GSA approves first infrastructure cloud provider

Friday - 7/1/2011, 7:58pm EDT

By Jason Miller
Executive Editor
Federal News Radio

Agencies finally can buy cloud infrastructure services through the General Services Administration's eight-month-old blanket purchase agreement.

Eyak Technology LLC (EyakTek) and its partner, Horizon Data Center Solutions, became the first vendor to receive the authority to operate (ATO) to provide cloud services through the infrastructure-as-a-service multiple award contract. EyakTek and Horizon Data Center Solutions will offer cloud storage, virtual machines and cloud Web hosting.

By receiving the ATO, it means EyakTek met GSA's requirements under an assessment and authorization (A&A) process for security controls.

The approval comes despite the delay in the FedRAMP process that would do the same thing for cloud services on a governmentwide scale. GSA and the departments of Homeland Security and Defense are working on the final requirements for FedRAMP that is expected to be finished sometime between August and October.

"As underdogs compared to many industry titans racing to be in the cloud computing space, being first out of the gate with this A&A certification shows that small, nimble companies like ours are able to focus on being responsive to the government's needs and possess the high level of expertise required to lead the way," said Quang Le, EyakTek's president and CFO, in a release.

GSA awarded 12 vendors a spot on the infrastructure-as-a-service BPA in October. GSA estimates the contract to be worth $76 million.

Agencies are waiting for the vendors to receive the go-ahead from GSA under IaaS.

Jaspal Sagoo, the chief technology officer for the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, said his agency has been struggling for the last few months for how to provide a common vehicle for cloud services.

"We are looking at GSA Schedule 70 and we are looking at all the vendors who are about to go through the FedRAMP process as our baseline," he said at a recent Cloud Computing Symposium sponsored by the Bethesda, Md. chapter of AFCEA. "We will offer that as the list of vendors that initially we will approve within the department."

He said CDC over the next six months will start with the GSA-approved vendors and then expand from there.

The Homeland Security Department also is waiting for the contract. It released a request for quote in May to move its public websites to the cloud. The winning vendor must be FedRAMP certified within 120 days of the award.

RELATED STORIES:

GSA awards 11 spots on first cloud BPA

More time needed to finalize FedRAMP

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