Moving Day

Moving data is daunting.

Like the family getting ready for the dreaded cross-country move with all their belongings in tow, agencies struggle with data portability and data storage. And it doesn’t get easier. Like families that acquire more stuff as they expand and kids grow, agencies continue to accumulate data.

But agencies have choices.

Cloud computing has advanced quickly. That means cloud options to run agency applications and store data are increasing. FedRAMP’s work is partly responsible for the growth in options. Its exhaustive efforts to thoroughly vet cloud service providers ensure that agencies have secure options.

Packing up and moving to a new cloud environment is fast becoming a viable option. Such a move can make fiscal sense or make data and applications more accessible. Storing data in multiple clouds – public, private or hybrid – also is an option that’s gaining momentum.

With these big changes on the horizon, agencies will face important decisions. Is it best to leave data where it is, or pack up and move for one of the many cloud provider environments? And what’s the best way to move large volumes of data?

Data portability is a challenge, but it’s one that agencies can overcome, and agencies need to be careful that they don’t take a wrong turn. Data is one of an agency’s most important assets, so they have to begin thinking today about how they can move and store it tomorrow.

A storage operating environment that can be abstracted and virtualized from the hardware below it helps make data more portable. Not only does that approach enable portability, it allows agencies to store data in multiple clouds. That enables data interoperability and sharing.

Agencies will have more and more cloud options, and they will struggle about which cloud providers to use and how to move their data between them. But data portability shouldn’t prevent them from making the first move.

Moving day doesn’t have to be painful.

For more dialogue on Cloud Computing, check out the Cloud Computing Caucus Advisory Group.

Mary Jean Schmitt, Federal Business Development Manager, NetApp