NOAA CIO: Cloud Migration on Pace

The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration is on pace to have all of its email accounts transferred to Google Apps by the end of the calendar year with the majority of employees making the move in December, Chief Information Officer Joseph Klimavicz told FedScoop.

The agency announced in June its move to Google with a few hundred early adopters acting as a test group. About 1,000 employees were using the service by the end of October while the agency worked to consolidate excess email accounts. There was at one point more than 26,000 addresses for agencies that purchased 25,000 licenses for Google Apps, Klimavicz said.

“We are already seeing a great benefit from Google Apps,” Klimavicz said, “mostly from the array of collaboration tools that are available.”

Earth Resources Technologies, Inc., based in Laurel, Md., delivered “Google Apps for Government” in partnership with Google, Unisys and Tempus Nova as part of a three-year $11.5 million contract that Klimavicz said will save the agency more than fifty percent over an in-house solution.


Klimavicz also said the agency’s recapitalization of super computers for research and development will be using the super computers in early January 2012. The life-cycle for these super computers is estimated to be three to four years before a recapitalization is needed, he said.

Klimavicz said the agency has switched to an enterprise approach to supercomputing for its lab, using a handful of centrally-located supercomputers over several small ones at each lab. The computers help NOAA scientists do complex studies like predict hurricanes and analyze climate and ecosystem changes.

“We’re already seeing a five to seven times increase in capability,” Klimavicz said of the project that was funded by the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act and has come in on budget.

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