Friday, July 31, 2009

US Federal Government Releases Cloud Computing Initiative RFQ

I wanted to quickly let everyone know that GSA has just published its request for quotation to vendors to set up the first piece of the GSA cloud computing storefront initiative. According to the RFQ document (See document here) the objective of this RFQ is to offer three key service offerings through IaaS providers for ordering activities. The requirements have been divided into three distinct Lots:

• Lot 1: Cloud Storage Services
• Lot 2: Virtual Machines
• Lot 3: Cloud Web Hosting

The RFQ also sheds some light on the potential usage of cloud based infrastructure with the US federal Government. The Federal Cloud Computing initiative is a services oriented approach, whereby common infrastructure, information, and solutions can be shared/reused across the Government. The overall objective is to create a more agile Federal enterprise – where services can be reused and provisioned on demand to meet business needs.

The document also includes a Cloud Computing Framework diagram which provides a high-level overview of the key functional components for cloud computing services for the Government. The Cloud Computing Framework is described as "neither an architecture nor an operating model." The Framework is a functional view of the key capabilities required to enable Cloud Computing.

The framework consists of three major categories including:

• Cloud Service Delivery Capabilities - Core capabilities required to deliver Cloud Services
• Cloud Services – Services delivered by the Cloud
• Cloud User Tools – Tools or capabilities that enable users to procure, manage, and use the Cloud services

The initial acquisition of these services will be facilitated by GSA through the GSA Cloud Computing Storefront Site – which will enable Government purchasers to buy (using a credit card or other acceptable payment option) IaaS service offerings as needed through a common Web Portal, called the Cloud Computing Storefront, which will be managed and maintained by GSA.

US Federal Cloud Computing Initiative RFQ (GSA)

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