Dell Targets Federal IT With Government Cloud Services

PC giant unveils far-ranging government cloud offering that features both dedicated, private deployments as well as shared, multitenant systems with turnkey security and compliance features.

By Kenneth Corbin
Tue, June 11, 2013

CIO — Computing giant Dell is making a major new push into the government sector, today announcing a comprehensive cloud offering geared for federal agencies.

The Dell Cloud for U.S. Government offers federal CIOs a range of technologies provided through a usage-based, cloud-delivery model, ranging from software applications up through platform and infrastructure services.

Government Cloud Services

Chief among the selling points for federal government customers who are still finding their way in cloud computing is a level of flexibility and customization that can tailor a deployment to an agency's security expectations and management capacity. That means agency CIOs will be able to tap Dell for a dedicated, on-premises cloud, or opt to place certain applications in a shared environment that's managed remotely.

"It basically is, in a nutshell, a dedicated and a multitenant cloud environment that's going to offer several very unique attributes," says Jeff Lush, CTO of Dell Services Federal Government, who describes the offering as "location-neutral."

[Related: Amazon Web Services Gets FedRAMP Certification for U.S. Government Cloud Use]

"It doesn't matter where you put it--you can host it, we can host it, put it in the back of a Humvee," Lush says.

The unveiling of Dell's government cloud comes at a time of keen interest in cloud computing among federal IT decision makers, thanks in part to a series of memos and directives from the White House encouraging steps to modernize the government technology apparatus, as well as the ongoing budget pressures agencies are facing.

Feds Begin to Drift to the Cloud

The government's shift to the cloud remains very much a work in progress, however, and agency CIOs so far have been more willing to move basic applications like email to the cloud than they have more elaborate operations like business processes and infrastructure.

[Related: Government CIOs Eye Business Apps in Cloud Transition]

Many federal CIOs have identified security worries as a major barrier to moving their agency to the cloud, a concern that Dell is addressing with what Lush calls a "built-in compliance framework," comprised of nearly 300 controls stipulated by the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) for various levels of security tailored to the sensitivity of the information in a particular environment.

While Dell is dropping news of its government cloud offering today, the company doesn't except agency deployments of its private cloud to be operational until around mid-summer. Then the multi-tenant solution likely won't be available until the end of this year or early next, when it is expected to receive security certification under the FedRAMP program, according to Lush.

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