CenturyLink has come to market with its own government cloud product. The company is adding an Infrastructure-as-a-Service (IaaS) offering known as CenturyLink Government Cloud to its hybrid IT services portfolio. The cloud service is now available to federal government agencies via CenturyLink’s General Services Administration (GSA) Networx contract and is planned to be available on other GSA contracts.
CenturyLink’s cloud is Federal Risk and Authorization Management Program (FedRAMP) certified and operates on the VMware managed services delivery model. FedRAMP is a government-wide risk management framework that provides a standardized approach to security assessment, authorization and continuous monitoring for cloud products and services.
As CivSource reported last week, government cloud spending has increased over the past year. The government is expected spend 8.5 percent of its budget on IT services in 2016, up from 5 percent in 2015. The uptick in spending is the direct result efforts by the U.S. Federal CIO Council and the Office of Management and Budget (OMB) to get government agencies to move some types of IT systems to the cloud — particularly new systems, stored data, and mobile solutions.
As a result of this additional spending, cloud vendors are announcing new additions to their product lineups. IBM recently launched a cloud services marketplace that includes several new applications and a development environment. Microsoft too has increased security for its Azure cloud.
The push for greater reliance on cloud services has also been met with new demands from the vendor community. A group calling itself FedRAMP Fast Forward, and includes many cloud providers in its membership, has started calling on the government to improve the FedRAMP certification process and clear bottlenecks. The group claims that the promises of FedRAMP like only having to certify once, haven’t materialized and vendors say they can’t easily find out where they are in the certification process.
CenturyLink is a member of FedRAMP Fast Forward, as are AWS, HPE, IBM, CGI, and General Dynamics.