DHS picks CGI to provide cloud Web services

Thursday - 9/29/2011, 4:15pm EDT

The Homeland Security Department made the first award under the governmentwide contract for cloud computing services.

DHS hired CGI Federal to provide website hosting services under the infrastructure-as-a-service contract run by the General Services Administration.

Under the three-year, $1.8 million deal, CGI said in a press release it will provide DHS with public cloud web content management services, which includes hosting on DHS.gov, FEMA.gov, USCIS.gov and others.

CGI also will provide DHS with three environments that encompass the full application development and deployment lifecycle-from enterprise development and integration to testing, training, staging, troubleshooting and production.

"The DHS Public Cloud solution delivers best-of-breed open source platform technologies, leverages innovation, utilizes cost-effective cloud infrastructure, allows data and web application interoperability, maintains requisite security for the governments needs; and delivers best in class return on investment for the citizens of the United States," said DHS spokesman Larry Orluskie.

This is the first award under the IaaS blanket purchase agreement (BPA) contract nearly a year after GSA set it up. Last October, GSA gave 12 companies a spot on the five-year $76 million deal.

But only in the last few months have vendors met the cybersecurity requirements and received an authority to operate.

So far, four vendors, CGI, EyakTek,Computer Literacy World and Apptis Inc., have received approval from GSA to begin bidding on task orders under the BPA.

All vendors under the BPA must obtain an ATO at the moderate level under the Federal Information Security Management Act (FISMA), according to a GSA fact sheet on its website posted Aug. 3. BPA holders also have the option to obtain an additional authorization through FedRAMP once it is operational. FedRAMP is expected to be finalized in the coming months.

DHS issued one of the first solicitations against IaaS in May.

"DHS' move to the cloud is being watched closely as it's one of the largest agencies to put the 'cloud-first' policy into practice," said Eric Wolking, senior vice president at CGI in a statement. "CGI's cloud environment contains all of the required enterprise-wide security, service delivery, and hosting capabilities needed to reduce costs while delivering improved citizen services."

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