Federal Cloud Computing: A Decision Process for Applying Cloud Computing in Federal Environments

November 2010
Topics: Cloud Computing
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While cloud computing concepts offer many potential benefits in the Federal environment, a number of issues remain in its application: Commercial offerings may not fully meet Federal needs in areas such as satisfaction of security requirements, Federal record retention rules, and continuity of operations (COOP) requirements Federal contracting policies and methods may currently not have the same agility to dynamically engage cloud services as do wholly commercial organizations Running cloud capabilities internally, on a smaller scale, may not offer the same benefits as the commercial outsourcing model This paper defines a decision process for applying cloud computing services in a Federal Government context. As part of this engineering process, the paper will explore activities such as: Scoping a cloud capability effort Determining which cloud services will benefit an organization Establishing a business case for cloud services Defining detailed requirements for cloud services Determining when to use internal private clouds or external public clouds Assessing when to use cloud offerings provided by other Government entities Designing and building an internal private cloud

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