VMware gets with the fed cloud program with some help from its friend Carpathia

VMware(s vmw) is gunning for its FedRAMP certification — which would deem its cloud worthy of federal government contracts — with a boost from Carpathia, a specialist in federally compliant managed hosting work.

The two companies, working with sponsor agencies the U.S. Department of Defense and General Services Administration, are working on a compliant cloud that mirrors VMware’s vCloud Hybrid Services, said Mathew Lodge, VP of cloud services for VMware.

“We could have gone for certification for our existing VCHS, but for Federal Risk and Authorization Management Program accreditation there are additional controls — all personnel working on the project for example, have to be American citizens and there has to be a separate cage for this cloud. The advantage of partnering with Carpathia is they’ve done this once before,” he said.  The VMware government cloud should go live within a year.

AT&T(s t), Akamai(s akam), AmazonWeb Services(s amzn), HP(s hpq), IBM and Microsoft all already have their FedRamp seals of approval. But VMware probably isn’t too late: Cloud Service Providers, or CSPs, have to have their FedRAMP status in order by June to compete for contracts going forward. Once a CSP has its “Authority to Operate” (aka ATO) under FedRAMP, it will be easier to compete for contracts across agencies.

The U.S. government is into the sixth year of its “cloud first” initiative to streamline IT operations and increase efficiency so there is a ton of business at stake. Here’s the full list of FedRAMP-approved CSPs.