In February I reported that the General Services Administration planned to shift the federal government's official Web portal, USA.gov to private servers, a strategy known as cloud computing. The move was expected to cut costs in half and serve as a model to other agencies considering making the leap to software as a service.
This weekend GSA officially flipped the switch, with Martha Dorris, acting associate administrator for the GSA's Office of Citizen Services and Communication, describing Friday "a nervous day."
A GSA official declined to comment on the transition today, other than acknowledging that the transfer has taken place. A quick check of the site on Monday showed it still up and running without any major suspensions of service, a credit to the new host Terremark Worldwide Inc., an information technology infrastructure company based in Miami.
If the transition indeed turned out to be relatively painless, it could serve as the catalyst for convincing other agencies to adopt the cloud approach, which cuts down on both hardware and personnel, and reduces the cost of operating a Web site by as much as 90 percent, according to Dorris.