Cloud’s Role in NNSA’s Future Plans

Published: August 07, 2019

Cloud ComputingCybersecurityDOEInformation TechnologyNNSA

NNSA will focus on moving its applications to the cloud for enhanced nuclear security.

Each year, the nation’s nuclear weapons security agency under the Department of Energy (DOE) submits a report to Congress to ensure the safety and management of the U.S. stockpile. Included in the National Nuclear Security Administration’s (NNSA) FY 2020 Stockpile Stewardship and Management Plan (SSMP) is the role IT will play in helping secure the stockpile from an ever-growing, ever-evolving security threat environment. SSMP provides the agency’s stockpile plans for the next 25 years and stresses the need for “significant and sustained investments in critical elements over the coming decades to ensure that DOE/NNSA will be able to maintain a responsive and resilient enterprise into the 2030s and beyond.”

The nuclear program includes several IT-driven initiatives that range from achieving advanced computing capabilities with exascale computing by the early 2020s, to enhancing the responsiveness and resilience of NNSA infrastructure with cyber innovations. For the latter, NNSA is undergoing key modernization initiatives, including transitioning to an NNSA-managed service model for IT management and moving enterprise applications to the cloud. Below is the consolidated list of the NNSA’s OCIO cloud plans in the near term:

  • Currently implementing a private cloud infrastructure, hosted at geographically separated locations, using Microsoft Azure Stack, to host all enterprise applications with a cloud storefront
  • Phase 1 deployment of a hybrid cloud platform for the Enterprise Secure Computing (ESC) program for application hosting at Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory (LLNL) by FY 2020
  • Phase 1 deployment of hybrid cloud platform for the Enterprise Security Network (ESN) 2.0 West Coast communication hub for classified application hosting at LLNL by FY 2020
  • Phase 1 deployment of small hybrid cloud platform for ESC cloud environment testing for mission software at SNL by FY 2020
  • Phase 1 deployment of hybrid platform for classified application hosting at the East Coast Data Center by FY 2020
  • Deployment of a hybrid cloud platform in support of the Joint Technology Demonstrator project for weapons activities at Kansas City Nuclear Security Campus (KCNSC) by FY 2021

Though NNSA’s budget request for FY 2020 does not detail the investment needed in the move to the cloud, the agency has requested an additional $35.9M for its cybersecurity program and an additional $52.5M for is Information Technology fund, likely places these cloud initiatives could fall under.