CSC's new cloud strategy targets government, commercial markets

Computer Sciences Corp. is seeking to establish a strong toehold in the cloud computing market with four new offerings it is bringing to market in a unified global strategy for both commercial and government clients.

Computer Sciences Corp. is seeking to establish a strong toehold in the cloud computing market with four offerings it has been researching and testing for about 18 months.

The company is bringing them to market in a unified global strategy for both commercial and government clients.

Although the cloud services are now available to commercial entities, federal clients must await the General Services Administration’s release of FedRAMP, a program aimed at streamlining security certification and ensuring there are appropriate security controls on cloud computing offerings.

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GSA and Federal Chief Information Officer Vivek Kundra want to make FedRAMP available to federal agencies through GSA’s online cloud computing services store.

“We believe that we have those controls in place and as soon as GSA finalizes the FedRAMP processes for certification and accreditation, we’ll be taking these products and services through that [C and A] process,” said Yogesh Khanna, vice president and chief technology officer for CSC’s North American Public Sector.

When FedRAMP will be finalized and rolled out “is the million-dollar question that the entire industry is waiting for,” he said, but he added, “We don’t have a game plan for our federal community and another game plan for our commercial community.”

The cloud offerings are intended to address the four-layer model of infrastructure, platform as a service, software as a service, and business process as a service, Khanna explained. “We are trying to build a portfolio that allows the flexibility that a customer demands to buy any one of those layers.”

CSC’s cloud package includes seven reconfiguring data centers for cloud services; CloudLab, a virtual development and testing environment; CloudExchange, a software-as-a-service email and collaboration solution; and CSC Gateway, an e-commerce Web site for purchasing cloud services as needed.

“Each one of them is very applicable, very transportable to all of our public sector clients,” Khanna said.

Seven of CSC’s 43 global data centers have been reconfigured and meet the infrastructure layer. They are located in Chantilly, Va.; Newark, Del.; Chicago; Sydney, Australia; Copenhagen, Denmark; Luxembourg; and New Kent Complex, England.

Addressing the crucial issue of data center security for government clients, Khanna said, “We have a handful of data centers that serve only the federal client base.”

In addition, CSC is partnering with Terremark, a provider of managed IT infrastructure solutions, which has approximately 50,000 square feet of highly secure data center space. CSC is currently using for some of that space for government clients, he said.

CloudLab addresses the platform level, Khanna said, by allowing clients to experiment and test cloud service they might wish to acquire.

“It’s a virtual development and testing environment that allows our federal clients to quickly spin up resources on demand and develop and test new services before they put them in the production mode,” he said.

CloudExchange is CSC’s email and collaboration software-as-a-service offering.

“In fact, a lot of our state clients in the public sector and several of our large federal clients are not only aggressively assessing the viability of email as a service, they actually have RFIs and RFPs out in the market that we are in the midst of responding [to],” he said.

CloudExchange “is a killer app for cloud,” he said and added that it meets the government restrictions against data exports from the United States.

“We have an offering in CloudExchange that allows our clients to buy Microsoft Exchange 2010 and all the functionality that comes with it, all of it as a service from us,” he said.

CSCGateway will allow clients to examine the cloud offerings and purchase what they need, similar to Amazon or any online merchant, Khanna said.

In addition to CloudLab and CloudExchange, CSC plans to introduce other solutions this summer, including a virtual desktop, a security solution for mail and Web, and other software and platform as-a-service solutions, the company said in June 14 announcement.

As a provider of cybersecurity and healthcare IT, CSC’s offerings position the company to run cloud services for healthcare, financial services and other highly regulated industries in which security concerns are paramount.

CSC, of Falls Church, Va., ranks No. 10 on Washington Technology’s 2010 Top 100 list of the largest federal government prime contractors.