Cloud

Army issues guidance for commercial cloud migration

Shutterstock image: cloud hands.

The office of the Army chief information officer on July 30 published guidance for migrating Army systems and applications to commercial cloud providers. The guidance signed by Army CIO Lt. Gen. Robert Ferrell stipulated that commands bear ultimate responsibility for ensuring that systems and applications within their portfolios are rationalized.

The document is the latest step in fulfilling a directive to migrate all enterprise-level systems and applications to Defense Department-approved hosting environments by the end of fiscal 2018. IT migration was one of the key tenets of an Army cloud strategy unveiled in March.

“Transitioning to cloud-based solutions and services advances the Army’s long-term objective of reducing ownership, operation and sustainment of hardware and other commoditized information technology,” the new guidance stated. That transition is part of the Joint Information Environment initiative, a DOD-wide move to standardize and consolidate IT networks for better security.

A “plan of action and milestones” is required for systems and applications that Army IT operators decide to ditch but won’t be able to by the end of fiscal 2018, the directive said. New applications and systems, and those that won’t be killed off, need to undergo an IT cost-benefit analysis.

The guidance forbids certain sensitive applications and systems from being moved to “off-premise” commercial cloud providers, including weapons systems, mission command-and-control systems, and those designated as critical intelligence systems.

About the Author

Sean Lyngaas is an FCW staff writer covering defense, cybersecurity and intelligence issues. Prior to joining FCW, he was a reporter and editor at Smart Grid Today, where he covered everything from cyber vulnerabilities in the U.S. electric grid to the national energy policies of Britain and Mexico. His reporting on a range of global issues has appeared in publications such as The Atlantic, The Economist, The Washington Diplomat and The Washington Post.

Lyngaas is an active member of the National Press Club, where he served as chairman of the Young Members Committee. He earned his M.A. in international affairs from The Fletcher School of Law and Diplomacy at Tufts University, and his B.A. in public policy from Duke University.

Click here for previous articles by Lyngaas, or connect with him on Twitter: @snlyngaas.


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