Wednesday, May 13, 2009

Federal Cloud Capability RFI Released by U.S. Government

I'm happy to be able to disclose today that the Federal Government of the United States released its cloud computing RFI earlier this afternoon. Enomaly was fortunate to have been included in recent consultations with the government, and we've been impressed by the vision of this administration and the speed with which they've taken action.

What makes this RFI especially exciting is that for the first time things are really starting to move very quickly toward the creation of a federal cloud capability including an actual budget which has been included in the 2010 federal budget recommendation released earlier this week by the White House. In reviewing the Federal Cloud RFI it seems that a federal "elastic computing cloud" may soon be a reality.

To give you some background, the RFI is provided by the GSA Office of the Chief Information Officer (OCIO), in concert with the IT Infrastructure Line of Business (ITI LoB), which has requested capability statements and responses to examination of cloud related business models, pricing models, and Service Level Agreements (SLA) from vendors who provide Infrastructure as a Service (IaaS) offerings.

The IT Infrastructure Line of Business (ITI LoB) is a government-wide initiative sponsored by the Office of Management and Budget (OMB). The ITI LoB focuses on the effective use of IT Infrastructure systems, services and operational practices in the federal government. The General Services Administration (GSA) has been designated by OMB as the Managing Partner for this initiative, but governance is shared across more than two dozen agencies.

For me the most important aspect of this RFI is the emphasis they've placed on cloud Computing Interoperability and Portability specifically in #5 of the RFI Doc. Something I've been pushing for in my recent Washington meetings. I'm ecstatic they've included some of my recommendations including an "exit strategy", prevention of vendor lockin and multi-cloud (“cloud-to-cloud”) support.

Below are from Question 5 of the RFI (Interoperability and Portability)

5.1 Describe your recommendations regarding “cloud-to-cloud” communication and ensuring interoperability of cloud solutions.
5.2 Describe your experience in weaving together multiple different cloud computing services offered by you, if any, or by other vendors.
5.3 As part of your service offering, describe the tools you support for integrating with other vendors in terms of monitoring and managing multiple cloud computing services.
5.4 Please explain application portability; i.e. exit strategy for applications running in your cloud, should it be necessary to vacate.
5.5 Describe how you prevent vendor lock in.

Download the RFI Here.

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