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Iron Bow’s UCM (formerly HCS-G), powered by Cisco, is a FedRAMP Authorized cloud-based collaboration service built to help you improve communication capabilities, empower your mobile workforce, meet cloud-first mandates and maintain stringent security standards. Check out this video and see how we can help your agency overcome key IT and business challenges.

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Welcome to Iron Bow's TechSource, a blog about the issues facing the government and industry today and the technologies being adopted to help overcome them.

Reference Architecture Addresses Unique Pain Points for Any Agency

Troy Massey, Technical Director, Enterprise Engagements, Iron Bow Technologies

November 25, 2019  |  Cloud


There is no one product that will address all of your IT needs. In fact, if someone tells you they have the answer to all of your problems, they’re likely selling snake oil. There is no one size fits all solution, because everyone’s needs are different; everyone’s challenges are unique to their organization.

This is especially true when it comes to the cloud. Data-heavy agencies—like the Department of Defense, or the Department of Justice—need to keep most of their sensitive information stored in private, on-premises clouds.

While on the other hand, agencies providing citizen-facing services, like Housing and Urban Development or Health and Human Services, might need their data to be publicly accessible and opt to store some of it in an off-prem cloud hosted by an outside vendor.

Providing not only the right mix of public and private cloud environments, but also the ability to move workloads back and forth between them, is critical to modernizing agencies. Simply put, the easier it is to move data, the easier it will be to deliver on agency missions.

The best way to facilitate this kind of flexibility is through a customized reference architecture that meets the specific needs of the client. Reference architectures are essentially a roadmap for how agencies can integrate their IT infrastructure to best fit their mission.

This means individual agency IT teams don’t have to spend time planning out how to connect disparate systems and move workloads through them. Instead, IT teams can focus on optimizing infrastructure utilization.

Some agencies are already finding reference architecture to be the easiest way to achieve their IT goals. In fact, the intelligence community plans to use reference architecture for its enterprise capabilities by 2020.

But not all reference architectures are created equal. It’s easy enough to acquire a one-size-fits-all, off-the-shelf architecture. But those may or may not actually address an agency’s unique challenges. Instead, government IT buyers should be looking to a customized architecture developed specifically for them.

The most effective reference architecture is flexible and customizable. This means it has the ability to easily add or upgrade components without degrading performance. It also means making the components of modernization, like cloud environments and integrated security, easier to access and more compatible.

Iron Bow has spent the last year developing IronTarget—a reference architecture solution that’s truly adaptable to any situation. IronTarget is a framework for understanding and working through these challenges by offering a single point of management for various cloud platforms, both on- and off-prem.  The IronTarget solution is a VMware Validated Design (VVD) based on VMware’s Cloud Foundation.

It enables, agencies move all of their servers onto an on-prem, hyper-converged platform. By doing that, data is staged to be transferred to the cloud whenever it needs to be.

While it’s simple to implement and manage, IronTarget is a sophisticated solution with hundreds of adaptable options. Because of that, we’ve started touring the country offering up road shows at our client sites to help educate customers on the multitude of benefits.

These small events, also give you the opportunity to ask any questions and customize the hands on component to address their specific challenges and environment. We’ve found that spending a day with an agency or department provides more in-depth understanding and context—and it goes a long way in demonstrating how simple, flexible and affordable IronTarget can be.

Whether it’s an office of 30 users or a 100,000-user enterprise, this kind of architecture can get federal agencies to the cloud quickly and make their data more accessible, resolving many of the pain points that hamstring IT operations.

For more information, or to book a road show demo, visit the Iron Bow website.


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