- The Deparment of Defense granted IBM approval to start hosting the agency's highest security levels of controlled unclassified information.
- IBM is the first cloud service provider with a direct connection to the DOD’s Nonsecure Internet Protocol Router network, the agency's unclassified communications network, according to a Nextgov report.
- The authorization allows IBM to host highly sensitive data in a separate part of a data center at the Allegany Ballistics Laboratory in West Virginia.
The approval is potentially game-changing for IBM as the federal government continues its push to the cloud. Earlier this week, the Obama administration released its fiscal 2017 budget, which includes $7.3 billion for cloud services. It is likely that the federal government will continue to move to contracting out its data storage rather than hosting information in its own data centers.
Amazon Web Services has also received conditional approval to host Level 5 data, but IBM is the first to be allowed to connect to NIPRnet, which the company said gives them an advantage.
“It’s significant because a lack of NIPRnet connection to cloud is like an airport without runways” for DOD customers, Cecelia Decamp, senior client executive for IBM, told Nextgov. “We’ve got a breadth of cloud capabilities, but this is an added piece to that. It opens the door for certain government customers to us now more easily through the NIPRNet connection. We can more aggressively move into that space.”