two of IBM’s Softlayer data centers – in Ashburn, Virginia, and Richardson, Texas – designed specifically for federal workloads. Once the FedRAMP program office validates the documentation, other agencies will be able to leverage it for their applications and workloads.

The ATO is an important step for IBM as it looks to incorporate the capabilities of Softlayer – which it purchased for $2 billion in 2013 – into its federal offerings, which already include its FedRAMP-compliant SmartCloud for Government.

IBM has an additional cloud offering, Smart Cloud for Defense, seeking approval at the Defense Department’s highest level for unclassified information.

“IBM's federal cloud business has reached another milestone as we continue to work with federal agencies to embrace cloud as a way to deliver more innovations that drive citizen engagement to new levels,” IBM Federal General Manager Anne Altman said in a statement.

FCC’s work with IBM figures to play an integral role in the agency’s modernization effort. Over the coming months, FCC will begin transitioning from internally operated data centers to the cloud.

(Image via Macrovector/

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