Rory Kinney, Services Executive at the Defense Information Systems Agency’s (DISA) Operations Center, praised the operational balance that milCloud 2.0 services can bring to Department of Defense (DoD) organizations looking to move to cloud services, and forecasted that milCloud 2.0 is in line for a FedRAMP certification upgrade early next year.

Speaking at the first-ever milCloud 2.0 Virtual Bootcamp Event on September 10, Kinney said during a keynote presentation, “I have been a fan of milCloud from the very beginning.”

“It comes down to the balance between staying on-prem” with technology protected by DISA infrastructure, while at the same time realizing the benefit of cloud services, Kinney said. And, he added, “it fits inside the DoD digital transformation strategy.”

Powered by General Dynamics Information Technology (GDIT), milCloud 2.0 connects cloud service offerings to DoD networks, and provides DISA mission partners with the latest cloud technology at competitive prices and the highest levels of security and performance.

“We need to have multiple options available to us … milCloud 2.0 provides that balance,” Kinney said.

Speaking of DoD CIO Dana Deasy’s digital modernization strategy, Kinney said, “It is all about the data.  You can make the argument that when it’s all said and done … the only thing we own is the data.”

“Everything that CIO Dana Deasy and the DoD Information Network (DoDIN) is doing is to try to improve the delivery of data to warfighters … milCloud 2.0 has a key role in that,” he said.

Moving to cloud services, Kinney said, is also the path to exiting the data center business, but with a cost profile that he said can be “extremely expensive.” He continued, “there are a lot of questions about how to get out of the data center business.” Unlike some other cloud alternatives, Kinney said milCloud 2.0 is a “general purpose cloud” with competitive pricing.

Comparing cloud services to the beer market, he explained that there are expensive craft beers that he likened to “niche” cloud services. “But there is also the generic can of beer.  If you like beer, you can go expensive … or you can with something that provides you with the same quality of adult beverage, but without all the frills.”

Quick Service Migration

Kinney also highlighted the ability of milCloud 2.0 to take on new customers and move their workloads quickly – in less than three months in the case of the Defense Contract Management Agency. “In 90 days we had all their applications out and operating – we had them moved in 90 days to the point where they could power off their data centers,” he said. “It was very exciting to see.”

He said his office is currently working with the Army Material Command on a transition to milCloud 2.0, but said that move is “a little more complicated.”

“It is possible to get out of your data centers quickly, and milCloud 2.0 and DISA can help you do that,” he said. “I have been pushing a lot of folks to milCloud 2.0.”

For organizations ready to move to milCloud 2.0, Kinney said the service can be purchased with a government credit card, and “within 48 yours we can handle your purchase and get you moving.”

“For what you are getting” – including the benefit of DISA cybersecurity and reporting services – “it is a pretty good return on investment,” he said. “I suggest everyone go with milCloud 2.0 and see what you can do,” he said.

Protected Infrastructure

Describing the service’s extensive physical infrastructure, Kinney said milCloud 2.0 is supported by two DoD data centers located in Montgomery, Ala., and Oklahoma City, Okla., through which DISA provides all of the security and support staff.

GDIT, he said, provides “all of the capital that sits inside on the floor, they manage all of that,” including the virtual machines that provide private cloud capability. GDIT, he said, looks to DISA to provide “the hotel” for the business, with GDIT bringing “their best products to bear on the floor.”  He added, “we make sure it’s protected, all the power, all the cooling.”

Coming FedRAMP Boost

Kinney explained that milCloud 2.0’s already-high FedRAMP certification is about to change for the better.

milCloud 2.0 now has a FedRAMP high rating for level 5, which covers high-sensitivity data on national security systems. Kinney said he expects milCloud 2.0 to be cleared in the first quarter of 2021 for level 6, which is for classified data.

“It’s coming very soon,” he said of the rating boost. “A lot of folks are excited about having that capability” for classified information, he added.

Kinney said milCloud 2.0 has been “seeing lots of growth,” and to help keep that growth trend going, Kinney said discussions are underway to see “what we can do overseas” with milCloud 2.0.  “We have some options there … and will be working up a strategy on what is the art of the possible.”

To view the full keynote from Rory Kinney, you can register to view on-demand now.

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John Curran
John Curran
John Curran is MeriTalk's Managing Editor covering the intersection of government and technology.