Welcome!

@CloudExpo Authors: Elizabeth White, Yeshim Deniz, Liz McMillan, Pat Romanski, Carmen Gonzalez

Related Topics: @CloudExpo, Containers Expo Blog

@CloudExpo: Article

Avoiding Turbulence in the Cloud

Cloud for government is about the right mix of public and private

According to a recent survey by the Ponemon Institute, many agencies still have significant reservations about moving essential information and functions to the public cloud. According to the poll, nearly half of respondents indicated that worries about security were the primary factor keeping them from fully migrating to the cloud.

What's interesting is that a large percentage of those surveyed indicated they weren't very confident about cloud-related cost savings. Some 73 percent of IT respondents were either unsure or not confident that they had an understanding of the long-term impact of moving to an external cloud. Even more troubling was that, of those that did think they knew, roughly three-fourths of IT respondents thought public cloud would have no, or a negative, impact on cost. So it's not just security, but the basic cost benefits of external cloud that is in doubt.

This fear of the cost of external clouds could be well-founded. Public cloud offerings are not technologically different than a modern virtualized data center paid for "as a service." Amazon,Google and others offer the same thing that an internal modern virtualized data center could offer, but just as OPEX (operating costs) instead of CAPEX (capital costs). The theory is that theeconomies of scale of those public cloud companies will drive down costs that can be passed onto customers.

That theory could have a fatal flaw for larger agencies that already get significant economies of scale. This figure represents a cost per user that goes down as the amount of users goes up.

So the cost per user is high when the user count is low, but is driven down as the user count grows and the economies of scale kick in. However, as many who are experienced in architecting solutions will tell you, the cost curve doesn't go down dramatically forever. At some point, it levels off. With the widespread usage of virtualization, the place that it levels off is definitely lower and provides more savings than in the past. The user count ‘dot' in that figure is now in the thousands, offering savings for agencies with only hundreds of users. However,the ‘dot' is not in the tens of thousands or hundreds of thousands where joining a public cloud would make a huge difference for larger agencies.

If that is true, then a private cloud offers a similar total cost of ownership as public clouds without introducing new security, network and information assurance problems.

Searching for the right place to take advantage
Because many organizations have not moved beyond the first stage of compliance, identifying situations or applications that could benefit from the public cloud is key.

One of the most obvious uses of a public cloud is a temporary holding place for data until a permanent solution is available. If an agency is building a new data center and cannot fit in itsexisting one while waiting for completion, they can rent IT space from a public cloud service to hold them over. That is essentially what a public cloud is, IT renting.

Another way agencies can move to using a public cloud offering is for secondary copies of the data. Disaster recovery and backup copies offsite can be relatively expensive to manage and host. This is where public cloud offerings could shine. In fact, it's probably the best reason for agencies to use public clouds. The systems agencies would use to house secondary copies willbe underutilized unless there is a failure at the primary site. That would allow for very dense virtualization and consolidation by the public cloud provider. The only danger would be ifmultiple agencies were to fail at once, overburdening the cloud provider.

Agencies can maintain network and information assurance needs on primary data, but this will not solve the security concerns of secondary data kept at the public cloud provider. There are public cloud providers that do offer hefty security compliance and guarantees, but not all do yet.Until more cloud providers offer more security guarantees, public cloud computing could remain more of a conversation, than a revolution, in IT.


The key is protecting your budget, as well as systems and data

What's sure though is that the current 37-percent level of server virtualization in the federal government is a great place to start saving money. Just bringing that to around 60 percent with private clouds could save up to $23 billion in IT spend for cash-strapped agencies. And that's not even taking into account desktop virtualization in private clouds that could save agencies even more.

Unfortunately, the recent survey by MeriTalk found less than half of federal IT managers were confident in the funding for further virtualization efforts. This situation might force agencies into making rash decisions for short-term savings, like moving production data into a public cloud for first-year savings without a thorough understanding of the issues and challenges.

Instead, agencies need to only move select IT functions to a public cloud by making calculated, well-informed decisions with a long-term view. If IT organizations in government take the time to think critically about public cloud, it could reap major benefits while avoiding some dangerous pitfalls. There's a mix of public and private cloud out there that's right for each agency. In time, and with some education, government will strike that balance.

More Stories By Jean-Paul Bergeaux

Jean-Paul Bergeaux is CTO at SwishData. With more than 15 years of experience in the technology industry, he joined the SwishData team to help streamline its alliance relationships and define a clear technical path and solution set for the organization. His career has been marked by success, mostly as a pre-sales Sales Executive, in federal data storage with ADIC (now Quantum), NetApp and, most recently, Commvault. In his Chief Technology Officer role with SwishData, Bergeaux focuses on identifying customers’ challenges and architecting innovative solutions to solve their complex problems. In addition, he is responsible for merging pre- and post-engineering capabilities with marketing to present a clear technical message to SwishData’s customers and partners.

Comments (0)

Share your thoughts on this story.

Add your comment
You must be signed in to add a comment. Sign-in | Register

In accordance with our Comment Policy, we encourage comments that are on topic, relevant and to-the-point. We will remove comments that include profanity, personal attacks, racial slurs, threats of violence, or other inappropriate material that violates our Terms and Conditions, and will block users who make repeated violations. We ask all readers to expect diversity of opinion and to treat one another with dignity and respect.


@CloudExpo Stories
SYS-CON Events announced today that delaPlex will exhibit at SYS-CON's @CloudExpo, which will take place on June 6-8, 2017, at the Javits Center in New York City, NY. delaPlex pioneered Software Development as a Service (SDaaS), which provides scalable resources to build, test, and deploy software. It’s a fast and more reliable way to develop a new product or expand your in-house team.
In his opening keynote at 20th Cloud Expo, Michael Maximilien, Research Scientist, Architect, and Engineer at IBM, will motivate why realizing the full potential of the cloud and social data requires artificial intelligence. By mixing Cloud Foundry and the rich set of Watson services, IBM's Bluemix is the best cloud operating system for enterprises today, providing rapid development and deployment of applications that can take advantage of the rich catalog of Watson services to help drive insigh...
SYS-CON Events announced today that Carbonite will exhibit at SYS-CON's 20th International Cloud Expo®, which will take place on June 6-8, 2017, at the Javits Center in New York City, NY. Carbonite protects your entire IT footprint with the right level of protection for each workload, ensuring lower costs and dependable solutions with DoubleTake and Evault.
SYS-CON Events announced today that Progress, a global leader in application development, has been named “Bronze Sponsor” of SYS-CON's 20th International Cloud Expo®, which will take place on June 6-8, 2017, at the Javits Center in New York City, NY. Enterprises today are rapidly adopting the cloud, while continuing to retain business-critical/sensitive data inside the firewall. This is creating two separate data silos – one inside the firewall and the other outside the firewall. Cloud ISVs oft...
One of the biggest challenges with adopting a DevOps mentality is: new applications are easily adapted to cloud-native, microservice-based, or containerized architectures - they can be built for them - but old applications need complex refactoring. On the other hand, these new technologies can require relearning or adapting new, oftentimes more complex, methodologies and tools to be ready for production. In his general session at @DevOpsSummit at 20th Cloud Expo, Chris Brown, Solutions Marketi...
DevOps at Cloud Expo – being held October 31 - November 2, 2017, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA – announces that its Call for Papers is open. Born out of proven success in agile development, cloud computing, and process automation, DevOps is a macro trend you cannot afford to miss. From showcase success stories from early adopters and web-scale businesses, DevOps is expanding to organizations of all sizes, including the world's largest enterprises – and delivering real r...
SYS-CON Events announced today that Cloud Academy will exhibit at SYS-CON's 20th International Cloud Expo®, which will take place on June 6-8, 2017, at the Javits Center in New York City, NY. Cloud Academy is the industry’s most innovative, vendor-neutral cloud technology training platform. Cloud Academy provides continuous learning solutions for individuals and enterprise teams for Amazon Web Services, Microsoft Azure, Google Cloud Platform, and the most popular cloud computing technologies. Ge...
SYS-CON Events announced today that Outscale will exhibit at SYS-CON's 20th International Cloud Expo®, which will take place on June 6-8, 2017, at the Javits Center in New York City, NY. Outscale's technology makes an automated and adaptable Cloud available to businesses, supporting them in the most complex IT projects while controlling their operational aspects. You boost your IT infrastructure's reactivity, with request responses that only take a few seconds.
As cloud adoption continues to transform business, today's global enterprises are challenged with managing a growing amount of information living outside of the data center. The rapid adoption of IoT and increasingly mobile workforce are exacerbating the problem. Ensuring secure data sharing and efficient backup poses capacity and bandwidth considerations as well as policy and regulatory compliance issues.
The 21st International Cloud Expo has announced that its Call for Papers is open. Cloud Expo, to be held October 31 - November 2, 2017, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA, brings together Cloud Computing, Big Data, Internet of Things, DevOps, Digital Transformation, Machine Learning and WebRTC to one location. With cloud computing driving a higher percentage of enterprise IT budgets every year, it becomes increasingly important to plant your flag in this fast-expanding busin...
With major technology companies and startups seriously embracing Cloud strategies, now is the perfect time to attend @CloudExpo | @ThingsExpo, June 6-8, 2017, at the Javits Center in New York City, NY and October 31 - November 2, 2017, Santa Clara Convention Center, CA. Learn what is going on, contribute to the discussions, and ensure that your enterprise is on the right path to Digital Transformation.
SYS-CON Events announced today that Interoute has been named “Bronze Sponsor” of SYS-CON's 20th International Cloud Expo®, which will take place on June 6-8, 2017, at the Javits Center in New York City, NY. Interoute is the owner operator of Europe's largest network and a global cloud services platform, which encompasses over 70,000 km of lit fiber, 15 data centers, 17 virtual data centers and 33 colocation centers, with connections to 195 additional partner data centers. Our full-service Unifie...
SYS-CON Events announced today that Progress, a global leader in application development, has been named “Bronze Sponsor” of SYS-CON's 20th International Cloud Expo®, which will take place on June 6-8, 2017, at the Javits Center in New York City, NY. Enterprises today are rapidly adopting the cloud, while continuing to retain business-critical/sensitive data inside the firewall. This is creating two separate data silos – one inside the firewall and the other outside the firewall. Cloud ISVs ofte...
SYS-CON Events announced today that delaPlex will exhibit at SYS-CON's @ThingsExpo, which will take place on June 6-8, 2017, at the Javits Center in New York City, NY. delaPlex pioneered Software Development as a Service (SDaaS), which provides scalable resources to build, test, and deploy software. It’s a fast and more reliable way to develop a new product or expand your in-house team.
SYS-CON Events announced today that Hitachi Data Systems, a wholly owned subsidiary of Hitachi LTD., will exhibit at SYS-CON's 20th International Cloud Expo®, which will take place on June 6-8, 2017, at the Javits Center in New York City. Hitachi Data Systems (HDS) will be featuring the Hitachi Content Platform (HCP) portfolio. This is the industry’s only offering that allows organizations to bring together object storage, file sync and share, cloud storage gateways, and sophisticated search and...
We all know that end users experience the internet primarily with mobile devices. From an app development perspective, we know that successfully responding to the needs of mobile customers depends on rapid DevOps – failing fast, in short, until the right solution evolves in your customers' relationship to your business. Whether you’re decomposing an SOA monolith, or developing a new application cloud natively, it’s not a question of using microservices - not doing so will be a path to eventual ...
While presenting own advanced Robo-Advisory Platform, Michał Różański, Managing Partner at EARP and CEO at Empirica, will illustrate the most important issues of building tailored FinTech software in his session at 20th Cloud Expo. He will share experiences we have gained for over 6 years of developing solutions for financial institutions and FinTech companies, including robo-advisors. We welcome all FinTech innovators interested in how properly implemented technology can move their businesses f...
A strange thing is happening along the way to the Internet of Things, namely far too many devices to work with and manage. It has become clear that we'll need much higher efficiency user experiences that can allow us to more easily and scalably work with the thousands of devices that will soon be in each of our lives. Enter the conversational interface revolution, combining bots we can literally talk with, gesture to, and even direct with our thoughts, with embedded artificial intelligence, whic...
Internet of @ThingsExpo, taking place October 31 - November 2, 2017, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA, is co-located with the 21st International Cloud Expo and will feature technical sessions from a rock star conference faculty and the leading industry players in the world. @ThingsExpo Silicon Valley Call for Papers is now open.
DevOps is often described as a combination of technology and culture. Without both, DevOps isn't complete. However, applying the culture to outdated technology is a recipe for disaster; as response times grow and connections between teams are delayed by technology, the culture will die. A Nutanix Enterprise Cloud has many benefits that provide the needed base for a true DevOps paradigm.