Air Force wants common tools for pay-as-you-go cloud
- By Kevin McCaney
- Jul 27, 2015
As part of its plan to move practically all of its IT operations to the cloud, the Air Force wants to standardize on a common set of processes and tools that it can also share with the other military services.
The Air Force Lifecycle Management Center at Hanscom Air Force Base in Bedford, Mass., has issued a Request for Information for input from vendors on a commoditized cloud infrastructure that could provide standardized, pay-as-you-go cloud services regardless of whether they are acquired on premises or off.
Currently, milCloud, which is managed by the Defense Information Services Agency, is on-premises, with plans to provide off-premises services via what the Air Force calls genuine commercial providers. It defines those as providers “capable of providing the Air Force instant, varying levels of computing capability” for short (less than a day) or longer periods, while “the Air Force pays only for what is used on an hourly basis.”
MilCloud provides platform-as-a-service, infrastructure-as-a-service, and has been adding features. Last fall, for instance, DISA configured it to handle classified information on the Secret IP Router Network.
The Air Force plans to use both DISA and commercial services and wants to “have one set of processes and tools to manage its capabilities across the various clouds,” according to the RFI. The Air Force said it plans to develop standard platforms in partnership with DISA and the other services.
In preparation for the move, the service has set up several internal organizations, including a managed service office, an IT lifecycle capability, and an overarching cross-PEO common computing environment integrated program team. Those provisional organizations will handle various technical and guidance tasks, including establishing a target baseline for products that eventually will become a joint entity as part of the Defense Department-wide Joint Information Environment.
The RFI is looking for information in five areas, including the Air Force’s organizational plans, its projected use of DISA and commercial clouds, recommendations for new or changed processes, the Air Forces plans for partnering with DISA and the other services, and any possible overlooked factors that play into commoditized IT and cloud services.
Responses to the RFI are due Aug. 25.
Kevin McCaney is a former editor of Defense Systems and GCN.