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GCN : August 2014
GCN AUGUST 2014 • GCN.COM 23 get our disaster recovery center farther away," Feldman said. Asheville turned to the cloud after a plan to build out a $200,000 disaster recovery center as part of a fire station construction project failed to material- ize. Through the CloudVelox/AWS setup, the city is able to extend disaster recovery to applications that previously had to do without it. Recent examples include an asset man- agement application for tracking work or- ders and a point of sale (POS) application supporting the city's 7,500-seat US Cellu- lar Center. As for the latter, a POS outage could cause the center to lose $20,000 to $30,000 for a given event, Feldman noted. Asheville plans to protect other ap- plications in AWS. The city is looking at its ERP system, but must first conduct a due diligence process to vet security, said Feldman. Vijay Sammeta, CIO for the City of San Jose, Calif., also has plans for the cloud as a backup mechanism. He said the city will focus over the next 12 to 18 months on moving virtual machines to the cloud to manage a range of issues including back- ups and disaster recovery. "When you think about all the compo- nents of a highly available service deliv- ery stack: network, servers, database and the applications, it starts [to] make a lot of sense to simply let someone else worry about that and just build redundancy to the Internet," Sammeta said. The cloud can provide a different fla- vor of backup by supplementing over- taxed data center resources. Oakland County plans to provide some room for growth as it revamps its data center, but won't attempt to provide enough capac- ity to meet its ultimate peak needs, Ber- tolini explained. For peak volumes, the county plans to rely on cloud computing. "We will have some cloud components that we can ramp up or down as needed," he said. Altogether, questions of how to mod- ernize a data center and when to use cloud services are the types of questions many governments now face, Bertolini said. "Longer term, it is going to be some- thing we are all going to have to grapple with." • Software-defined technology is another important driver behind the new look in government data centers. The trend is to some extent tied to converged infrastructure, since the vendors software gives the converged hardware device its computing and storage characteristics. This software-driven infrastructure, however, can exist independently of a converged hardware platform. Software-defined storage provides one example. This technology creates a single pool of storage from multiple, physical storage devices. A software layer provisions storage to the applications that need it and provides other functions such as policy management, replication and backup. Software-defined storage is also referred to as storage virtualization. Chris Poelker, vice president of enterprise solutions at FalconStar Software Inc., a Melville, N.Y. company that focuses on data protection and migration, said the City of Phoenix, Ariz., which has virtualized on the server side, is pursuing storage virtualization. "They are now doing the storage virtualization piece so they can get to the software- defined data center approach," he said. The software-defined data center (SDDC), more vision than reality at this point, pulls together server and storage virtualization. Software can tap resources across the data center to readily provision compute and storage as needed. Software defined networking (SDN) is another emerging element of SDDC. As with storage, SDN relies on a software layer that takes on the complexities of infrastructure management. SDN will let IT administrators program all of the devices on a network through a software controller, rather than configuring switches and other networking gear individually. Sudhir Verma, chief technology o cer at Force 3 said he believes SDN may be the most critical SDDC element since networking is the most complex piece of infrastructure. He said organizations would struggle to realize the SDDC s management and provisioning benefits without a robust virtualized networking environment. "If I were going in the SDDC direction today, the first thing I would look at is SDN," he said. In Newington, Conn., Paul Boutot, the town s CIO, said the company s 10G networking technology will help it leverage SDN at some point. "It sets us up down the road to take advantage of some of those network features," he said. SAN JOSE, CALIF., ALSO HAS PLANS FOR THE CLOUD AS A BACKUP MECHANISM. THE CITY WILL FOCUS OVER THE NEXT 12 TO 18 MONTHS ON MOVING VIRTUAL MACHINES TO THE CLOUD TO MANAGE A RANGE OF ISSUES INCLUDING BACKUPS AND DISASTER RECOVERY. "It starts [to] make a lot of sense to simply let someone else worry about that and just build redundancy to the Internet." VIJAY SAMMETA PATH TO THE SOFTWARE DEFINED DATA CENTER Cll Cloud d