The CIA and the rest of the intelligence community are moving on a big commercial cloud contract and a new survey offers insights on what they are looking for.
As the CIA and the rest of the intelligence community develop their massive "Cloud Computing Enterprise" contract, they are asking industry for information on how commercial cloud environments work.
The contract, to be known by the acronym "C2E," is expected to be worth tens of billions of dollars and will allow intelligence agencies to draw on the services of multiple commercial cloud providers.
The CIA has released a 12-question survey to glean insights from industry. The survey is open through April 8.
Other broad questions the CIA is seeking answers to include how far commercial cloud services can reach and what are the best ways to procure these services.
Among the more technical questions include how many customers vendors have with at least 100 virtual machines running at any one time. This is an indication that IC agencies are looking for cloud service providers with scale.
The agencies also are interested in cloud capabilities out to edge nodes, particularly ones that have limited network communications and intermittent network interruptions. Related to that is a question about remote management capabilities.
This tells me that getting cloud computing capabilities out to the field is very important. And you can imagine where some of these locations are.
But the IC also wants to know what resources are needed to supply cloud computing services on-premise at government locations.
The IC also is interested in how new services are identified and brought into the cloud environment, then how that is done securely.
The survey asks about a technical roadmap for cloud services and how they will be valuable to the intelligence mission.
The question on acquisition approaches has multiple parts. They want to know about the contract type you think is the most effective. They want to know how you manage multiple cloud providers and how best to manage task orders.
Some of the key takeaways from the survey:
- Multiple cloud providers are a priority
- Getting closer to how the commercial market buys and manages cloud services is a goal
- Understanding the intelligence mission is a requirement
- Ongoing innovation and the introduction of new technology is critical
The survey is available at the National Security Agency’s Acquisition Resource Center.