Guiding Principles of the DoD Cloud Computing

Guiding Principles of the DoD Cloud Computing Effort

  • The cloud effort will focus on significantly improving operational efficiencies in DoD data centers.
  • These are enduring O&M reductions, not one time savings
  • Examples: lower power consumption by half (more green), better server to admin ratio (lower labor), smaller data centers (less facilities)
  • The cloud effort will yield greater IT resource agility. IT resources will be provisioned in minutes instead of months.
    • High interest problems of national interest can have nearly instant application of computing resources, such as processing power and storage
    • The Department can more agilely add and subtract IT resources to support missions, in a carefully controlled private cloud deployment
  • The cloud effort will provide improved cost effectiveness for providing infrastructure resources to the Department.
    • Economies of scale (e.g., aggregated licensing and purchasing) will lower unit cost of IT resources to the Department

    History tells us the IT model in the DoD is to spend more money and get less consolidated and reusable capability. In other words, you spend more and get less. As opposed to the commercial business world which is to spend less and get more. Business looks to increase the value proposition. The value proposition is a promise which I believe is important to recognize. Built into this system of business is a check and balance that puts controls on business for customers. For example, Bank of America recently attempted to transfer debit card fees to customers, when customers were outraged and could clearly see the promises between the bank and the customer being broken they responded by moving money. In another example a few posts ago I wrote to Netflix because they decreased the value of their product and increased their costs. The result, over 800,000 subscribers walked on them. My point is that when consumers can see that promises are broken or that “the deal” has changed they respond with their wallets.

    Unless we are talking about essential needs like food, water and cable(heh) people are going to respond as long as they KNOW what is going on.

    Government vs People Round #1,000,000,000

    The government as a body tells us that it understands the need to save money and recognizes that it needs to change and create a value proposition. The problem is that the government makes many promises to the people that it simply can’t keep. With specific regard to data center consolidation, resource consolidation and the cloud paradigm the DoD simply will not be able to achieve this without fundamental change in their practice of acquisition. The basic reason and difference from the government implementation of cloud and consumer or business implementation is that business has control over the change in direction while government entities only have the ability to effect the limited area they have authority over. THERE IS NO CONSUMER CHECK AND BALANCE! The people can get upset and occupy Wall street but that will have no effect of Title 10 authority of a program .

    You can work very hard to accomplish the objective, you can be very busy and build lots plans, you can map out the process and draw all of the road maps but at the end of the day it is the result that counts. As a society we continue to treat and focus on symptoms of problems instead of the actual problems themselves. The result is that the actual problems go untreated and we maintain our busy behaviors addressing the symptoms with great enthusiasm. Regardless of how hard we work on the symptoms the results are consistent. If we want to solve the actual problems we need to expose the system to the people. The people will respond and direct the change facilitated by honest and honorable leadership that has the ability to create the needed adjustments. Just as Bank of America will remain in business, so will the government, it can simply respond to the people. For cloud computing to be effective we will need to change our behavior and address our culture. If we do this we can find the savings we need, if not we will find many clouds and many cloud strategies all throughout the DoD. Below is the baseline for the federal strategy, a good place to start.

    Cloud computing is defined by the National Institute of Standards and Technology here

    Cloud computing is a model for enabling ubiquitous, convenient, on-demand network access to a shared pool of configurable computing resources (e.g., networks, servers, storage, applications, and services) that can be rapidly provisioned and released with minimal management effort or service provider interaction. This cloud model is composed of five essential characteristics, three service models, and four deployment models.

    Essential Characteristics:

    • On-demand self-service. A consumer can unilaterally provision computing capabilities, such as server time and network storage, as needed automatically without requiring human interaction with each service provider.
    • Broad network access. Capabilities are available over the network and accessed through standard mechanisms that promote use by heterogeneous thin or thick client platforms (e.g., mobile phones, tablets, laptops, and workstations).
    • Resource pooling. The provider’s computing resources are pooled to serve multiple consumers using a multi-tenant model, with different physical and virtual resources dynamically assigned and reassigned according to consumer demand. There is a sense of location independence in that the customer generally has no control or knowledge over the exact location of the provided resources but may be able to specify location at a higher level of abstraction (e.g., country, state, or datacenter). Examples of resources include storage, processing, memory, and network bandwidth.
    • Rapid elasticity. Capabilities can be elastically provisioned and released, in some cases automatically, to scale rapidly outward and inward commensurate with demand. To the consumer, the capabilities available for provisioning often appear to be unlimited and can be appropriated in any quantity at any time.
    • Measured service. Cloud systems automatically control and optimize resource use by leveraging a metering capability1 at some level of abstraction appropriate to the type of service (e.g., storage, processing, bandwidth, and active user accounts). Resource usage can be monitored, controlled, and reported, providing transparency for both the provider and consumer of the utilized service.

    Service Models:

    • Software as a Service (SaaS). The capability provided to the consumer is to use the provider’s applications running on a cloud infrastructure2. The applications are accessible from various client devices through either a thin client interface, such as a web browser (e.g., web-based email), or a program interface. The consumer does not manage or control the underlying cloud infrastructure including network, servers, operating systems, storage, or even individual application capabilities, with the possible exception of limited user-specific application configuration settings.
    • Platform as a Service (PaaS). The capability provided to the consumer is to deploy onto the cloud infrastructure consumer-created or acquired applications created using programming
      1 Typically this is done on a pay-per-use or charge-per-use basis. 2 A cloud infrastructure is the collection of hardware and software that enables the five essential characteristics of cloud computing. The cloud infrastructure can be viewed as containing both a physical layer and an abstraction layer. The physical layer consists of the hardware resources that are necessary to support the cloud services being provided, and typically includes server, storage and network components. The abstraction layer consists of the software deployed across the physical layer, which manifests the essential cloud characteristics. Conceptually the abstraction layer sits above the physical layer.
      3 languages, libraries, services, and tools supported by the provider.3 The consumer does not manage or control the underlying cloud infrastructure including network, servers, operating systems, or storage, but has control over the deployed applications and possibly configuration settings for the application-hosting environment.
    • Infrastructure as a Service (IaaS). The capability provided to the consumer is to provision processing, storage, networks, and other fundamental computing resources where the consumer is able to deploy and run arbitrary software, which can include operating systems and applications. The consumer does not manage or control the underlying cloud infrastructure but has control over operating systems, storage, and deployed applications; and possibly limited control of select networking components (e.g., host firewalls).

    Deployment Models:

    • Private cloud. The cloud infrastructure is provisioned for exclusive use by a single organization comprising multiple consumers (e.g., business units). It may be owned, managed, and operated by the organization, a third party, or some combination of them, and it may exist on or off premises.
    • Community cloud. The cloud infrastructure is provisioned for exclusive use by a specific community of consumers from organizations that have shared concerns (e.g., mission, security requirements, policy, and compliance considerations). It may be owned, managed, and operated by one or more of the organizations in the community, a third party, or some combination of them, and it may exist on or off premises.
    • Public cloud. The cloud infrastructure is provisioned for open use by the general public. It may be owned, managed, and operated by a business, academic, or government organization, or some combination of them. It exists on the premises of the cloud provider.
    • Hybrid cloud. The cloud infrastructure is a composition of two or more distinct cloud infrastructures (private, community, or public) that remain unique entities, but are bound together by standardized or proprietary technology that enables data and application portability (e.g., cloud bursting for load balancing between clouds).