Dell’s government cloud has been officially certified as meeting federal cloud security standards, meaning it is now on the fairly short list of cloud providers agencies can use without having to examine their security capabilities individually.
The process and certification for this is called FedRAMP, a program that recently came under criticism for being too cumbersome, ineffective, and expensive to go through for cloud service providers. The General Services Administration, which oversees the program, recently acknowledged that it had problems and rolled out a new FedRAMP process about one month ago, promising greater transparency, lower cost, and faster speed to authorization.
“We want to make sure that if we say someone is ready, that there’s actual power behind that,” FedRAMP director Matt Goodrich said at the new program’s launch event last month, according to a report by MeriTalk.
Dell’s Infrastructure-as-a-Service cloud for government joins the list of 27 services provided by 22 companies, including HP, IBM, Microsoft, Oracle, and VMware, among others. These services have been deemed FedRAMP-compliant with a provisional authority to operate, which means they were assessed for meeting security standards by accredited third parties and received authorization to operate from CIOs from the GSA, as well as Department of Defense and Department of Homeland Security.
There is another type of compliance certification, which providers can get by working with a specific customer agency. The list of companies that have received this type of certification is longer and includes companies like Amazon, Box, Cisco, Google, and Salesforce, among others.
When Dell completes its merger with EMC, it will be able to take advantage of additional FedRAMP certifications that have been secured by EMC subsidiaries VMware and Virtustream.
Virtustream recently partnered with data center provider QTS to host its federal cloud infrastructure in QTS data centers in Dallas and Dulles, Virginia. The companies will jointly provide cloud hosting and compliance services to government agencies.