GovDataDownload http://govdatadownload.com Data Management Defined Thu, 21 Sep 2017 16:44:28 +0000 en-US hourly 1 https://wordpress.org/?v=4.8.2 http://govdatadownload.com/wp-content/uploads/2016/04/cropped-gdd-favicon-1-32x32.png GovDataDownload http://govdatadownload.com 32 32 Insight 2017: The User Conference that Defies Expectations http://govdatadownload.com/2017/09/21/insight-2017-user-conference-defies-expectations/ Thu, 21 Sep 2017 16:44:28 +0000 http://govdatadownload.com/?p=3229

What do you think of when you hear the term user conference?  More times than anyone would care to admit …

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What do you think of when you hear the term user conference?  More times than anyone would care to admit user conference is code for product pitch sessions and walking through exhibit halls.

But NetApp’s annual Insight conference defies the odds.  “It’s much more than a little education and a lot of upselling,” said Kirk Kern Chief Technology Officer for U.S. Public Sector at NetApp.  “Insight is not your typical industry event; where else can you get credits, update certifications, and make great connections with peers?”

In fact, there’s so much to accomplish at Insight that Kirk and the NetApp A-Team, share advisories on how to get the most out of Insight for weeks before the conference.  “I advise our customers to be ‘optimized for agility’ to take full advantage of all that’s on offer at Insight,” he quipped.  “While most of our customers can easily justify the trip to Las Vegas because of the return on investment, choosing exactly what to do to optimize the experience can take some planning,” he continued.

Not only is Insight an opportunity to reinforce what you already know about NetApp’s state of the art data management solutions, it’s an ideal time to extend your knowledge and add to your skill set and increase your ability to contribute to your team and the mission once you return.

So, interested in attending?  The first step is to get registered.  And then plan, plan, plan!  Here are Kirk’s top tips for getting the most out of this year’s Insight:

  1. Plan ahead. Register for about 75% of sessions ahead of time, but leave some room for unexpected opportunities and catching up with partners and peers.
  2. Use Google Maps to save important locations and meeting spots; there’s so much going on, you won’t want to get lost along the way.
  3. If you haven’t been able to register for a session, check-in with the team when you arrive. NetApp is flexible and sessions are often monitored and moved to different rooms to house more people. It doesn’t matter if you have to stand in the back of the room; it’s all about the information!
  4. Take an exam. Insight is a great time to get certified with unique prep courses available on-site and at least a couple of opportunities to take the test. Also, NetApp Certified Users get to participate in our Greet and Geek sessions!
  5. Keep up to date with Insight announcements by following the A-Team’s blog posts, or by following them on Twitter.

Want to find out more about Insight and the team behind the great educational and networking experience?  Watch these short videos with our data-driven visionaries.

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Saving Memories Again with the Alzheimer’s Association Walk http://govdatadownload.com/2017/09/20/saving-memories-alzheimers-association-walk/ Wed, 20 Sep 2017 18:59:18 +0000 http://govdatadownload.com/?p=3223

From Habitat for Humanity to the Alzheimer’s Association, NetApp is one of the leading companies that offers a unique …

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From Habitat for Humanity to the Alzheimer’s Association, NetApp is one of the leading companies that offers a unique opportunity for full-time employees to give back through their Volunteer Time Off (VTO) program. The programs allows all full-time employees to take up to five business days of time off with full pay to volunteer with a nonprofit organization, a school, or participate in other community volunteer activities.

For the past five years, NetApp employees have supported the Alzheimer’s Association through the Walk to End Alzheimer’s, the nation’s largest event to raise both awareness and funds to fight the disease. Proceeds from the walk go to support groups for those living with the illness as well as research programs that help detect early warning signs of the disease and educational programs for caretakers and those living with Alzheimer’s.

With more than five million Americans living with Alzheimer’s disease today, caregivers have put in an estimated 18.1 billion hours of unpaid care last year. Thomas Stanley, SVP and GM Americas at NetApp explained on GovDataDownload that many people don’t think about the toll the illness takes on loved ones and caregivers.

In his experience, Alzheimer’s “impacted me very differently as an adult, not only to see my wife go from being a caregiver to our children to taking care of her father, but also to see that there were warning signs of the disease that we did not necessarily realize in it’s earliest stages.” The disease is projected to rise exponentially in the years to come, so raising awareness and educating community members is more important than ever to ensure proper care for people living with the disease.

Shelie Brooks, Federal Field Marketing Manager for NetApp USPS lost her grandmother to Alzheimer’s and attends the event each year. As she says, “Since losing my grandmother to Alzheimer’s, supporting the Alzheimer’s Association has become very important to me. I appreciate the fact the NetApp is also a nationwide sponsor of the Alzheimer’s walks each year.  We are a sponsor of the Reston, Virginia walk, which I will be walking in on September 24th. NetApp encourages everyone here to participate in some sort of community service, it’s very motivating.”

Melanie Collum, US Field Sales Ops team lead at NetApp adds “I walk in support of all those who suffer with Alzheimer’s. Specifically for Elsie, mom, grandmother, friend. We must find a cure!”

You can take the first step by finding a Walk near you. Once you register, you will have access to a wide range of tools and support through your customized Participant Center. Join the NetApp team and others as they lead the way to Alzheimer’s first survivor. As Stanley has said, together, “I believe the work we continue to do with the Alzheimer’s Association bring greater awareness to this devastating illness, so one day we live in a world free from it.”

The Northern Virginia Alzheimer’s walk begins at 3pm in Reston Town Center on Sunday, September 24, 2017.

Registration begins at 1:30pm with an opening ceremony at 2:30pm.

Find your walk here.

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Thriving in a Data-Driven World – A Practical Guide for CIOs http://govdatadownload.com/2017/09/19/thriving-data-driven-world-practical-guide-cios/ Tue, 19 Sep 2017 17:49:06 +0000 http://govdatadownload.com/?p=3215

There’s no doubt about it – we’re addicted to data.  We use, generate, store, move, and manage, many times the …

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There’s no doubt about it – we’re addicted to data.  We use, generate, store, move, and manage, many times the volume of data than even the most future-focused data visionary could have imagined just 15 years ago.  Both the volume and types of new data have increased dramatically with sources like video management and machine data stressing current IT systems.  And, data retention periods for legal and compliance reasons are growing from months or years to decades.

On the one hand this data-intensive world presents huge opportunities for state and local governments to deliver more services to citizens and improve the quality of life. However, as with all things, there’s a cost associated with innovation and this type of data-driven change.

As state and local governments acquire, generate, and use more data there’s the potential for data management costs to balloon at a time when most are facing tight budgets and the possibility of even more reductions. Despite the benefits that data analytics projects could provide, including cost savings through improved revenue collection, decision support, service alignment, and resource usage, it’s possible that upfront costs will delay, and possibly derail, the acquisition of much-needed data management tools.

Before we succumb to the gloom of fiscal prudence and put data-driven projects on-hold while we see if we can survive with legacy systems, there are more factors to consider.  It’s vital to remember that just as how we generate and use data is changing, there are new solutions coming to market that address the data management cost challenges being created.

Moving data out of the data center and into the cloud has been one of the most significant changes for state and local governments, which can empower data sharing between organizations and help manage infrastructure and operational costs, to name but two obvious benefits.  And now, we’re seeing the emergence of the next-generation of data management approaches that will continue to empower state and local governments as they pursue data-driven projects like Smart Cities and open government initiatives.

To my way of thinking the most important of these developments is the emergence of the pay-as-you-go data management model, both in the Cloud and on-premise.  While all government organizations have data management needs, those needs fluctuate– both at a baseline and in daily usage – based on what projects are being delivered and what citizen need is being met.

Rather than locking CIOs into contracts that over-service their teams’ needs, or penalize them for needing more capacity on occasion, the pay-as-you-go model creates data management solutions that are tailored to customers’ needs more precisely.  Using a data-driven model that looks at performance and capacity together it’s possible to identify, manage, and deliver a scalable solution.  With this model, CIOs can easily scale up to augment the base amount of storage provided on day one with additional buffer capacity to handle usage spikes and future growth. There are no wasted resources, since users only pay for services procured.  This kind of model has been used occasionally in the last few years, but the strong majority of data infrastructure needs are still being met via standard capital purchases.  Now, with recent developments that make these models more flexible, pay-as-you-go is becoming increasingly popular to greatly reduce up-front capital costs and then only pay for what is needed going forward.

This can mean a dramatic change in budgeting and payment processes and, frankly, in thinking for an IT leader used to fixed costs in a fixed data center.  But, for state and local government CIOs to thrive in a data-driven world innovative thinking is the key.  Upending the way things have always been done, including upending the way data management payment models have been structured, is the type of creative endeavor that will pave the way to success.

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Data Driven Counties Take Strategic Approach to IT http://govdatadownload.com/2017/09/14/data-driven-counties-take-strategic-approach/ Thu, 14 Sep 2017 13:44:03 +0000 http://govdatadownload.com/?p=3208

County governments have become increasingly data driven with their innovations in predictive analytics, mobility, and their desire to open data …

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County governments have become increasingly data driven with their innovations in predictive analytics, mobility, and their desire to open data to the public in order to improve everything from public safety to healthcare services, and even traffic congestion. This year’s digital counties survey from eRepublic’s Center for Digital Government assesses how effective America’s counties are in issuing technology to deliver services and guide internal operations.  And, as it turns out, the country’s top data driven counties are not leading the way just by introducing the newest technologies, but by knowing when and how to introduce IT changes within their organizations.

The survey found a few counties that stood out above the rest in terms of their effectiveness with their use of technology today.  Here’s a breakdown from GovTech of the counties that earned top spots in their population categories:

King County, Washington

King County, Washington is no stranger to innovative approaches in technology. In recent years, the county has had to manage data growth by 50% with an unreliable IT infrastructure. King County made the decision to move to the cloud, leveraging NetApp AltaVault cloud-integrated storage, in turn avoiding  $1 million in refresh costs. This year, the county was recognized for its strategic approach to government IT. Their efforts to tie everything back to the big picture IT strategy have resulted in better efficiencies and a more deliberate deployment of necessary tools. Despite the Digital Counties recognition, the CIO said they still have their eyes turned to the big-picture issues such as cybersecurity and the growing demand for data services.

 

Westchester County, New York

Westchester County, New York, is known for its resourceful and thoughtful use of technology to help eliminate duplicative processes. By creating efficiencies and implementing new solutions, CIO John McCaffrey said his IT staff has become the trusted voice when it comes to the best way get services to the citizens. Occasionally, he says, this process doesn’t require new technology at all, just a new way to use it. In the future, the county hopes to expand their use of data to make informed decisions.


Douglas County, Colorado

Douglas County, Colorado has consistently delivered powerful and relevant tools to the hands of their department customers. But the real reason they received the top spot in the Digital Counties Survey is because of their efforts in breaking down the barriers between departments and neighboring county partners, especially with regards to public safety. Moving forward, Senior IT Manager Craig Vacura said the county is looking to continue its work with GIS and building what he calls a “fundamental base” for new applications, but they also will be continuing efforts to look deeper into the capabilities of predictive analytics.

Arlington County, Virginia

Arlington County, Virginia, took first place in their population category for the second year in a row. From mobility and learning to wellness and livelihood, community engagement is central to mapping the course for county CIO Jack Belcher’s organization. When it comes to leadership, the buy-in and engagement, as well as a realistic perspective on tech from an investment review board, has garnered a trust-based relationship between IT and decision-makers.

Albermarle County, Virginia

Albemarle County, Virginia, was commended for its continued efforts to improve transparency and public access to data as well as efforts to build a better relationship with the public it serves. Albemarle County launched numerous cybersecurity programs following an extensive security audit and recently completed the first community telecommunications plan in partnership with broadband providers, public safety, fire, schools and the courthouse.

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Best Practices for Securing Healthcare Data http://govdatadownload.com/2017/09/08/best-practices-securing-healthcare-data/ Fri, 08 Sep 2017 17:17:06 +0000 http://govdatadownload.com/?p=3202

Healthcare organizations today are empowered like never before to change the world with patient data. From electronic health records (EHRs) …

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Healthcare organizations today are empowered like never before to change the world with patient data. From electronic health records (EHRs) to medical imaging, patient data is the defining asset, but its secure management and retention presents complex challenges.

The volume of patient data is perpetually increasing, as are the regulations regarding its retention. Given its disparate sources of origin, data is most likely managed among multiple platforms and systems. More data and more systems translate to a broader attack surface increasing  vulnerability. Collaborative care adds complexity as data travels between different platforms and devices, also increasing the opportunity for breaches.

Sheila FitzPatrick, Chief Privacy Officer at NetApp says, “There is a strong temptation for organizations to collect and retain the greatest amount of data possible. However, in expanding the scope of data to be collected or retaining it for longer than required, organizations can quickly find themselves out of compliance and facing fines.”

For U.S. healthcare providers and payers, HIPAA has long been the standard for safeguarding medical information.  However, with new EU General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) enforcement coming into effect in early 2018, U.S. healthcare payers and providers must be informed on new regulations, even if they don’t have physical operations Europe.  As data takes the center stage and becomes the lifeblood of healthcare organizations, data privacy is becoming even more important.

Privacy and Security: one and the same?

Governments and regulators around the world are putting a stronger focus on protecting the privacy rights of individuals, raising the threat of massive penalties for companies that fail to comply.

Given the complexity, it’s no surprise that many organizations don’t recognize the differences between data security and data privacy. FitzPatrick explains, “Frustratingly, many organizations approach data privacy as a subset of data security, however they are distinct issues. An organization can have the most secure data management and storage environment and yet still not be in compliance with data privacy regulations.  And, equally an organization can be in compliance with data regulations, but be lacking fundamental information security, which exposes the organization to different, but equally serious, forms of risk.”

FitzPatrick will be offering guidance to healthcare executives about the changes in privacy law that will affect personal health information.  Join the webinar on Wednesday, September 20, 2017, to find out more about the changing legal landscape, the importance of privacy due diligence, challenges with new technology, and the similarities and differences between data privacy and data security.

FitzPatrick will also talk about the importance of building a legal privacy compliance framework as the foundation to meet your obligations under data privacy laws. If you are a data driven healthcare organization, you won’t want to miss this event.

Register now for the webinar on Wednesday, September 20 – 10 a.m. PT/1 p.m. ET

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Is Your Data Center Prepared for Digital Transformation? http://govdatadownload.com/2017/09/07/data-center-prepared-digital-transformation/ Thu, 07 Sep 2017 14:39:05 +0000 http://govdatadownload.com/?p=3186

There is no doubt we have entered an era of digital transformation, with data taking the center stage. But being …

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There is no doubt we have entered an era of digital transformation, with data taking the center stage. But being data-centric is no small undertaking. You need to know how users are generating data and how to access it – whether that means it’s on premise, in the cloud or that you’re taking a hybrid approach to data management and storage. In a recent webinar, experts from NetApp discuss the methods they are using to help agencies manage data more effectively through digital transformation. Here are a few ways you can stay ahead in this brave new world of IT:

Digital Transformation Requires Infrastructure Transformation

For many agencies, digital transformation necessitates an IT infrastructure transformation. In order to do so, agencies are transitioning to a software defined architecture that’s powered by a hyperconverged infrastructure (HCI). HCI promises huge performance and cost optimization benefits by integrating compute, storage and virtualization resources that are pre-configured together. While first- generation HCI solutions have created efficiencies; they did not address all the requirements of IT organizations because of their inability to be as flexible and scalable as needed.


NetApp Hyper Converged Infrastructure and ONTAP 9.2 Unleashed Webinar

ACCESS WEBINAR HERE


In response, NetApp launched Enterprise-Scale Hyper Converged Infrastructure (HCI), based on Solidfire – promising to provide the scalability and flexibility public sector customers need to support their mission.  What’s different about NetApp’s Enterprise-Scale HCI is it gives users the ability to control every volume and deliver applications with confidence, flexibility and scale. Enterprise- Scale HCI allows you to build your infrastructure on your own terms, with automation that transforms and empowers IT operations.

As Rob Gordon, Solidfire CTO says, NetApp’s HCI does this by offering “Three different pieces of storage and compute nodes with different sizes – small, medium and large.” Depending on how you want to setup your system, you can choose whichever size you want and scale out individually.  It can be done in such a manner that one piece of a time, one compute node can be added one at a time and storage can be added as seen fit. Then you can scale back and even remove nodes if needed. “Enterprise-Scale HCI allows you to grow as your environment grows,” Gordon explains.

Software-Defined Everything

Software-defined storage (SDS) plays a crucial role in digital transformation, with its ability to effectively eliminate the need for manual storage configurations within the new virtual data center. NetApp’s Enterprise-Scale HCI features ONTAP Select 9.2 SDS, delivering new levels of simplicity and flexibility with powerful data management capabilities and storage efficiencies.

Not only is ONTAP 9.2 a part of NetApp’s data fabric, but it can rapidly deploy to meet agency demands. It’s flexible enough to match organizational requirements, whether for small DoD deployments, or to meet unique space constraints for tactical emergency response and mobile data centers. That said, a truly software-designed architecture that leverages HCI needs all its components to work in conjunction with one another. With SDS, resources are utilized dynamically across the entire on-premises or cloud landscape, contributing to significantly better use of existing resources to lower costs.

As IT priorities have changed and data remains at the center of mission critical activities, a well orchestrated infrastructure with software oriented architecture is essential. After all, these are solutions that can enable virtual data centers of the future.

Find out more about how NetApp is helping organizations through digital transformation here.

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Webinar: NetApp HCI & ONTAP 9.2-1 https://netapp-events.webex.com/ec3100/eventcenter/recording/recordAction.do?theAction=poprecord&siteurl=netapp-events&entappname=url3100&internalRecordTicket=4832534b00000004f5f9352da4100fd981fed60e8ae8d2fba3e27799ba77cd41d7e78da94299b626&renewticket=0&isurlact=true&format=short&rnd=0778906726&RCID=da39dcd9c209d5538f8d49bed3a2beae&rID=15850297&needFilter=false&recordID=15850297&apiname=lsr.php&AT=pb&actappname=ec3100&&SP=EC&entactname=%2FnbrRecordingURL.do&actname=%2Feventcenter%2Fframe%2Fg.do Wed, 06 Sep 2017 18:25:32 +0000 http://govdatadownload.com/?p=3175

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From Unified Communications to Data Management, SLED Market Faces Similar Challenges http://govdatadownload.com/2017/09/01/unified-communications-data-management-sled-market-faces-similar-challenges/ Fri, 01 Sep 2017 18:29:55 +0000 http://govdatadownload.com/?p=3169

This month on GovDataDownload, we sat down with Brian O’Donnell, North District Manager, State & Local Government and Education

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This month on GovDataDownload, we sat down with Brian O’Donnell, North District Manager, State & Local Government and Education (SLED), NetApp, who joined the organization just a few months ago to learn how his past experiences with SLED customers translate to what he’s doing today. Read on to find out more about Brian’s role at NetApp and the organization he is most passionate about working for in his spare time. Spoiler alert: the organization he volunteers with also involves the public sector.

GovDataDownload: You recently came on board to NetApp as District Manager, SLED North. Can you tell us a little about what you’re doing in this role?

Brian O’Donnell: I am responsible for leading the sales and engineering teams that support our SLED customers from Pennsylvania to Maine. My team is responsible for building relationships with SLED customers in this region and helping them accomplish their goals by mapping NetApp solutions to their objectives. Government agencies and educational institutions use data in so many unique ways every day to meet their learning, research or citizen services objectives. Managing, protecting and making data available to them is critical in helping them identify new opportunities and services for their customers. A large part of my job involves understanding how our SLED customers are using data to achieve outcomes and developing solutions tailored to their needs.

GovDataDownload: How have your experiences prior to working at NetApp prepared you for this role? What were you doing before joining NetApp?

Brian O’Donnell:  Prior to NetApp, I worked at Cisco for about five years. I started on the commercial side of the business and then transitioned to the public sector and ran the second largest state account team in the country for Cisco covering the state of New York. Cisco has a broader portfolio of products and a lot of products in unified communications, but the primary goals and objectives of the job are similar. At Cisco I had to gain a solid understanding of the customer objectives, build relationships, and align technologies to help them solve their challenges. It also included supporting customers post-implementation as their needs evolved and changed over time.  It involved partnering with industry leading systems integrators and other business partners to design, deploy and support these solutions. I’m doing similar work today at NetApp but covering a larger set of public sector customers across multiple states and leading a team focused on understanding the needs of thousands of customers from state, local government and education.

GovDataDownload: What do you enjoy the most about working with public sector customers? 

Brian O’Donnell:  Being able to see our solutions impact citizen and student services and day-to-day lives of folks within the community is really what I enjoy the most about working with public sector customers. Government agencies, universities and schools are all using data to change lives everyday. Whether it’s a university using data to do ground breaking research or a state health agency using data to address the opioid crisis in our country, data and critical information is at the center of their ability to meet their mission. NetApp helps empower our customers to change the world with data and use it in meaningful ways to meet both today’s challenges and opportunities with flexibility to prepare for whatever tomorrow brings. What we can do for our public sector customers is exciting and our team is committed to understanding how they use their data and developing solutions to help them maximize its potential.

GovDataDownload: Tell us something we can’t learn from your LinkedIn profile.

Brian O’Donnell:  My real passion is fly fishing, which is something I got into about seven years ago. I enjoyed it so much that I began working with a group called Project Healing Waters, a non-profit dedicated to physical and emotional rehabilitation for disabled active military service and veterans through fly fishing and associated activities including education and outings.  The organization takes service men and women injured in the line of duty and uses fly fishing as a technique to relax and enjoy the therapy nature provides. We teach them how to cast a fly line, tie flies, and catch fish. It’s pretty remarkable to be able to do something I’m so passionate about while interacting with some of the bravest heroes in the public sector.

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Data Driven Agencies Optimize DevOps with Proper Management and Infrastructure http://govdatadownload.com/2017/08/29/data-driven-agencies-optimize-devops-proper-management-infrastructure/ Tue, 29 Aug 2017 20:01:30 +0000 http://govdatadownload.com/?p=3165

As federal agencies continue looking at ways to improve time-to-market and create efficiencies in their data center, they are removing …

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As federal agencies continue looking at ways to improve time-to-market and create efficiencies in their data center, they are removing the silos that traditionally existed between developers and operations and turning to DevOps. DevOps, a “cultural shift that enables collaboration and communication between IT staff, is something more and more agencies are moving towards as they must adapt to change quicker in order to meet the mission,” Mike Dye, Chief Technology Officer, Civilian Agencies, NetApp said in a recent interview for GovDataDownload.

As with any organizational change, there are ways to optimize DevOps so you can get the most out of it. Dye said it’s important to understand that “DevOps is more of a partnership than it is a technology. It’s the ability to synchronize operations and development so they are working hand in hand.”

As such, the partnership must be properly managed in order to reach its full potential. Dye explained, “You have to effectively control DevOps and ensure the appropriate policies and infrastructure exists to support it. The biggest challenge is creating this environment so that can be policed and orchestrated properly. Some forethought goes a long way. A properly managed environment creates a much smoother operation.”

As agencies must adapt quicker than ever before to mission critical activities, Dye is seeing some research agencies doing things that are “so computationally intensive that they require an agile, flexible, and collaborative approach to IT. Today there are so many forward-thinking people that are not afraid of using the new tools available and test things to improve processes and their DevOps culture. They are using new tools to automate processes that historically have been manual and slow.”

Many of them have turned to the cloud to enhance the DevOps process. The cloud enables an easy and cost-effective method to automate the creation and replication of multiple environments for testing which was previously difficult to do on-premises.

Federal agencies are undoubtedly experiencing greater efficiencies and quality improvements with DevOps. Dye explained to us that efficiencies are gained with DevOps because, “you don’t have to store the test environment in a completely separate arena and expend resources on a wasted effort. Operations teams and developers oftentimes work on the same team to make code changes in an agile environment, real-time.  DevOps allows developers to update and manage applications on weekly or bi-weekly cycles rather than bi-annual cycles. NetApp provides almost a zero impact copy of the data with FlexCone technology that can be used for testing. This same technology provides a zero impact way of working with the code that allows each developer to mount their own environment without having to copy it every day.”

The speed that DevOps brings is essential for agencies that must meet mission critical activities quicker than ever before. Dye concluded, “What we really want to be able to do is get testing done and get to failure quicker so we can get to remediation quicker, and deploy quicker. That’s what DevOps enables.”

Find out more about NetApp’s federal solutions here.

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Designing with Change in Mind: Guidelines for Federal Agencies Moving to Hybrid Cloud http://govdatadownload.com/2017/08/24/designing-change-mind-guidelines-federal-agencies-moving-hybrid-cloud/ Thu, 24 Aug 2017 19:00:29 +0000 http://govdatadownload.com/?p=3162

More federal agencies are opting for a hybrid cloud environment to consolidate, modernize, and secure government systems as they realize …

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More federal agencies are opting for a hybrid cloud environment to consolidate, modernize, and secure government systems as they realize the benefits of keeping some data on-premise while moving others to the cloud. But the move to hybrid cloud is a little more complex than a “lift and shift” that may be done when moving everything to the cloud. In a recent interview for Federal News Radio, Mike Dye, Chief Technology Officer for Civilian, NetApp U.S. Public Sector and Mark Zalubas, Chief Technology Officer, Merlin International share some guidelines and best practices for agencies moving to a hybrid IT environment.

When moving to a public or private cloud environment, you can look at the exercise as something that happens holistically and all at once, but with hybrid cloud, a layer of complexity is added. Dye says you must consider other things like “where your data is going to reside and your access patterns. Hybrid cloud creates a lot of different intricacies you may not have thought about.”

Many agencies have found that having processes in place and using checklists to better understand all the steps that need to occur is key to ensuring tasks are completed accurately and efficiently. “With hybrid cloud, you have to apply that checklist multiple times depending on how many clouds you’re moving into simultaneously,” Zalubas comments. “It could be that today your application is one place, you own everything, and know where your data is and can see it. But then, you may move to two or three locations and are still viewing the environment as a singular thing. It’s important to make sure the service-level agreements (SLA’s) for all the clouds you’ve chosen are high enough.”

At NetApp, Dye points out that their biggest concern is making sure customer data is protected, safe, reliable, and may be accessed at the right place and the right time. In a hybrid environment, he says, “SLA’s are a great launching pad because you understand the latencies you’re dealing with and how users need to get to their data.”

As with any IT infrastructure change, federal agencies must also consider what they will have in place for the future as they setup a hybrid cloud environment. When discussing the move to hybrid cloud and the future environment, Zalubas believes agencies must consider “designing with change in mind.” He says, “As you undertake new prototypes and examples, you learn things that better informs what you should do in the future. Your current infrastructure may be built on the basis of old technology which was great at the time but now native cloud applications are being born. So you have to look at everything to see if you can afford to use up the rest of your old investment because the new one offers such great performance improvement, scalability, efficiency and ease of flexibility.”

Some agencies may not be aware of what the changes imply long-term. Zalubas says you have to look at it from this standpoint: “Do we understand our customer’s applications and which pieces are important to them? You also have to look at the cloud side to understand pieces can move and which ones should not be moved. These things must be used together to create the new architecture.”

Find out how NetApp can help you protect your data as you move to the hybrid cloud here.

The post Designing with Change in Mind: Guidelines for Federal Agencies Moving to Hybrid Cloud appeared first on GovDataDownload.

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