A simple request for information from the General Services Administration may have set off an important development in government cloud computing, according to Federal Computer Week (FCW). After an industry gathering to discuss a potential cloud brokerage drew 160 participants, the agency decided to extend the window for submitting responses on the potential offering to September 7. The previous deadline was August 17.
In addition to the participants at the August 2 industry gathering, the wait list to present to the GSA was too long to accommodate everyone. By submitting the RFI, the agency is looking to see how other organizations have developed and deployed the idea of a cloud brokerage so it can help streamline a process of acquisition and management for cloud computing.
"When we spoke to our industry partners and saw the great questions, interest and knowledge we could potentially tap, we decided it was in the best interest of both the government and industry to extend the RFI," Stan Kaczmarczyk, director of cloud computing service at the Federal Acquisition Services' Information Technology Services Office, told FCW.
Ready and waiting
Another factor in the GSA's calling for industry input is to gauge just how mature cloud brokerage development might be and if it could be implemented in the near future. A cloud brokerage helps facilitate relationships between clients and providers for cloud services, while assisting with management of both delivery and performance.
Although it is still unclear if cloud brokers are ready for showtime, Government Computer News (GCN) reported that a desire for broker services is out there in the federal government. In fact, in lieu of a formal broker, some within the government are beginning to take matters into their own hands.
Jetting to the cloud
NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory (JPL) turned to cloud services four years ago, looking to handle large amounts of data. As other subsidiaries of NASA began to see the benefits of cloud computing, they turned to JPL for help as there was no broker in place. Thus, the lab's IT department became the de facto cloud brokerage for NASA.
"To my knowledge, it is the only live operating model as a cloud brokerage platform in the government space," Kevin Jackson, a vice president and general manager of cloud services for NJVC told GCN. "It is a proof point that the cloud brokerage model works and delivers value."