Who will win as DOD cloud choices grow?

ImmixGroup analyst Mark Wisinger explores the growth of cloud choices in the defense market and how buyers are choosing between flexibility and control.

Defense agencies face a choice with the cloud: Go with the Defense Information Systems Agency’s milCloud 2.0 option, or source their own cloud from a commercial cloud service provider.

While either option is permissible under the Defense Department regulations, DISA is hoping more agencies will go with the former. Most of DISA’s budget comes from fees paid by the rest of DOD, via a working capital fund, for any IT and network services DISA provides to the rest of the department.

But there are compelling reasons for agencies to make either cloud choice. MilCloud serves as a front end for multiple cloud offerings - this should allow DLA extra flexibility in regards to their cloud environment. This can be an attractive option especially for agencies too small to purchase their own cloud offerings. The milCloud offering is more of a “plug and play” approach to the cloud than if the agency were to source its own cloud.

For agencies considering their own cloud, as opposed to milCloud 2.0, there are also some advantages. In many cases, agencies can negotiate better pricing, as opposed to paying DISA. They can get access to more specific cloud offerings, such as AWS Secret. And they have control over the management of the cloud and its vendors when making their own purchase, rather than going through DISA.

The DOD recently released a draft RFP for the JEDI Cloud, which will serve as another alternative option to MilCloud 2.0 in an effort to cut down on individual agencies procuring their own cloud services. There are more than 300 independent cloud initiatives ongoing throughout the DOD. Led by the Defense Digital Service, the JEDI Cloud is intended to be complementary to MilCloud 2.0 – whereas MilCloud 2.0 offers an on-premises access to commercial cloud offerings, the JEDI Cloud will not seek to employ an on-premises model. The JEDI Cloud program management team wants the offering to be inclusive of multiple cloud services, just like MilCloud 2.0.

Either way, agencies need to make a decision before long. Because of recent examples of adversaries exploiting vulnerabilities in a network through any element that touches it (for example, HVAC), DOD wants to be able to look across the entire supply chain to ensure that appropriate cyber protections are being used. That means a cyber threat-sharing platform, which will include a machine-to-machine threat indicator platform for data management, storage, systems engineering and dashboard management.

MilCloud 2.0 allows DOD customers to run their infrastructure from a commercial cloud environment. One of its leading DOD customers is the Defense Logistics Agency, which is using the offering at Maxwell Air Force Base and Tinker Air Force Base. MilCloud serves as a front end for AWS, Azure, Oracle, Salesforce, Service Now, SAP, Cisco and other cloud environments. This should allow DLA to employ more cloud environments than AWS alone.

At the infrastructure as a service level, DLA is leveraging Azure, IBM’s CMS-G and AWS already at FEDRAMP levels of 2, 4, and 5. So they’re already showing a willingness to use several different cloud service providers, rather than just AWS. Given some recent concerns that AWS may be gaining a monopoly in the government sector, it’s refreshing to see some different vendors getting some play at DLA.

On the other side of the cloud equation, let’s look at what’s going on with an agency that has chosen to go its own way: The U.S. Transportation Command (TRANSCOM).

TRANSCOM has been making a few waves lately by issuing a sole-source procurement for AWS Secret in December. AWS has been working on standing up their SECRET environment in response to DOD’s demand for a specifically SECRET instance, and TRANSCOM feels it’s their ideal solution.

The agency is getting a bit entrenched with AWS. They issued an unusual contract through DIUx, a small $2.4M other transactional agreement to REAN Cloud, a Herndon, Virginia-based company, for a pilot cloud migration of its logistical apps to the AWS SECRET environment. We’ll soon see TRANSCOM’s entire application portfolio making its way to AWS Secret. TRANSCOM is pursuing cloud more aggressively than other agencies in the DOD. They’re pushing to embrace the cloud, but unlike DLA, they are focusing more on AWS as their platform rather than a more agnostic approach.

Each DOD agency faces the cloud question: Do you want the flexibility of using a variety of cloud alternatives, or do you want the control you get from a sole source? The right path depends on how each agency is now using the cloud, and how it plans to expand that use in the future. As these two agencies show, both approaches have their merits. The rest is up to you.

X
This website uses cookies to enhance user experience and to analyze performance and traffic on our website. We also share information about your use of our site with our social media, advertising and analytics partners. Learn More / Do Not Sell My Personal Information
Accept Cookies
X
Cookie Preferences Cookie List

Do Not Sell My Personal Information

When you visit our website, we store cookies on your browser to collect information. The information collected might relate to you, your preferences or your device, and is mostly used to make the site work as you expect it to and to provide a more personalized web experience. However, you can choose not to allow certain types of cookies, which may impact your experience of the site and the services we are able to offer. Click on the different category headings to find out more and change our default settings according to your preference. You cannot opt-out of our First Party Strictly Necessary Cookies as they are deployed in order to ensure the proper functioning of our website (such as prompting the cookie banner and remembering your settings, to log into your account, to redirect you when you log out, etc.). For more information about the First and Third Party Cookies used please follow this link.

Allow All Cookies

Manage Consent Preferences

Strictly Necessary Cookies - Always Active

We do not allow you to opt-out of our certain cookies, as they are necessary to ensure the proper functioning of our website (such as prompting our cookie banner and remembering your privacy choices) and/or to monitor site performance. These cookies are not used in a way that constitutes a “sale” of your data under the CCPA. You can set your browser to block or alert you about these cookies, but some parts of the site will not work as intended if you do so. You can usually find these settings in the Options or Preferences menu of your browser. Visit www.allaboutcookies.org to learn more.

Sale of Personal Data, Targeting & Social Media Cookies

Under the California Consumer Privacy Act, you have the right to opt-out of the sale of your personal information to third parties. These cookies collect information for analytics and to personalize your experience with targeted ads. You may exercise your right to opt out of the sale of personal information by using this toggle switch. If you opt out we will not be able to offer you personalised ads and will not hand over your personal information to any third parties. Additionally, you may contact our legal department for further clarification about your rights as a California consumer by using this Exercise My Rights link

If you have enabled privacy controls on your browser (such as a plugin), we have to take that as a valid request to opt-out. Therefore we would not be able to track your activity through the web. This may affect our ability to personalize ads according to your preferences.

Targeting cookies may be set through our site by our advertising partners. They may be used by those companies to build a profile of your interests and show you relevant adverts on other sites. They do not store directly personal information, but are based on uniquely identifying your browser and internet device. If you do not allow these cookies, you will experience less targeted advertising.

Social media cookies are set by a range of social media services that we have added to the site to enable you to share our content with your friends and networks. They are capable of tracking your browser across other sites and building up a profile of your interests. This may impact the content and messages you see on other websites you visit. If you do not allow these cookies you may not be able to use or see these sharing tools.

If you want to opt out of all of our lead reports and lists, please submit a privacy request at our Do Not Sell page.

Save Settings
Cookie Preferences Cookie List

Cookie List

A cookie is a small piece of data (text file) that a website – when visited by a user – asks your browser to store on your device in order to remember information about you, such as your language preference or login information. Those cookies are set by us and called first-party cookies. We also use third-party cookies – which are cookies from a domain different than the domain of the website you are visiting – for our advertising and marketing efforts. More specifically, we use cookies and other tracking technologies for the following purposes:

Strictly Necessary Cookies

We do not allow you to opt-out of our certain cookies, as they are necessary to ensure the proper functioning of our website (such as prompting our cookie banner and remembering your privacy choices) and/or to monitor site performance. These cookies are not used in a way that constitutes a “sale” of your data under the CCPA. You can set your browser to block or alert you about these cookies, but some parts of the site will not work as intended if you do so. You can usually find these settings in the Options or Preferences menu of your browser. Visit www.allaboutcookies.org to learn more.

Functional Cookies

We do not allow you to opt-out of our certain cookies, as they are necessary to ensure the proper functioning of our website (such as prompting our cookie banner and remembering your privacy choices) and/or to monitor site performance. These cookies are not used in a way that constitutes a “sale” of your data under the CCPA. You can set your browser to block or alert you about these cookies, but some parts of the site will not work as intended if you do so. You can usually find these settings in the Options or Preferences menu of your browser. Visit www.allaboutcookies.org to learn more.

Performance Cookies

We do not allow you to opt-out of our certain cookies, as they are necessary to ensure the proper functioning of our website (such as prompting our cookie banner and remembering your privacy choices) and/or to monitor site performance. These cookies are not used in a way that constitutes a “sale” of your data under the CCPA. You can set your browser to block or alert you about these cookies, but some parts of the site will not work as intended if you do so. You can usually find these settings in the Options or Preferences menu of your browser. Visit www.allaboutcookies.org to learn more.

Sale of Personal Data

We also use cookies to personalize your experience on our websites, including by determining the most relevant content and advertisements to show you, and to monitor site traffic and performance, so that we may improve our websites and your experience. You may opt out of our use of such cookies (and the associated “sale” of your Personal Information) by using this toggle switch. You will still see some advertising, regardless of your selection. Because we do not track you across different devices, browsers and GEMG properties, your selection will take effect only on this browser, this device and this website.

Social Media Cookies

We also use cookies to personalize your experience on our websites, including by determining the most relevant content and advertisements to show you, and to monitor site traffic and performance, so that we may improve our websites and your experience. You may opt out of our use of such cookies (and the associated “sale” of your Personal Information) by using this toggle switch. You will still see some advertising, regardless of your selection. Because we do not track you across different devices, browsers and GEMG properties, your selection will take effect only on this browser, this device and this website.

Targeting Cookies

We also use cookies to personalize your experience on our websites, including by determining the most relevant content and advertisements to show you, and to monitor site traffic and performance, so that we may improve our websites and your experience. You may opt out of our use of such cookies (and the associated “sale” of your Personal Information) by using this toggle switch. You will still see some advertising, regardless of your selection. Because we do not track you across different devices, browsers and GEMG properties, your selection will take effect only on this browser, this device and this website.