InformationWeek — The Defense Information Systems Agency, an agency that’s already among the government leaders in cloud computing, is considering offering platform-as-a-service to other military agencies to complement the infrastructure-as-a-service that it already offers via its Rapid Access Computing Environment (RACE) private cloud.

Today, the PaaS offering is an early-stage pilot designed to meet a request from the Air Force, but a broader pilot is forthcoming. “The Air Force came to us and said, we not only want you to manage the infrastructure, but also the middleware,” Alfred Rivera, DISA’s director of computing services, said in a speech Wednesday at DISA’s Customer and Industry Forum in Washington, D.C.

As part of the PaaS offering, DISA would not just provide the servers themselves, but also the operating system stack and all support services below the application layer, including patching and managing the IT infrastructure.

More broadly, this new PaaS pilot is only one of several cloud computing and shared service projects DISA has in the works. There’s also a planned Microsoft SharePoint 2010 deployment, virtualized web-based versions of Microsoft Office apps hosted in DISA’s cloud, and a number of other services on the way. For example, Rivera said that DISA is also considering ways that it could potentially manage applications that don’t even necessarily reside in DISA data centers — IT service management as a service, he called it.

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