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 Monday, Microsoft received FedRAMP Provisional Authority to Operate (P-ATO) from the Joint Authorization Board, an organization that certifies cloud vendors for use by the Federal government. FedRAMP standardizes “security assessments, authorization and continuous monitoring for cloud products and services.” The Joint Authorization Board is the governance body of FedRAMP and is composed of representatives from the Department of Defense, the Department of Homeland Security and the U.S. General Services Administration. Even though Microsoft has yet to procure full Authority to Operate (ATO), the achievement of Provisional Authority to Operate represents a huge coup for Microsoft’s Windows Azure platform with respect to its plans to increase market share in the lucrative government cloud infrastructure space. Competitor Amazon Web Services has already procured full ATO status while HP, CGI Federal, Lockheed Martin and Akamai have received P-ATO status. Windows Azure represents the first combined IaaS and PaaS public cloud platform to achieve FedRAMP certification.