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By Angelos Kottas

Over the summer, we initiated a private beta program for VMware vCloud Government Service provided by Carpathia to begin testing and validating its practical value for U.S. government agencies. To date, vCloud Government Service is being tested in civilian, defense, law enforcement and other Federal IT environments. Due to the progress those organizations are making, today we are launching an Early Access Program, inviting U.S. federal government agencies to purchase our enterprise-class hybrid cloud service for their cloud applications. This preview period provides agencies with the opportunity to prepare and test their applications while simultaneously pursuing their own FedRAMP Authority to Operate (ATO).

The intent of the Cloud First mandate of 2011 was to compel Federal agencies to leverage the benefits of cloud-based IT services while saving taxpayers’ money and realizing efficiencies in federal data center investments. However, risks around cost, security, compliance, ownership and interoperability continue to pose challenges at agencies making their first forays into the cloud. Many early efforts, while well intentioned, threaten to become cloud-based versions of the incompatible IT silos they were meant to eliminate, since they are based on entirely new architectures and processes.

Since announcing our bid to secure FedRAMP Provisional Authority to Operate (P-ATO) for vCloud Government Service in March, our progress has been significant in building out the platform’s capabilities – which are based on vSphere, our award-winning virtualization platform. Since vSphere is used extensively throughout the data centers of all 15 cabinet level agencies, military services and the Legislative and Judicial branches of government, our team is excited to be able to bring vCloud Government Service to help our federal customers seamlessly extend their data centers to the cloud. We believe that vCloud Government Service provides an efficient, practical and lower-risk path to adopting cloud via resources and skills that exist in government today.

The VMware vCloud Government Service Early Access Program will enable government agencies to better meet mission goals and serve citizens through new cloud-based and hybrid applications sooner, as well as be compliant and running when the service achieves its FedRAMP P-ATO next year.

The VMware vCloud Government Service Early Access Program is available for purchase in Dulles, VA and Phoenix, AZ. VMware offers vCloud Government Service primarily through the VMware Partner Network, which encompasses a broad range of partner types to meet the needs of customers. Customers interested in participating in the Early Access Program should contact their VMware representative or partner.

To learn more about VMware vCloud Government Service provided by Carpathia, visit http://vcloud.vmware.com/about_services/vcgs.

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