Coast Guard needs help with IT infrastructure, cloud consolidation

(U.S. Coast Guard photo illustration by Petty Officer 3rd Class Brandon Giles/Released)

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The U.S. Coast Guard is seeking input on an IT infrastructure consolidation plan that will help migrate part of its system to the cloud to ensure operators around the world have access to critical networks.

The request for sources is the first step in what appears to be a plan for the Coast Gaurd to contract with the private sector on IT infrastructure transformation. The idea is to shift IT services to an “Infrastructure Managed Services” model, one that would contract out infrastructure services to private companies to assist in cybersecurity and network optimization. The move spawned from the Coast Guard’s fiscal 2018-22 Strategic Plan, which calls for greater cyber strength and efficient IT infrastructure.

“The security environment is also affected by the rising importance of the cyber domain – where adversarial nation states, non-state actors, and individuals are attacking our digital infrastructure and eroding the protections historically provided by our geographic borders,” the strategic plan states.

The challenge to secure and re-structure the Coast Guard’s networks and IT infrastructure span global operations, different security classifications and many data centers, according to the request. The networks support more than 54,000 users worldwide at 823 global sites. The current networks are based on a slew of Microsoft operating systems, some more than a decade old.

The Coast Guard has been watching the development of Department of Defense’s JEDI cloud contract, Adm. Karl Schultz said in August. Now, the Coast Guard hopes to migrate some of its data to the cloud while keeping some of it on the government servers it operates.

“USCG recognizes it must partner with Industry” the request states.

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Cloud, IT infrastructure, JEDI, USCG
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