Frank Konkel | Nextgov | January 25, 2017 | 0 Comments

IBM's $62M Army Private Cloud Contract is About Ditching Legacy Systems


IBM continues to build on its momentum in the federal cloud computing market, inking a contract worth up to $62 million to host some of the U.S. Army’s most sensitive unclassified data.

As part of the Army Private Cloud Enterprise program, IBM will build an IT infrastructure at the Army’s Redstone Arsenal near Huntsville, Alabama.

What does the Army receive?

» Get the best federal technology news and ideas delivered right to your inbox. Sign up here.

IBM will provide infrastructure as a service, which includes hosting, storing and computing services, while allowing the Army to scale up or down power on an as-needed basis. It will also provide all the hardware and software, as well as cleared IBM employees at Redstone to manage the infrastructure.

The initial task order began in December and is for one year, with four additional 1-year options, which—if all are exercised —drives the contract ceiling to more than $60 million over five years.

“With this project, we’re beginning to bring the IT infrastructure of the U.S. Army into the 21st century,” said Lt. Gen. Robert Ferrell, U.S. Army chief information officer, in a statement. “Cloud computing is a game-changing architecture that provides improved performance with high efficiency, all in a secure environment.”

This Army workload is a continuation of IBM’s push to host more important military data.

Two years ago, IBM developed an on-premise hybrid cloud solution for the Army’s Logistics Support Agency, and last year, Big Blue received approval from the Defense Department to host Impact Level 5 data—the most sensitive unclassified data the military uses.

The Redstone Arsenal accesses both the contains both the Defense Department’s sensitive but unclassified network known as NIPRNet and the classified version, SIPRNet. IBM intends to meet DOD security requirements to host SIPRNet data some time in 2017.

As of yet, no cloud provider has officially met security requirements for DOD’s Impact Level 6 data. IBM has the opportunity to be the first, which could open the door to a new world of military business.

“The technology is there, now we’ve got to go through the actual process,” said Sam Gordy, general manager for IBM Federal, in an interview with Nextgov.

Cloud is often billed as a cost saver, but Gordy said the Army’s cloud push is geared more toward dealing with the challenges of operating legacy systems in today’s internet of things and “new information era.”

“If you’re not there, your enemies will be there, and whoever owns that battle space will be the ones who have advantages in upcoming conflicts,” Gordy said. “Once you migrate to cloud, you can fold things into that cloud, and you get a modernization that comes with applications across the board.”

Jimmy Norcross, vice president of IBM Federal’s defense and intelligence business, told Nextgov the contract is the “tip of the iceberg” for the Army and lauded the Army’s forward-thinking in dealing with legacy IT challenges. A lot of military brass talks about going to the cloud but in this case, Norcross said the Army is actually doing it.


Thank you for subscribing to newsletters from
We think these reports might interest you:

  • It’s Time for the Federal Government to Embrace Wireless and Mobility

    The United States has turned a corner on the adoption of mobile phones, tablets and other smart devices, outpacing traditional desktop and laptop sales by a wide margin. This issue brief discusses the state of wireless and mobility in federal government and outlines why now is the time to embrace these technologies in government.

  • Featured Content from RSA Conference: Dissed by NIST

    Learn more about the latest draft of the U.S. National Institute of Standards and Technology guidance document on authentication and lifecycle management.

  • A New Security Architecture for Federal Networks

    Federal government networks are under constant attack, and the number of those attacks is increasing. This issue brief discusses today's threats and a new model for the future.

  • Going Agile:Revolutionizing Federal Digital Services Delivery

    Here’s one indication that times have changed: Harriet Tubman is going to be the next face of the twenty dollar bill. Another sign of change? The way in which the federal government arrived at that decision.

  • Software-Defined Networking

    So many demands are being placed on federal information technology networks, which must handle vast amounts of data, accommodate voice and video, and cope with a multitude of highly connected devices while keeping government information secure from cyber threats. This issue brief discusses the state of SDN in the federal government and the path forward.

  • The New IP: Moving Government Agencies Toward the Network of The Future

    Federal IT managers are looking to modernize legacy network infrastructures that are taxed by growing demands from mobile devices, video, vast amounts of data, and more. This issue brief discusses the federal government network landscape, as well as market, financial force drivers for network modernization.


When you download a report, your information may be shared with the underwriters of that document.