For the last few years it has seemed like every year has been the Year of the Cloud for public sector organizations. From the moment that then Federal CIO, Vivek Kundra, introduced the Cloud First policy in 2010, we’ve all been waiting with baited breath for the cloud to finally achieve mass adoption at all levels of government.
But, we all know that IT adoption doesn’t happen with a snap of the fingers and that there are many valid reasons why cloud adoption has happened as slowly as it has. While the GSA announced its move to cloud-based email in 2010 as Kundra’s Cloud First policy was rolled out, it’s been a long road with many obstacles. Chief among these obstacles are security concerns and legacy infrastructure.
What has made a difference in cloud adoption are programs like FedRAMP that ensured cloud providers met certain security standards and the continual evolution of technology. No longer were public sector organizations forced to chose between public clouds and private clouds but with innovations like data fabric that facilitate the movement of data between different clouds and different providers, also known as the hybrid cloud. But there’s one more innovation that’s driven cloud adoption this year and will bring real change.
There are as Many Approaches to the Cloud as there are Missions
One thing we learned early in 2017 was that there are as many ways to approach moving to the cloud and delivering on services from the cloud as there are agency missions. A panel held in Washington, D.C. in the latter part of the winter showcased several different approaches all of which worked because they met the requirements of the agency. Representing the case for rapid adoption was then FCC CIO, David Bray, with Marlon Andrews, Deputy CIO at the National Archives and Records Administration (NARA), making the argument for moving slowly to the cloud.
Which approach is best? Read on to find out what these arguments are and learn from the insights of Gerry Connolly (D-Va) co-chair of the House Cloud Computing Caucus and Tom Balaban, Regional Director for Civilian Agencies at NetApp who moderated the conversation.
What Price Cloud?
As anyone who’s responsible for their agency’s cloud deployment can tell you, cloud pricing is a mysterious endeavor. What looks like the best deal initially may not end up being the best deal over the long run as you factor in variations for peak capacity vs. normal usage, or prioritize moving data between different cloud environments. These and themany other factors that should be included in your agency’s cloud pricing model often makes the pricing confusing.
But help is at hand. One of the best initiatives in 2017 was NetApp’s Pay-As-You-Go model for private cloud storage. Otherwise known as NetApp on Demand, “the model is best-suited for those who have allocated operating expenses for cloud services and data consumption. These users benefit from avoiding the large upfront capital expenditures.”
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Planning Saves Time, Expense, and Headaches in Cloud Migration
For new NetApp on Demand customers the very first step of the engagement is to go through a service design workshop where NetApp system administrators visit the customer site and advise on implementation and service levels. Why is this important?
For Rob Stein, Vice President, US Public Sector at NetApp, planning the cloud migration is the most important step to not only ensure that each agency has sufficient capacity and a plan for how to augment as needed, but to also ensure that they’re putting the right things in the cloud. In the original article Stein shared “[s]aying you can help an organization move to the cloud is a great soundbite, but the practicalities – how to manage data in the cloud for example — are far more complex.”
Want to dig in and learn more about how to avoid cloud migration headaches via planning? All you need to know is here.