8/6/2015 11:00 AM
by Brig. Gen Randy Taylor, Director Architecture, Operations, Networks & Space
I am pleased to announce the publication of the Army Commercial Cloud Services Provider (CSP) Policy guidance. This policy complements the successful release of the Army Cloud Strategy in March, and for the first time in the Army’s history, provides a defined path for acquiring and using Commercial Cloud Services Providers (CSPs). This policy guidance supports the Under Secretary of the Army memorandum (Migration of Army Enterprise Systems/Applications to Core Data Centers) that was published 09 June 2014 and DoD CIO memorandum (SUBJECT: Updated Guidance on the Acquisition and Use of Commercial Cloud Computing Services) that was published 15 December 2014.
This policy guidance focuses on the commercial CSP migration and hosting option and reinforces the overarching Army applications migration process. It also identifies systems and applications not permitted to migrate to off-premises Commercial CSPs; identifies roles and responsibilities for organizations with applications migrating to, or using, Commercial CSPs; and outlines cybersecurity, and Commercial CSP acquisition and use requirements.
The transition to cloud-based solutions and services provides dynamic scaling and ubiquitous, on-demand network access to a shared pool of configurable computing resources. Over time, adopting cloud-based solutions will significantly boost operational efficiency, increase network security and posture the Army to adopt innovative technologies more quickly at a lower cost. Cloud infrastructure, people and processes will be central to enabling the Joint Information Environment (JIE) and the Intelligence Community Information Technology Enterprise (ICITE). Cloud computing has demonstrated the potential to change the responsiveness of capabilities supporting the generating and operating Forces and unified action partner operations across all joint operational phases, whether preparing to deploy in the installation IT environment, conducting home-station mission command, en route or engaged as part of a Joint force in a theater of operations. The ability to connect to cloud capabilities assures that Army computing and communications resources, authoritative data sources, services and information are available, accessible and safeguarded, from the enterprise to the edge.
The Army is building the foundation for transitioning to cloud enabled capabilities by focusing on improving data security, network security and throughput – the amount of information passing through the system – to ensure that sufficient capacity exists for authorized users to securely access and work within the cloud. At the same time we will continue rationalization of existing systems, applications and associated data as part of on-going portfolio management efforts while determining the most appropriate cloud service/deployment model for migration. Through the Army Application Migration Business Office, the Army intends to rapidly capitalize on the Federal Risk and Authorization Management Program (FedRAMP) and DoD-approved government and commercial CSPs to the maximum extent feasible. Application and system migration decisions will be based upon an evaluation of risk to the mission resulting from a potential loss of access to, or the compromise of the integrity or confidentiality of, information. Generally, migration will improve cybersecurity, reduce sustainment and operating costs, improve the efficiency of contracting resources, shorten implementation timelines, and more effectively keep pace with emerging technologies while taking advantage of the larger economies of scale that typically reduce costs.
As the network aggregates, processes, secures and presents data in a way that is easily understood, Soldiers will be able to make informed, more effective decisions as they perform the missions of the future. The end state is a global cloud-based environment designed to provide Soldiers access to tailored and timely information at the point of need.