Government Clouds Gather, Storms Brew

CIA Contract: Amazon vs. IBM

A few weeks ago, we covered a piece on the competition between Amazon and IBM for a large CIA cloud contract, and this week, the winner has been decided. Amazon has secured the CIA contract. The AWS bid was said to be a few $54 million more expensive than the IBM bid, but the government accountability office (GAO) decided that Amazon’s long experience in the public cloud industry makes them a better fit to meet the demands of the CIA. This could mark the start of many government contracts between various government offices and Amazon web services.

Government Cloud Service Brokerage Nears POC

Following an RFI early last year, it looks as though the USG General Services Administration is looking to move towards a trial model of cloud services brokerage this summer to test its feasibility as a procurement model for cloud services. The Homeland Security Department and one other large “complex agency with a number of bureaus” are said to be initial participants in a proof of concept operation.

Mark Day, GSA’s director of the Office of Strategic Programs in the Federal Acquisition Service, said the following,

We want to understand how well the cloud brokerage concept would work? Does it meet certain customer needs that we’ve laid out? Does it appear to be economical in its operation? Can we predict pricing and quality the way we need to, to make it a real service that can be a value to the customer?

The Why and How of Cloud in 2013 (and Beyond!)

The 3rd annual IT survey from GigaOM Pro and investment firm North Bridge Ventures hit the web this week. It’s an excellent response from innovative companies, and forward thinking user groups although any VC sponsored survey may be tired to an agenda we let the data speak for itself.

Our own favorite quote? From Slide #75 Jo Maitland, Research Director, Cloud Computing at GigaOM Pro had this to highlight,

It was interesting to see that almost half (45.7%) of survey takers said cloud computing was adding complexity to the management of IT, which is a problem the industry must address if it expects enterprises to fully embrace this model.

On the upside, more than half of respondents (55.1%) said hybrid/multi-cloud providers will offer the biggest growth opportunities in the cloud ecosystem over the next 2-3 years – potentially a key to easing the complexity problem.

Oracle Spinning up Momentum

This has been a big week for Oracle as the software company has announced partnerships with Microsoft, Salesforce.com, and NetSuite in a continued push in the direction of cloud service offerings.

Oracle aims to deliver a more complete cloud based package for consumers while providing Microsoft and Salesforce the option to integrate Oracle technologies into their own cloud platforms. The partnership with NetSuite is aimed to deliver cloud services to mid-size firms to address ERP. Oracle has been seeing decreasing hardware sales over the past few years, but these strategic partnerships represent a refreshed mindset for Oracle in regards to on-demand business models and a new look at how to remain relevant in the enterprise.

EMC Aquires ScaleIO

EMC has purchased Israeli cloud storage company Scale IO for a price estimated between $200 -300 million. By incorporating Scale IO’s ECS virtual storage area network model, EMC can shrink enterprise data storage costs by up to 80%. This is just the latest in a series of acquisitions for EMC over the past year.