DISA sees progress in migrating to milCloud replacement

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The Defense Information Systems Agency has migrated 60 of 120 accounts from its old cloud infrastructure milCloud to the new model it’s replacing it with.

In December, DISA announced it would sunset milCloud 2.0, transitioning to what it now calls Stratus, which offers a multi-tenant private cloud to meet unique mission partner needs.

Since then, 60 accounts from mission partners have moved to the new platform, Courtnea Johnson, chief of the Cloud Infrastructure Branch at DISA, said Monday during a virtual event hosted by NextGov. She added that DISA has migrated more than 1,700 terabytes of data and more than 820 virtual machines.

“We did this within six months, which is a huge success. Normally, when you look at migration history, it sometimes takes longer — it takes eight months to 12 months to migrate all of the data and all of the virtual machines over to a new platform,” Johnson said. “We’re very proud of the success here and we could not have done this without our mission partners. We partner with them, they trust us and we work directly with them to make this happen.”

Other milCloud accounts and users switched to commercial cloud, closed the accounts completely or moved to Amazon Web Services, she said.

For some, moving to commercial cloud made sense because they were using milCloud as a stepping stone to learn more about cloud environments, Johnson said, especially as the milCloud 2.0 contract vehicle allowed mission partners to purchase AWS cloud credits.

Ultimately, DISA wants to be an honest broker and help mission partners with the cloud, she said, regardless of where that cloud journey leads partners.

“We are truly an honest broker. When we meet with mission partners to partner with them to better understand their requirements, sometimes Stratus might not be the answer for them,” Johnson said. “Sometimes they might be ready to go to the commercial world and not to a private cloud because we’re looking for complex mission partner requirements and we’re looking to assist mission partners to get them to where they should be, which is in the cloud — and that’s commercial cloud or private cloud.”

In terms of next steps for Stratus, Johnson said DISA is looking to expand on the classified network, known as SIPRNet. While Stratus offers SIPRNet, DISA wants to reach out to mission partners to see if they are interested in migrating applications from their current SIPRNet environment to Stratus’.

They are also working on automation to make Stratus a “true self-service cloud.”

“We want to be able to automate everything that we’re doing so we can give mission partners to speed to cloud,” she said.

DISA also wants a utility-based model so mission partners can pay as they go in order to best leverage the benefits of cloud.  

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Cloud, DISA, hybrid cloud, milCloud, Stratus
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