Private and hybrid cloud are revolutionizing government IT by reducing spending, increasing flexibility and maximizing efficiencies.
Most agencies have dipped their toes into cloud implementation with varying levels of success. Implementing cloud is one thing, managing your cloud solutions and data storage is another. How do you keep your data under control and not, well, lost in the clouds? How can you coordinate and manage your data across multiple public, private, and hybrid clouds? It's a balancing act, but some agencies have it mastered.
On November 18th, NetApp sponsored a half day event, "Cloud Connect: The Multi Cloud Balancing Act", focusing on these challenges as well as government's current state of cloud play and future cloud outlook. By bringing together government and industry cloud luminaries, attendees were able to hear how both public and private sector are tackling these challenges, effectively shaping the future of Federal cloud.
Charged with delivering on the Cloud First mandate, no one knows the benefits and challenges that come with cloud computing like Federal CIOs. At the event we heard directly from David Bray, CIO for Federal Communications Commission, Rick Holgate, CIO for Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms, and Explosives, and Richard McKinney, CIO for Department of Transportation, as they shared their cloud experience and future predictions. What do these leaders who sit at the intersection of IT and agency mission find the most valuable about cloud computing? How has cloud transformed their agency? How has it shaped their tactical and operational technology plans?
Agencies are designing their future state today. They are deciding what apps will run in the cloud with cost, security, and performance as key considerations. As agencies move more and more data into the cloud, new management challenges emerge surrounding data storage, portability, and interoperability.
So what shall it be- private or hybrid?
Experts anticipate spend on private cloud platform as a service (PaaS) to increase dramatically over the next two years. There are strong use cases for agencies to build a private cloud for some of their mission critical applications.
According to Gartner, hybrid cloud is the future. What's the driving factor behind hybrid cloud? Agility. Large amounts of data are difficult to manage and move. An application may start in the cloud and then moved back on premise. Tremendous uptake may dictate that it be brought back on premise; sustained workload demand is high, sustained bandwidth demand is high. In most cases Government Agencies will be operating in a hybrid environment. Hybrid cloud, combined with a flexible data storage and management solution, enables data portability and interoperability. The cloud of the future empowers agencies to control their cloud-based data as though it's right next to them.
As government agencies figure out their next move to the cloud, there were two common themes amongst all panel participants at the event:
Darci Hunt, Marketing Manager, Strategic Partners, NetApp U.S Public Sector