Getting Rational

The benefits of Application Rationalization are well-known. Eliminating redundancy and removing outdated software saves money and storage space.

There are other benefits as well, and the current migration to the cloud that so many Federal agencies are engaged in serves as a reminder of those benefits and other emerging issues that require careful consideration.

My colleague recently wrote about how quickly Federal agencies are migrating to the cloud and how important it is that they consider the challenge of data portability.

Since hybrid clouds are likely to be deployed broadly throughout the Federal space as more and more agencies migrate to the cloud, it is even more important that they think about the future. Hybrid clouds make sense in many instances. Many applications can run safely and securely in an off-premises hybrid cloud. Other applications make sense to keep on-premises.

Application Rationalization is important in terms of helping organizations get a handle on their inventory of applications – streamlining and consolidating – and it must be part of the cloud strategy.

Agencies also must ensure data continues to flow unmitigated, no matter where that information and software reside. The cloud environment and a potential glut of applications must never be an impediment to access or to the flow of data.

So, taking streamlining and consolidation a step further, it’s important to ensure data portability. Too often when an agency sets up its architecture, it focuses on the efficient delivery of information today. Making sure the architecture is good on both sides of the cloud will allow data and software to flow between different clouds. That is crucial.

It’s also important to consider future needs and how the cloud can drive greater levels of service later.

As agencies begin to adopt hybrid clouds, they must think about how they will extract data in a highly virtualized environment. Cloud service providers are not the same, and having the ability to shift from hypervisor to hypervisor is necessary to move easily from cloud to cloud and overcome those differences.

The future is coming fast. Agencies must make sure they’re ready.

We’ll be talking more about Application Rationalization at the upcoming Data Center Exchange Brainstorm on March 13 at the Newseum in Washington D.C. For more information visit:   http://meritalk.com/dcx-brainstorm-2014-program.php

Mike Wallace, Director, Systems Integrators and Cloud, U.S. Public Sector, NetApp