Commercial Vendors are invited Into U.S DoD Data Centers

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Commercial Vendors are invited Into U.S DoD Data CentersThe US Defense Department’s is poised to release a new cloud computing policy, opens the door for commercial firms to host military data and applications, and allows the services and combat support agencies to procure cloud services themselves.

According to Defense News, commercial data storage giants Amazon and Google are considered contenders for the business, alongside Microsoft and IBM. Amazon – a household name as an Internet retailer, but perhaps not a major player at the Pentagon – made headlines last year when it landed a $600 million contract through the CIA to build the US intelligence community’s cloud computing environment over IBM.

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Cloud computing, which warehouses data and services in large groups of remote, networked servers for online access, is considered more secure, mobile and cost-effective than agencies hosting it on their own.

The policy, an update from its 2012 release, is expected to let the services and major agencies within DoD purchase approved commercial cloud services through their respective contract offices. The Defense Information Systems Agency (DISA), which was the Pentagon’s cloud broker, will no longer act as the sole contracting office, but it would have approval over agencies’ security plans and serve in an advisory role.