White House adopts ‘cloud first’ policy

Tuesday - 12/21/2010, 2:29pm EST

The White House is adopting a “cloud first” policy and plans to reconfigure IT by consolidating federal data centers and applications.

Federal CIO Vivek Kundra recently unveiled the plan, which calls for creating a Data Center Consolidation Task Force and closing at least 800 of the federal government’s 2,100 data centers over the next five years.

The Data Center Consolidation Task Force will also serve as a “community of practice” for agency CIOS and data center program manager so they can share best practices, Kundra says.

The government’s “cloud first” strategy will revolve around using commercial cloud technologies, launching private government clouds, and using regional clouds with state and local governments.

In the next six months, Kundra says his office will create a strategy to accelerate the adoption of safe and secure cloud computing across the government.

Each agency will also be responsible for identifying three “must move” services and create a plan for migrating them to cloud solutions. One of those services must be moved within a year, and the other two within 18 months.

The migration plans will also include adoption targets, execution risks, major milestones, required resources and a plan for legacy services once the cloud services are up and running.