The military services are progressively (even aggressively) moving to the cloud, but the cost and burden of work to do it can vary depending on the approach.
The services don’t need to rush to put everything in the cloud and should be strategic in what they decide to transfer and in what order, said Mike Malaret, director of sales engineering for public sector at Veritas Technologies, during Federal News Network’s second annual DoD Cloud Exchange.
“When we refer to the data being moved into the cloud, we tend to forget the application usually has to go with it?” Malaret pointed out. “It’s very important that you leverage technologies that are going to be able to give you a comprehensive data protection strategy, be able to restore from within that individual cloud or be able to restore to another cloud — or even be able to restore back on premises.”
Cloud adoption and true cost calculus
This is where the issue of cost versus effectiveness comes in, he said. “What we’ve seen with some of the quote ‘born in the cloud’ solutions is they don’t necessarily scale in a cost effective way in order to bring the most efficiency to the government.” Like many in the military, he highlighted that the decision of how to the use the cloud and when is not all about the hard dollar return on investment.
The goal of the initiatives is about better capabilities everywhere for the services so “it’s important that they look at standardization and cost effectiveness versus on premises versus in the cloud,” Malaret said.
To decide what applications are worth shifting, agencies need to understand the costs of a transition to ensure a controllable pricing model, he said.
“When you’re leveraging only the solutions that are available to you through the consumption of the cloud portal, it’s relatively easy for you to do the cost accounting,” Malaret said. “What we don’t see are solutions designed to be able to do cost accounting that combine the best of bring-your-own license to the cloud, as well as access to cloud capabilities. That’s where a comprehensive reporting solution is really important to be able to analyze those costs associated with the total cost of ownership of an application, both on premises and in the cloud.”
Of course, using multiple platforms — as is necessary in almost all Defense Department environments — makes things more complicated. It’s important to have solutions that span multiple clouds and provide data recovery and protection from one cloud to another, Malaret said. He added that it’s imperative to have a common management interface to keep an eye on this across enterprises end to end.
To listen to and watch all the sessions from the 2022 Federal News Network DoD Cloud Exchange, go to the event page.