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FedRAMP OnRamp Seeks to Ease Path to Secure Government Clouds [March 14, 2014]

Submitted on
vendredi, le 14 mars 2014h
,
Data Center Knowledge

By Rich Miller

WASHINGTON, D.C. - Ordering a pizza over the Internet is easy. Provisioning compliant cloud services for federal government agencies is hard.

Steve O’Keeffe would like to change that. O’Keeffe is the founder of MeriTalk, a public/private partnership focused on improving government IT, which has launched a new tool to help federal agencies find cloud providers that have received security certifications under The Federal Risk and Authorization Management Program (FedRAMP).

The FedRAMP OnRamp was launched Thursday at the Data Center Brainstorm, a conference at the Newseum that brought together IT managers from federal agencies, along with representatives of leading vendors and service providers to the government sector.

“The challenge with FedRAMP is that it hasn’t been particularly transparent until now,” said O’Keeffe. “There are different flavors of FedRAMP, and they’re all about risk management.”

Cloud First, But Only With FedRAMP

FedRAMP is designed to centralize the process of certifying vendors to offer cloud computing services that meet the strict security requirements of federal agencies. Cloud providers must gain FedRAMP certification to provide cloud services to federal agencies. Without FedRAMP, service providers would need to individually certify cloud installations at each agency they serve.

That would be an expensive undertaking. MeriTalk estimates the average cost for the government to perform a FedRAMP cloud security certification at $250,000. Using FedRAMP has already saved service providers more than $37.5 million in certification costs, according to estimates from MeriTalk and the General Services Administration.

That doesn’t mean that it’s always user-friendly. One of the goals of the FedRAMP OnRamp is to provide quick access to information about which companies have gained certification as Cloud Service Providers. That number currently stands at 14: AINS, Inc., Akamai, Amazon, AT&T, Autonomic Resources, CGI, Concurrent Technologies, HP, IBM, Lockheed Martin, Microsoft, Oracle, and the U.S. Department of Agriculture.

Another 15 cloud providers are currently in the FedRAMP approval process, including Acquia Inc., CA Technologies, CenturyLink Technology Solutions, Clear Government Solutions (CGS), Economic Systems, Fiberlink, HP, Layered Tech Government Solutions, Microsoft, Oracle, Salesforce.com, SecureKey Technologies Inc., Verizon Terremark, Virtustream, and VMware.

Read more...

How Bay Area Transit Survived a Site Launch in a Traffic Storm [Jan. 7, 2014]

Submitted on
mardi, le 7 janvier 2014h
,
Government Technology

By Jason Shueh

The Bay Area Rapid Transit service launched website redesign in only five months while also battling a 20,000-visitor traffic spike. How did they do it?

It could have been a recipe perfect for disaster. Just five days after Northern California’s Bay Area Rapid Transit relaunched its new Web site, BART.gov, it was hit with its second largest traffic spike of 2013 — a daunting threat, considering the site was placed on an expedited four-month development timeline and was unveiled just as BART's two largest employee unions were embroiled in a pitched labor dispute.

Oddly, however, BART’s Web Services Manager Tim Moore remembers the day — at least from a Web standpoint — being fairly calm. Moore said records show that on Nov. 22, between 7 a.m. and 8 a.m., BART.gov handled more than 20,000 unique visitors due to a major service delay in transit operations. The number represented an impact to the site that was roughly 11 times greater than normal for the hour, a time that typically averages only 1,800 visitors.

This success, which Moore describes as a “trial by fire,” was a quiet celebration that day as the news media focused their attention on commuter delay updates and the ongoing union dispute. The website’s strong showing and the secret behind its speedy development strategy is noteworthy, not simply within the framework of organizational accolades, but also in the way of lessons learned — lessons that began on day one.

A Surprise Announcement
At the beginning of January 2013, Moore said BART received a startling notice from Adobe, the site’s content management system provider. BART’s Web team was told that by the end of 2013, Adobe Publish, the site’s former content management system, would be phased out entirely.

“That meant that we’d lose all of our Web site publishing capabilities, our editing capabilities and maintenance capabilities in less than a year,” Moore said. “So effectively, that’s when the stopwatch started.”

Top 3 Challenges Facing Public Sector Intranets

All intranet efforts start out with the best intentions. Organizations envision an information hub for their community made up of easy to find websites that are simple to create and maintain. A one-stop shop for all their information needs, if you will. Many of these efforts fail, causing the end users to shudder at the mere mention of such an attempt again. And for government organizations, there are additional challenges when creating an intranet as part of a Digital Government Strategy.

Akamai Government Forum

We're proud to be a part of the Akamai Government Forum 2013!

Rebroadcast: Three podcasts on Drupal and government

Three great past podcasts this week on Drupal in government. The first (and the audio included directly here) is "Helping the Federal Government solve public sector problems with Drupal" with Acquian Bryan Hirsch, originally from May 2012. Check out the other two I have linked to for other interesting perspectives on this important subject.

Akamai Public Sector Conference

Acquia is proud to be a sponsor of this event!

We will be running a Cloud Breakout - stay tuned for details!

Bryan Hirsch, "Helping the Federal Government solve public sector problems with Drupal"

Bryan Hirsch comes from a background of software engineering and political activism. He originally joined Acquia as an engineer on the Drupal Gardens team thanks to his expertise and interest in software-as-a-service products. His new position at Acquia as Senior Technical Consultant Acquia Government Practice Department allows him to leverage his longstanding interest in using open source software in government to save taxpayer dollars, improve civic engagement and government services.

UK public sector open source adoption falling well behind other major economies [March 23, 2012]

Submitted on
vendredi, le 23 mars 2012h
,
Vital Online

The UK Government recently launched an open source toolkit on the Cabinet Office website, to provide a level playing field for open source solutions against traditional proprietary software vendors. But Jim Shaw, general manager for Europe at Acquia believes that cultural barriers and unfounded fears about the technology are holding departments back from making huge savings.

Cost cutting: the open source solution? [March 20, 2012]

Submitted on
mardi, le 20 mars 2012h
,
Electronics Sourcing

UK Budget Must Encourage Open Source Adoption to Cut Costs - UK public sector open source adoption falling well behind other major economies.

Bigger is not always better [Feb 22, 2012]

Submitted on
mercredi, le 22 février 2012h
,
CRN

Small technology providers can and should compete more for public sector and enterprise deals, claims Jim Shaw.

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