Thursday, January 28, 2016

2016-01-28: January 2016 Federal Cloud Computing Summit

As I have mentioned previously, I am the MITRE chair of the Federal Cloud Computing summit. The Summits are designed to allow representatives from government agencies that would not necessarily cross paths to collaborate and learn from one another about the best practices, challenges, and recommendations for adopting emerging technologies in the federal government. The MITRE-ATARC Collaboration Symposium is a working group-style session in which academics, representatives from industry, government, and FFRDC representatives discuss potential solutions and ways-forward for the top challenges of emerging technology adoption in government. MITRE helps select the challenge areas by polling government practitioners on their top challenges, and the participants break into groups to discuss each challenge area. The Collaboration Symposium allows this heterogeneous group of cloud practitioners to collaborate across all levels, from the end users to researchers to practitioners to policy makers (at the officer level).

The Summit series includes mobile, Internet of Everything, big data, and cyber security summits along with the cloud summit, each of which occurs twice each year. MITRE produces a white paper that summarizes the MITRE-ATARC Collaboration Symposium. The white paper is shared with industry to communicate the top challenges and current needs of the federal government to guide product development, academia to identify the skillsets needed by the government and influence curricula development along with research topics, and government to communicate best practices and current challenges of other peer government agencies.

The Summit takes place in Washington, D.C. and is a full-day event. The day begins at 7:30 AM with registration and an industry trade show that allows industry representatives to communicate with government representatives about their challenges and the solutions that industry has to offer. At 9:00, a series of panel discussions by academic researchers and government. This also allows audience members to ask questions to the top implementers of cloud computing in the government and academia.

At 1:15, after lunch, the MITRE-ATARC Collaboration Symposium begins, and runs until 3:45. There is also a final out-briefing from each collaboration session a teh end of the day to communicate the major findings from each session to the summit participants.

Common threads from the summit included the importance of cloud security, the importance of incorporating other emerging technologies (e.g., mobile, big data, Internet of Things) in cloud computing, and how each emerging technology enables or enhances the others, and the importance of agile processes in cloud migration planning. More details on the outcomes will be included in the white paper, which should be released in 6-8 weeks. Prior white papers are available at the ATARC website.

The results of the Summit has implications for web archivists. With the increasing importance and emphasis on mobile, IoT, and cloud services, particularly within the government, there is an increased importance on archiving representations and the use of this material. As Julie Brill mentioned in her CNI talk, the government is interested in understanding how these services and technologies are being used regardless of whether or not there is a UI or other interface with which humans can interact. 

Archiving data endpoints from HTTP is comparatively trivial (although challenges still exist with archiving at high fidelity, particularly when considering JavaScript and deferred representations), but archiving a data service that might exchange data through non-HTTP or even push (as opposed to pull) transactions may change the paradigm used for web archiving.

With increased adoption, the archiving of representations reliant or designed to be consumed through emerging technologies will continue to increase and highlights a potential frontier in web archiving and digital preservation.

--Justin F. Brunelle *

The authors’ affiliation with The MITRE Corporation is provided for identification purposes only, and is not intended to convey or imply MITRE’s concurrence with, or support for, the positions, opinions or viewpoints expressed by the authors.

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