Cloud Sightings Ahead, Proceed with Optimism

We all remember tabloid stories about people who claim they saw Bigfoot.

They may or may not have seen the creature, but that doesn’t stop people from spreading stories.

Moving to the cloud reminds me of those claims. A lot of people say they’ve seen it, but few have actually had an up close encounter. While Bigfoot may be an urban legend, the cloud is certainly real. 

Bigfoot would be scary if you find yourself front and center, but cloud isn’t. CIOs have a range of intriguing cloud options to choose from—public versus private versus hybrid—and plenty of cloud service providers and hyper-scale providers to consider.

Yet they also face many challenges: Not only must CIOs cut costs while keeping up with innovation and improving capacity, they must also ensure optimal performance and deliver true business value with no excuses.

By the way, while most CIOs do not currently leverage a cloud infrastructure, IDG predicts that within the next 18 months many more of them will.

Here are Five Keys to keep in mind:

  1. Standardize data containers with Storage Virtual Machines that enable the seamless migration and replication of data.
  2. Implement secure multi-tenancy to save space and ensure data security.
  3. Pool virtual resources using a clustered data storage file system that enables storage infrastructures to expand non-disruptively to meet evolving needs.
  4. Leverage a common data storage operating system for efficient data transport.
  5. Ensure data storage transparency and efficiency with sophisticated but simple to operate data management tools.

Implemented prudently and with rigor and attention to detail, those cloud features yield non-disruptive cloud operations, seamless scalability, solid data security, and proven efficiency and cost savings.

Done right, how effective are they? Very. Here are two examples of municipal governments that have reaped the benefits of moving to the cloud by leveraging those five tenets: 

The county government of King County, Washington, saves $700,000 annually with a cloud solution that relies on a Microsoft private cloud and an infrastructure built by NetApp and Oracle.

The City of Melrose, Massachusetts saves 40 percent of its normal IT infrastructure spending on data center operations and technology costs each year with a cloud solution based on a NetApp infrastructure.

In sum, cloud computing is here to stay, and after a period of fumbling around, we now have the experience and know-how to make it work well and in a way that brings solid business value. 

And I’m not making that up.  Cloud is no urban legend.

For more insight, follow the NetApp conversation on cloud at the September 10th Cloud Computing Brainstorm.

Greg Gardner, Chief Architect for Government and Defense Solutions, NetApp, U.S. Public Sector. While he may not be a believer in Sasquatch, he does believe in the future of cloud.