IBM Launches Federal Cloud Innovation Center in D.C.

IBM announced the opening of a new cloud innovation center in Washington, D.C., that will focus on implementing cloud computing across the government.

IBM announced the opening of a new Federal Cloud Innovation Center dedicated to helping federal agencies and other public-sector organizations advance the adoption of cloud computing across the government.

The new IBM Federal Cloud Innovation Center in Washington, D.C., will bring IBM’s cloud-computing research efforts closer to federal agencies to develop specialized technologies and methods for building mission-ready clouds, Big Blue officials said.

Moreover, the IBM center will draw on the cloud computing expertise of more than 500 IBM professionals aligned to the center along with IBM’s global network of more than 37,000 cloud industry experts. These experts include IBM researchers, IT infrastructure architects, software developers and consultants with deep industry knowledge in managing major transformation projects across the federal government as well as implementing cloud solutions.

IBM said key focus of the center will be to work with the government to explore further the adoption of open standards for cloud computing across the federal government. Open standards in cloud computing provide integration, break down barriers between clouds within government, and drive workload portability. IBM is a significant contributor to OpenStack, cloud standards and other open protocols that can help ensure that different providers’ clouds will have accessibility. IBM brings unique implementation capabilities on top of the open-source code for agencies looking to quickly and securely deploy open technologies in their cloud-computing environments.

“Our work at the center will help evolve cloud in these early days of its rollout across the federal government into a platform agencies can trust and grow off of,” said Anne Altman, general manager of IBM US Federal, in a statement. “Now is not the time for government to settle for what is only available commercially. Now is the time for them to join with industry to build security, reliability and standards that will make for a trusted government cloud environment.”

In addition to working with and on cloud standards, the center’s staff will also collaborate with federal agencies and other clients on new security innovations to protect data housed in the cloud–which has been a key concern for government agencies. IBM researchers continue to develop new methods for data encryption in the cloud, ensuring data always remains secure while it is being transported, searched and processed. Also, the center is able to help agencies exploit the more than 3,600 cloud APIs IBM has in its portfolio for integration and hardware configurations. These APIs enable faster customization of cloud solutions to the specific needs of federal government clients.

“IBM’s research collaborations with the government have led to major advancements in networking, high-performance computing and most recently in the emerging field of cognitive systems,” said Dr. John E. Kelly III, IBM senior vice president and director of IBM Research, in a statement. “We see a tremendous opportunity to further the development of cloud technologies with the federal government by providing access to the latest breakthroughs in security and reliability coming out of IBM’s research labs.”