Securing the cloudCloud OS for the U.S. intelligence community

Published 6 September 2012

Cloud management specialist Adaptive Computingis partnering with the investment arm of the CIA, In-Q-Tel, to develop a cloud operating system for use by U.S. intelligence agency

Cloud management specialist Adaptive Computing is partnering with the investment arm of the CIA, In-Q-Tel, to develop a cloud operating system for use by U.S. intelligence agency.

Adaptive will use its Moab cloud management suite with an unspecified cloud platform. The platform could be OpenStack, Cloud Stack, or a third option unknown at this time.

InformationWeek reports that the Moab cloud suite provides a service that provisions service catalogs and policy management in cloud environments. The company itself holds patients in multi-tier applications as well as time-based policy enforcement and multi-tenant clouds.

In a written announcement on the partnership, Robert Ames, senior VP of In-Q-Tel’s information and communication technologies practice, cited Adaptive’s experience in cloud management software and its development capabilities in deciding to work with the company. In the past, Adaptive has worked with other government agencies such as the NSA, National Laboratories, and the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration.

James Clapper, the U.S. director of national intelligence, said in an industry conference that the seventeen agencies and departments that make up the intelligence community would eventually move to the cloud model in order to meet budget reductions, but it would also make projects and information amongagencies much more accessible.

Gus Hunt, an official with the CIA, said last year that cloud could be safer to use because of its virtual, dynamic nature.  “I’ve created a world in which my workloads are constantly fresh and clean, and I have created a shell game by turning myself into a polymorphic attack service.” Hunt said at InformationWeek’s GovCloud conferencelast year.

The Intelligence and National Security Allianceidentified issues with cloud’s securityand the stability of various environments within its system, but the alliancealso concluded that the agencies will benefit from the ability to share, analyze, and store large amounts of data.

Previously known as Cluster Resources, Adaptive Computing has an extensive background in managing high-performance computing clusters which it is now applying to the supervision of its x86 servers in private clouds.