NOAA pilots cloud solutions

Tuesday - 8/17/2010, 11:23am EDT

Joe Klimavicz, chief information officer and director of high performance computing and communications, NOAA

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Today, the FCB hears from Joe Klimavicz, chief information officer and director of high performance computing and communications at NOAA.

He tells us about some pilot programs they’re running in order to see if cloud is the correct solution for them.

“It’s a great, flexible, open environment allowing access and interoperability between the different environments, and [could reduce the] complexity and maintenance of our environment. I think that we’re helping a lot of organizations go through the FISMA certification and accreditation. So, I think that cloud computing is coming into its own.

We’ve run pilots with Google Apps, and also Microsoft’s BPOS — their Business Productivity Online Suite. We also have a pilot with Everbridge, the emergency notification system — and [we are] trying to make sure that during an emergency we can reach all of our employees. As scattered about the country as we are [with] a lot of planes and ships and remote [locations], that’s a challenge, but we think that that’s the way to go there.

Also, we’ve been working with GSA on the certification and accreditation, so we’re following what’s going on there. That’s been a big hurdle, I think, [but] it’s coming about. We understand where we need to be from a security perspective.

I also think that service level agreements that include exit strategies — I think everyone understands that once you get into the cloud, you need to make sure that you can get out or change your business model if that is necessary.

So, to me this makes sense. The technology is there. . . . [Our work] is all characterized as pilots. We’ve got a lot of innovative and creative folks at NOAA that tend to want to use state of the art technologies, and I don’t try to discourage that at all.

I think what we need to do is take advantage of all this technology and look at [it], and then it’s my job to sort through all the emerging technologies [and decide] which ones are real, [and] which ones can be supported in the long term to best meet our mission requirements.”

Hear more of Joe Klimavicz’s interview on Ask the CIO.