National cloud, where is it?

National cloud, where is it?

National cloud

Turn on national cloud services by summer. This is the objective to get the National Strategic Pole (PSN) off the ground, i.e. the infrastructure on which to migrate the critical and strategic data of the public administration, as communicated by the company to Necessary condition to bring the first 30 state bodies on board by September and mark as achieved one of the goals set by the National Recovery and Resilience Plan (Pnrr), which is betting on digital a billion euro chip.

The project:

The times The technology The strategy Business model Money, cloud and data: what's at stake with the National Cybersecurity Agency Behind the resignation of the now ex-director Baldoni is interest of the government for the body that regulates the Italian cyber defenses, governs millions of euros and plays a strategic role in many tenders and critical decisions

The times

The times are tight to carry out the project entrusted to the consortium made up of Tim, Leonardo, Sogei (the state's IT company) and Cdp Equity (an arm of Cassa depositi e prestiti, the postal savings vault) on 11 July. The first call to bring the first twenty central public administrations on board the public cloud ends on 28 April. The tender, launched on February 10, puts 373 million on the plate. A month later it was the turn of local health authorities (Asl) and hospitals. In this case, the 200 million offer launched in mid-March expires on May 19. Instead, 2.9 million of the 35 that the government had made available to local health authorities and hospitals to facilitate the transition to the cloud remained on the table.

There is a first group of 95 central public administrations and 80 local health agencies to be brought on board urgently because they manage infrastructures considered insecure and critical. Eventually, the pole will host the critical and strategic data and services of all the central administrations (about 200), of the local health authorities of the main local administrations (Regions, metropolitan cities, municipalities with more than 250,000 inhabitants).

Why the Tim's project on the national cloud is inadmissible for the Lazio Regional Administrative Court It has something to do with how the distance between data centers is measured (whether as the crow flies or in kilometers of road) and the seismic risk. The sentence of the appeal of Fastweb and Aruba torpedoes the offer of the winning consortium

The technology

Based on four data centers in Acilia and Pomezia in Lazio, together with Rozzano and Santo Stefano Ticino in Lombardy, the Psn offers services housing and data hosting, private cloud and adaptation of the architecture or some components to cloud technology. At a technological level, the data centers are located in pairs approximately 500 kilometers apart to ensure redundancy and continuity of service in the event of a disaster. The connection is a thousand gigabytes between the pair and 10 gigabytes between the two regions. The infrastructure is monitored by two operations centres, located in Liguria and Abruzzo, and the two centers will be qualified as Tier IV and Rating 4, respectively the highest certification levels of the Uptime Institute (industry body) and of the American national standards institute together with the Telecommunications industry association (Ansi-Tia 942).

The consortium has formed alliances with Google , Microsoft and Oracle , but does not rule out other agreements. None of the operators has provided with information on the progress of the project with the PSN. When they have signed the contract with the national pole, public bodies will be able to access a console to manage cloud services, already tested by the Palazzo Chigi department to welcome the first administrations that will come on board.

There it is a project to create the national cloud in Italy Tim, Cassa depositi e prestiti, Leonardo and Sogei have developed it. In 2022 the tender to entrust the works

The strategy

The Psn is one of the pieces of the national cloud strategy, which is divided into three steps. First: classify the data. That is, deciding, on the basis of the criteria established by the Department for Digital Transformation and the Cybersecurity Agency, the degree of sensitivity of the archived information: ordinary, critical and strategic. Second: Develop and use cloud services and security measures. Third: migrate to the cloud. The objective of the Pnrr was to reach 75% of public bodies by 2026. According to Palazzo Chigi, the results exceeded expectations: 14,000 requests, with 90% of the Municipalities and 80% of national schools showing interest.

The Psn is not the obligatory destination of the cloud strategy. Public bodies will be able to decide to move everything to the national cloud, to turn to other infrastructures that comply with cybersecurity requirements or to go fifty-fifty. It is precisely on the basis of this model that the Undersecretary for Innovation, Alessio Butti, has fished out the in-house offices of the Regions. The idea is to transform the vehicle behind the Psn into a federation in which local public IT companies enter, such as Aria in Lombardy, Csi in Piedmont and Lazio Crea in Lazio, the latter at the center of the summer cyber attack of 2021. All these public IT companies are gathered in the Assinter trade association, to which Butti has envisaged a role in the PSN.

WiredLeaks, how to send us an anonymous report You have confidential information on the PSN, on the national cloud and on Pnrr procurement? Share them securely with the Wired editorial staff

Business model

The risk, however, is that if public bodies, instead of migrating to the national cloud, remain on local servers, the Psn project wobbles from an economic point of view, because the element of scalability that generates revenues for the consortium that holds the contract is missing. And if it doesn't reach the objectives of public offices uploaded to its servers, the order is reduced by 10%.

Not only the public world looks at the Psn pie. In December, one of the regional in-house companies, Insiel from Friuli, joined the Italy Cloud Consortium, which brings together national companies in the sector such as Netalia, Seeweb, Sourcesense, Infordata, BabylonCloud and ConsorzioEht. The group's goal is to put a foot inside the Psn. “ Also worrying is the role of the cloud hyperscalers involved in the National Strategic Pole project as suppliers of technologies, a role that could lead to a lock-in of data once migrated ”, writes the consortium in a note. The crux of the dispute is the role of US companies, subject to the Cloud Act (according to which Washington can demand that its companies open their servers for national security reasons), and the technological dependence on their technologies. According to Michele Zunino, president of the consortium and CEO of Netalia, "our qualified operators at the National Cybersecurity Agency (Acn) could give added value to the project of the national strategic pole, positioning themselves as 'edge' cloud elements with respect to the Psn but within the perimeter of the same ”. The Psn, on the other hand, is a long-term investment. The concession lasts 13 years and services to public bodies must be covered for 10.

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