November 08, 2010
This week the General Services Administration in the United States released a comprehensive set of guidelines for agencies considering moving some of their operations to the cloud. The guidelines provide an inter-agency baseline for evaluating and approving cloud providers, which the feds hope will refine and speed the lengthy process of approval.
The Federal Risk and Authorization Management Program (FedRAMP) was established to supply a standardized approach for evaluating and authorizing cloud services and providers. Many have expected that the creation of the program would speed government adoption of cloud computing since before FedRAMP, there was no single government-wide authorization program for contracting such services. The government has sought the help of cloud giants, including IBM, Google and Microsoft in its efforts to set forth acceptable baselines and will be holding Q&A sessions on November 15.
Since the program was launched earlier this year, Federal CIO Vivek Kundra and members of his Cloud Computing Advisory Council have been working in concert to bring some of the original concepts closer to reality. The goal of such programs is ultimately to bring the United States more in line with its goals to reduce the number of expensive data centers.
In essence, the program aims to provide joint authorizations and constant monitoring of shared IT services across agencies that have entered into agreements with outside vendors. The government hopes that this will allow for “unified risk management” in IT by creating unanimously approved security requirements, ensuring security on shared systems, and encouraging better system integration with current IT security efforts.
As the feds note, “the common baseline ensures that the benefits of cloud-based technologies are effectively integrated across the various cloud computing solutions currently proposed within the government. The risk model will also enable the government to ‘approve once and use often’ by ensuring multiple agencies gain the benefit and insight of the FedRAMP’s authorization and access to service provider’s authorization packages.
Full story at CIO.gov
The ever-growing complexity of scientific and engineering problems continues to pose new computational challenges. Thus, we present a novel federation model that enables end-users with the ability to aggregate heterogeneous resource scale problems. The feasibility of this federation model has been proven, in the context of the UberCloud HPC Experiment, by gathering the most comprehensive information to date on the effects of pillars on microfluid channel flow.
Large-scale, worldwide scientific initiatives rely on some cloud-based system to both coordinate efforts and manage computational efforts at peak times that cannot be contained within the combined in-house HPC resources. Last week at Google I/O, Brookhaven National Lab’s Sergey Panitkin discussed the role of the Google Compute Engine in providing computational support to ATLAS, a detector of high-energy particles at the Large Hadron Collider (LHC).
Frank Ding, engineering analysis & technical computing manager at Simpson Strong-Tie, discussed the advantages of utilizing the cloud for occasional scientific computing, identified the obstacles to doing so, and proposed workarounds to some of those obstacles.
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