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GCN : May 2016
G OVERNMENT AGENCIES fi n d themselves at an i nteresting intersection of the forces of technology and security. On one hand, agencies are being pushed to obser ve more stri ngent security guidelines to avoid breaches of public trust, core infrastructure, and national secrets. On the other hand, there’s an ongoing drive for data center consolidation and a movement toward shared, cloud-based services. These have become a cor nerstone of the government’s need to balance the fiduciary crunch with constitu- ents’ needs and expectations. Even in this virtualized world, deploying resources within data centers can still take days, weeks or months. Secur i ng workloads and infrastructure continues to be a cus- tomi zed process. There’s little in the way of r epeatable processes as projects move from development to user acceptance a nd on to f inal production environments. Moving these workloads and processes into cloud environ ments often fi nds us no better than when we star ted—a nd possibly spending more on operations and maintenance than in our own data center. In fact, many of the “cloud” i mplementations of today are little more than a workload lift and shift; reminis- cent of ma naged ser vices providers. When these outsourcing strategies improve processes and provide greater return on i n- vestment , they’re a smar t move. But let’s not confuse the two. Too often cloud approaches are boiled down to lowering the total cost of ownership of individual servers or virtual machines. They don’t take the leap of tr uly laying the foundation for i nnovation a nd holistically lower i ng the TCO. At first glance, it would seem these priorities and their solutions are divergent. In fact, success with both lies in how you manage and automate your existing data center. Rest as- sured—the future is bright, and the cloud offers the federal government immense adaptability, agility, and efficiency. It all depends on how federal IT administra- tors choose to view the cloud, and the steps they take to implement a cloud strategy. Automating deployment , secu rity and application lifecycle ma nagement helps prepare agencies and their work loads for cloud deployment. Those same steps will also make cloud migration and moves between clouds successful. Much of how you reap the benefits of cloud deployments will depend heavily on your abil- ity to automate cloud resource usage. If your virtual servers require human interaction for provisioning or updating, seek tooling to automate those processes. The same goes for application deployment and scaling. Automation is the na me of the game when it comes to the cloud. As soon as a user has to log into a cloud-based ser ver, the value is diminished. The good news is you can devel- op these practices within your existing data centers. All you need is new tooling to build a Continuous Integration and Continuous Deployment (CI/CD) infrastr ucture. Take a staged approach to cloud adoption. Star t small. Choose a small, user focused ap - plication (aka system of engagement) you can use to build a proof point around both cloud and agile development approaches. In the beginning, stay away from applications that require wholesale change to ex isting data and application infrastructure. Success will breed success. You can build subsequent appli- cation migrations on the patterns a nd proce - dures you develop in the process of successfully moving these work loads. Adam Cl ater is the Chief Cloud Arc hitect , North America P ublic Sector, Red Hat. ADAM CLATER CHIEF CLOUD ARCHITECT NORTH AMERICA PUBLIC SECTOR, RED HAT AUTOMATION IS KEY TO SUCCESS Automation is the answer to the continued push for data center consolidation and delivering cloud-based services. SECURE, OPEN TECHNOLOGY MADE FOR THE CLOUD LEARN MORE AT CARAHSOFT.COM/INNOVATION-REDHAT Red Hat's secure, open source solutions are being used throughout the federal government, from processing Medicare claims at CMS to handling airplane traffic at FAA to enhancing every tactical vehicle in the DoD, and in all 50 states, meeting the most rigorous security requirements and internationally recognized standards, like Common Criteria. S-14 SECURING THE ENTERPRISE SPONSORED CONTENT
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