Planned FY 2018 DISA Technology Investments - Part 3 Cloud Computing

Posted by Alexander Rossino on July 5, 2017

Cloud Storage Wars

This week’s post provides part three in my running overview of the Procurement and Research, Development, Test, and Evaluation (RDT&E) dollars that the Defense Information Systems Agency (DISA) intends to invest in various technology projects in fiscal Year 2018. This week we take a look at projected spending on cloud computing. Those interested in the recent companion posts on cyber security and the DISA technology overview, click here and here, respectively.

As a reminder, Deltek conducted this analysis of DISA’s FY 2018 Procurement and RDT&E budget documentation using keywords and terms related to cloud computing, including various forms of the “as-a-Service” (XaaS) abbreviation. Limitations in the available data did not always allow Deltek isolate cloud programs, so the numbers here also reflect projected spending on programs that have cloud requirements as a significant part of a larger effort.

FY 2016-2018 Overview

Expanding on the data presented earlier, the chart below provides an overview of the combined Procurement and RDT&E spending that DISA is requesting for programs with a cloud-related requirement in FY 2018.

DISA expects its cloud-related Procurement funding to decline by -42.3% in FY 2018, while it’s cloud-related RDT&E funding will remain flat. Procurement funding makes up only 7.9% of the $191M that DISA projects it will spend on cloud-related requirements in FY 2018. The falling number of Procurement dollars DISA dedicates to cloud reflects the fact that investments in cyber and big data are receiving higher priority.

Program Details

Moving now to the program details, the table below lists all of the DISA programs with a cloud-related requirement identified by Deltek.

At $11.2M in projected FY 2018 Procurement funding, support for the DoD Cyber Situational Awareness Analytic Cloud (CSAAC) is clearly DISA’s number one priority. This is followed by Procurement funding of $3.6M for the Database Security Gateway Tool (DMZ). The DMZ is a security measure that “eliminates the need for most DoD assets to directly connect with the public Internet and reduces the DoDIN’s surface and exposure to attacks.” FY 2018 investment in the DMZ, will procure hardware and software to support the NIPRNet Federated Gateway capability at specific Internet Access Point (IAP) network locations, to expand boundary locations, and to acquire a database firewall.

Concerning RDT&E priorities, the Major Range Test Facility Base Operations program will receive the highest funding of $52M. This investment will 1) increase customer accessibility through enhanced testing and evaluation capabilities by employing self-service automation technologies via the cloud; 2) reduce risk by employing new technology and methodology to conduct data analysis in the operational environment; and 3) enable the development of new methodologies for conducting Interoperability assessments.

The new cloud-based Federal Investigative Services IT system, which DISA is building to replace the Office of Management and Budget’s old federal employee records system that was hacked several years ago, will receive $50M in RDT&E funding. This investment will fund the ongoing design, building, and fielding of a new system during the planned transition to sustainment of capabilities initially delivered in FY 2017.

Lastly, DoDIN Systems Engineering and Support, which is slated to receive $12.3M in FY 2018, will explore laboratory prototyping of Software Defined Everything (SDE) to enable DISA to leverage automated processing capabilities, cloud computing, cyber capabilities, and mobile end-user devices more securely.

Summing up, DISA’s spending on cloud falls into three major categories: 1) developing the network infrastructure to securely use cloud (i.e., the DMZ), 2) using cloud for DevTest purposes, and 3) leveraging cloud for cyber security. DISA’s DevTest use of cloud aligns well with a trend in spending on cloud prototyping/development environments that Deltek identified more than a year ago. This trend continues to hold across the federal government, not just at DISA.