Hybrid Cloud: Perfecting the Balance Between Data Security and Accessibility
The journey hasn’t always been easy, but government cloud adoption is on a path to success. Currently, federal agencies spend about 22 percent of their IT budgets on cloud, a number that will quickly increase, as Gartner predicts that public sector cloud spending will grow on average 17.1 percent per year through 2021.
Beyond that, current efforts are going well. More than 70 percent of federal respondents to a recent VMware/IDC survey indicated that cloud is significantly or partially exceeding their expectations of driving innovations and digital transformation in the organization.
Still the cloud transition presents challenges. Agencies need to find novel ways to integrate the legacy infrastructure of yesterday with the technology of tomorrow. The only realistic way to successfully merge those worlds is through a hybrid cloud approach that allows for the speed and flexibility of public cloud with the security of on-prem private clouds, customized to meet the needs of each workload. Even the General Services Administration, which outlines procurement guidance for much of the federal government, has supported the approach, recognizing that hybrid cloud solutions offer flexibility, customization and ability to manage the balance between security and availability.
The federal government, understandably, doesn’t want all of its data hanging out in the public cloud. With agencies like the Social Security Administration, Health and Human Services and the Treasury Department holding massive stores of private citizen data, not to mention the sensitive information compiled daily by the Intelligence Community, the hybrid cloud is the only choice for a government that wants to charge forward.
What does a hybrid cloud solution suited to the federal government look like? That depends on the agency and its goals. The best hybrid offering will be designed as a complete, highly customizable solution that makes it easy for an agency’s IT department to automate processes that connect on-prem clouds to public clouds.
Companies like VMware have been developing these kinds of products in the private sector for years. Our Cloud Foundation platform provides integrated infrastructure—including compute, storage, networking and security—that runs in both private and public environments.
This works by utilizing hyperconverged infrastructure (HCI)—a software-defined system that virtualizes most of the hardware elements in traditional data centers. HCI allows IT managers to quickly provision resources without the long lead time caused by deploying different types of complex hardware. Imagine an agency worker needs to gather data sets from several sources, with varying grades of sensitivity. IT can spin up a virtual system for them that allows access the information they need with the appropriate security measures attached.
Iron Bow can take these cutting-edge virtualized solutions and marry them to the on-prem systems agencies are already running. Iron Bow becomes the single point of management for these various platforms, giving clients the ability to manage their entire infrastructure and automate from a proven, consistent reference architecture. This makes it easy to migrate workloads to and from data centers and the cloud using one centralized toolset.
So what does this mean for federal IT managers? More time to innovate and less time setting up servers. Agencies don’t have send out their high-value employees to do mundane tasks anymore, allowing them to focus on the tasks that mean the difference in mission success.
For more information about hybrid cloud, visit the Iron Bow website.
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