Army Wants a Vendor to Bring ‘Parity’ to AWS and Azure Cloud Offerings

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The contractor would be expected to streamline all of the Army’s disparate cloud services, including integrating new Microsoft Azure offerings.

The Army’s central cloud services broker, the Enterprise Cloud Management Office, or ECMO, wants to simultaneously streamline and expand its offerings to service components and is looking for a vendor to manage the process.

In a draft request for information posted Wednesday, ECMO put out a call for enterprise cloud management services for its cARMY program, with a focus on the importance of cloud services for meeting the Army’s data goals.

“The Army’s ability to master the application of cloud computing is a critical enabler in the pursuit to operationalizing data by using artificial intelligence and machine learning, to use personnel, equipment, and logistics efficiently to accomplish the mission and in cyberspace warfare to protect the force and mission resources,” the draft RFI states.

In order to attain this end state, “ECMO requires an Enterprise Cloud Common Shared Services Provider to takeover, expand and continuously improve upon cARMY Cloud Common Shared Services in order to reduce complexity, increase security, eliminate duplication of effort, and increase Armywide adoption of cloud computing technologies.”

That work will also include broadening the number and kind of cloud service options available to the Army, including the number of cloud service providers.

Currently, the cARMY suite offers access to Amazon Web Services cloud offerings at Defense Department Impact Levels 2, 4 and 5, covering public information, controlled unclassified information and national security systems, respectively.

While much of its current infrastructure uses AWS, “ECMO has contracts in place to develop common services in AWS at IL 6,” covering classified and secret information, “and Microsoft Azure at IL 2, 4 and 5 with expected delivery prior to this acquisition being awarded,” the RFI states.

Additionally, one of the contractor’s main tasks will be to increase the availability of Microsoft Azure offerings and security levels.

“The contractor shall build and deploy IL6 common services in Microsoft Azure with the goal of parity to IL2/4/5 Azure and IL6 AWS Common Shared Services in cARMY to the extent that it is reasonable and incorporates commercial best practices,” according to the draft statement of objectives.

That parity is one of 11 goals outlined in the SOO, including:

  • Deploying IL 6 common services in Microsoft Azure.
  • Initial assessment of cARMY.
  • Operations, maintenance and continual enhancement of cARMY.
  • Customer support help desk.
  • Additional CSP environment development and support.
  • Training and program management.

The eventual contract is expected to have a one-year base period with four one-year options.

The RFI includes 11 questions the Army would like answered as it considers a final request for proposals. The document stresses that responses should be informational and not “sales pitch-like.”

White papers are due by November 20.

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