The use of cloud services in the Federal sector is discussed and debated at conferences and panel events in and outside of D.C. Many of these discussions are centered around the theory or concept of cloud services, rather than on physical examples and case studies.
Fortunately the General Services Administration is moving forward with the actual use of cloud services for notable initiatives such as USA.gov and Data.gov. They have experienced significant cost savings, scalability to accommodate variable demand, and consistently reliable uptime. And since most of the discussions around town focus on security concerns, it is worth noting that the cloud hosted GSA sites have not been hacked and the service provider hasn't accidentally unplugged the services!
So we are beginning to have three camps here ... the first camp like GSA actually uses the cloud services today ... the second camp includes staunch opponents of cloud services (buggy whip anyone?) ... and the third camp includes the interested IT professionals that are not the first adopters but will eventually adopt.
Kudos to Information Week for a good article on the Terremark hosting facility designed for federal cloud computing. This article is a look inside and outside of the Terremark facility and shows what is a far more impressive setup than most agencies have the luxury of having themselves. Simple articles like this will go a long way towards adoption as agencies see that these fortress data centers can provide better security, more reliable SLAs, and cheaper costs than the legacy Federal data centers.