Federal agencies are often strained for technology resources, and the need to elevate overall citizen experience on the road to digital government in the cloud era is growing every day. With the move to digital, governments must streamline and accelerate technologies to deploy integrated cloud, hybrid and multicloud architectures and upgrade legacy applications that they rely on.
As the cloud operations landscape continues to change, the emergence of containers, Kubernetes and microservices is revolutionizing IT services. According to Gartner, 85% of global businesses will be running containers in production by 2025, up 35% from 2019.
Government IT leaders want the agility of container-native architecture. Through the support of containers, Kubernetes and microservices, public sector IT teams can truly modernize their applications and gain the speed, agility and scale needed to support better citizen service, access and collaboration across the agency.
Scalability and agility
Containers enable scalability as agency needs change, and they allow governments to operationalize and deploy applications faster and more securely. With Kubernetes, agencies can automate all processes associated with getting applications out into production by dramatically speeding up the time it takes to deploy and run applications.
Container-native development brings a heightened drive for data management for enterprise-level assurance while operating in a fully packaged and portable environment, speeding up development, preventing cloud vendor lock-in, and improving management and security.
Because of the interdependencies between government agencies, there’s a great impact on the ability to create scale and agility by utilizing a Kubernetes or containers-based orchestration. Container-native development allows applications to be deployed wherever they make the most sense in cloud, hybrid and multi-cloud architectures. This includes legacy applications government agencies rely on.
Investing in a right-sized efficient storage system and application, containers can help agencies elevate citizen service capabilities while addressing the critical areas of cyber protection, data management and digital services.
Data backup and security
Data is the backbone of government and its operations, as it holds the power to unlock critical insights and advance agency missions. Agencies can maximize and make better use of data through the use of AI and analytics, which enables them to simplify operations, power data insights, and transform legacy infrastructure for agile delivery with modern structured and unstructured data. Additionally, they can revolutionize operations by leveraging data, and it’s important to master data management and integration for the best citizen services.
All government apps require data that must be stored, managed, protected, and recovered. To modernize amid these requirements, governments need the speed and agility of Kubernetes, which is vendor-agnostic. It can run wherever the developer needs it: on-premises, in the public cloud, and in multi-cloud environments. And because of the container-native orchestration software, applications can serve multiple agencies, giving governments scale-out capability while improving efficiency and reducing silos. Moreover, backup, disaster recovery and business continuity can have ambitious objectives like near-real-time failover, dramatically reducing downtime risk in critical public sector applications.
Agencies should lean on trusted advisors when rolling out containers. Whether working directly with a software vendor or through an intermediary like a system integrator, government IT leaders can take advantage of the hard lessons experts learned while implementing Kubernetes and container-native environments across a broad range of industries and specialties.
Modernizing with containers and Kubernetes
One state government, as an example, is in the process of modernizing its law enforcement technologies using containers. Once integrated, the state will be able to provide fast distributed access to criminal record information with no degradation even under heavy load, increasing the safety of their law enforcement personnel and the public.
The most effective data services platforms are those that are designed to provide persistent storage, data protection, disaster recovery and other capabilities for your containerized applications. Kubernetes, paired with the highest-performing all-flash storage systems, will provide agencies with a complete data storage infrastructure solution capable of delivering premier citizen services.
Government IT leaders running mission-critical applications like emergency response have little room for error. Cyberattacks, ransomware and digital fraud ramp up the risk factors for public agencies trying to embrace new technologies while facing public scrutiny. The most effective Kubernetes-native environments will be programmable, comprehensive and self-contained. Provisioning, snapshots and other storage tasks must be available via APIs and automation; developers must maintain role-based access controls to ensure data protection. Containers are critical to modernizing government technology.
IT infrastructures must be built around a modern storage infrastructure, meaning solutions should be easy to set up, manage and expand, as well as integrate easily with existing backup software. Of course, it must be fast, restoring data and applications quickly enough to minimize any disruptive impact. It should also be seamless and capable of spanning any protocol, any tier of service level, and multiple clouds in a single environment. It should also sustain performance as data volumes increase.
By accelerating digital transformation with modern storage solutions, agencies can easily run any cloud-native application, in any cloud, on any infrastructure, and with built-in high availability, data protection, security and mobility. Agencies should strive for solutions that manage storage and data protection for Kubernetes applications, no matter where they are running.
Mike Wiseman is vice president for the public sector at Pure Storage.