Cybersecurity Success Story: ERT Migrates NOAA to the Cloud

NOAA UMS cloud messagingIn June 2011, ERT was awarded a contract through NOAALink to help deliver new e-mail, calendar & contacts along with BlackBerry services for 25,000 NOAA accounts via a cloud service to Google Apps for Government (GAfG). It’s the largest Federal email migration to the cloud to date. In six months, ERT delivered a hybrid Software-as-a-Service (SaaS)/Infrastructure-asa-Service (IaaS) solution to NOAA, bringing all accounts live with minimal disruption to ongoing operations, while providing a reliable broad capability NOAA could use to enhance communication and collaboration for years to come.

Through this contract, the services and accomplishment that ERT provided and achieved can be highlighted in the following areas:

Messaging services

  • More than 30 TB—150 million e-mails were migrated into Google from diverse sites and systems including 19 different mail services scattered throughout the US
  • The services were made available to NOAA’s constituency through a wide array of clients and web browsers
  • Deep QA testing showed high fidelity in migration
  • Google Apps for Government accessed through desktops and approved mobile devices with significant collaboration and tools capabilities including Google Sites, Apps, Chat, Voice & Video
  • All calendars are available through Google and all BlackBerrys sync with Google mail and calendar
  • ~25,000 users live in Google. Early ‘emergency’ cutover of 420 users was executed without issue
  • Delivered on time, where delays from 2 hurricanes, 1 earthquake and a critical RIM global outage didn’t cause delivery slippage

Operations and user services

  • The multiple help desks were able to support the service Day 1, with ERT team providing Tier 1½ phone support and long term Tier 3 support
  • The mail administrators can add, change and remove accounts via NOAA Directory Services just as they have historically
  • All NOAA-approved browsers and e-mail clients in use
  • Full training complement provided to all users. All 106 real-time web based training sessions delivered with very positive feedbacks
  • Program webpage, marketing and video campaigns help deliver message throughout NOAA’s 200+ sites


  • Authority to Operate Granted
  • Designed and developed the FISMA compliant hybrid Saas/IaaS services including two cloud providers in a seamless but complex security architecture
  • Scanning and logging through multiple environments and firewalls
  • Generated complete set of A&A documentation (1000+ pages) under an expedited schedule (under six months)

ERT managed risk and issues associated with early cloud adoption, ranging from cultural, technical, Operational and security, to leapfrog NOAA into a reliable, cost-effective, long-term capability. The successful completion of this project established ERT as a thought leader in cloud ATO and at the forefront of cloud security requirement and solutions and. It demonstrated ERT’s capability as a provider-agnostic integrator with the ability to deliver large-scale, compliant cloud solutions to government agencies on time and on budget.