ViON Corporation recently announced a partnership with IaaS vendor Virtustream that empowers it to deliver enterprise-grade cloud-based services to government customers. By partnering with Virtustream, Vion extends the purview of its services from storage and server solutions for datacenters to public and private cloud solutions as part of a strategy to build market traction within the increasingly lucrative market for cloud services for government agencies. The Virtustream-powered ViON Cloud allows customers to access Virtustream’s xStream-powered IaaS products and services to complement their on-premise datacenter infrastructures. In addition, ViON offers application migration and sizing functionality that facilitates the effective migration of on-premise workloads to the ViON cloud. Finally, the ViON partnership with Virtustream enables the development of private cloud solutions for customers that meet their own internal requirements. As such, ViON proposes a three pronged cloud offering marked by public cloud, private cloud and application migration services for government and commercial sectors in addition to consultative support regarding the achievement of Federal compliance requirements for cloud-based data. The partnership between ViON and Virtustream means that government organizations seeking cloud services now have, in ViON, a vendor with a long history of serving the IT needs of Federal and public-sector organizations. Meanwhile, Virtustream benefits from ViON’s relationships with government and commercial customers to accelerate the adoption of its IaaS technology within the government cloud space. Given the acknowledged depth and history of ViON’s relationships in the Federal and public sector space, and Virtustream’s active pursuit of FedRAMP certification, the ViON-VirtuStream partnership stands poised to introduce another serious contender to the government cloud landscape.
Autonomic Resources has become the first cloud vendor with FedRAMP Joint Authorization Board (JAB) Provisional Authority to Operate (P-ATO) to facilitate achievement of FedRAMP P-ATO status for another vendor’s application, namely, Concurrent Technologies Corporation’s (CTC) Unclassified Remote Hosted Desktop (URHD) SaaS application. By building its UHRD on top of Autonomic’s ARC-P IaaS platform, CTC was able to leverage Autonomic’s pre-existing FedRAMP P-ATO status to streamline its application process. Matthew Goodrich, program manager for FedRAMP at the General Services Administration, surmised the significance of CTC’s recently minted P-ATO status as follows:
CTC’s SaaS virtual desktop environment proves that the FedRAMP authorization process works for all types of clouds, from infrastructure to software. Additionally, CTC’s use of Autonomic Resources ARC-P Infrastructure as a Service (IaaS) for a portion of their offering demonstrates the ability of CSPs to partner and enhance service offerings to the federal government, while also saving time and money by leveraging a previously authorized provider’s environment.
Goodrich points out that the achievement of P-ATO status on by “CTC’s SaaS virtual desktop environment” represents two firsts: a first for a SaaS application to obtain FedRAMP P-ATO status, and a first in the way of a partnership between a vendor seeking FedRAMP certification, and a vendor that had already achieved certification. In a press release, Autonomic Resources noted that it is similarly collaborating with several other SaaS vendors to help them obtain FedRAMP certification. The precedent established by the collaboration between Autonomic Resources and CTC suggests that, in the case of SaaS applications seeking FedRAMP certification, partnerships with existing IaaS vendors that have already obtained P-ATO status may well be the simplest, most expeditious path toward obtaining the authority to do business with the Federal government and its constituent agencies. To date, FedRAMP P-ATO certification has been achieved by an elite group of vendors currently spanned by Akamai, AT&T, Autonomic Resources, CGI Federal, Concurrent Technologies Corporation, HP, Lockheed Martin, Microsoft, IBM whereas Amazon Web Services has achieved full FedRAMP ATO status.
On May 20, Amazon Web Services (AWS) revealed it had obtained approval from the Federal Risk and Authorization Management Program (FedRAMP) to use its cloud computing platform for government business under the terms of a three year certification agreement. Although the assessment of Amazon Web Services as compliant with government-level security standards was sponsored by the Department of Health and Human Services, other government agencies can now leverage the Seattle-based cloud platform subsequent to its recent approval by FedRAMP.
Teresa Carlson, AWS Vice President of Worldwide Public Sector, remarked on the significance of achieving FedRAMP compliance as follows:
More than 300 U.S. government agencies already use the wide array of AWS services to be more innovative, agile, and cost-efficient. Today most government computing systems require built-to-order platforms and applications to meet government security and compliance requirements, which involve time-consuming and costly evaluations. With this FedRAMP compliance, agencies can now utilize a streamlined process from AWS when moving applications to the cloud to meet their unique business and mission requirements.
All government agencies now have the information required to assess the suitability of Amazon Web Services for hosting the specificities of their own classified or protected data sets, as well the authorization protocols required in order to initiate transfers of workloads to AWS for testing and production purposes. The authorization applies to AWS GovCloud and all Amazon Web Services regions. With this authority to operate (ATO) enabled by HHS, Amazon Web Services hopes to dramatically expand its usage amongst government agencies both in terms of the number of agencies and the use cases for which its platform is currently deployed. HHS, for example, currently uses the AWS platform to host over 200 terabytes of data for DNA sequencing from the 1000 Genomes Project for disease research. Amazon Web Services is only the third cloud provider to achieve compliance with FedRAMP alongside CGI Federal and Autonomic Resources.