The Social Security Administration of the United States has decided to streamline their infrastructure by building out a private cloud infrastructure. This private cloud will reside onsite. The SSA wanted to seek out vendors who could integrate into their existing VMWare infrastructure. In an official request for information, the SSA stated that they were seeking a method that would, “Create a self-service virtual machine (VM) provisioning portal, automate common administrative tasks like VM creation, recoup unused resources, and infrastructure maintenance tasks.”
The SSA envisions a self-service portal which would make it easier to acquire virtual resources. This would allow users and administrators to create virtual application instances as well as virtual machines which can be configured with different amounts of virtual hard drive space, CPU and RAM. This gives the IT crews at the SSA an easier and more autonomous way of dividing out computing resources.
The cloud portal created by the SSA will allow the administrator to granularly add and remove permissions. These can be based on specific users or groups of users. Functionality can be added and taken away which gives managers the flexibility about who can see what. When you are talking about a government agency such as the SSA where some data can only be seen by certain people, it makes sense to take the cloud self-service approach which can be configured to be compliant with all internal audits.
In the request for information, the SSA wanted to be able to manage the entire life of its virtual machines in the cloud. The administration wants to be able to do a full audit on their entire cloud in real time. A full list of virtual and physical devices could be obtained within seconds using the cloud that the SSA envisions. The “Cloud First” initiative issued back in 2010 by President Obama has set the stage for the cloud to be used in the US Government. The SSA is an agency that has always been on the forefront of technology therefore making a private cloud infrastructure a good fit for this agency.