Insight by CenturyLink

Multi-cloud management moves front and center

When the Office of Management and Budget recently released its Cloud Smart strategy – to supersede the Cloud First strategy – it signaled how much the federal cloud market has matured. Nearly all new development presumes cloud deployment, and more agencies are looking to adapt legacy applications to the cloud. It all means managing hybrid environments of multiple commercial clouds along with government-operated data centers has become the new model. It’s a model that shifts to a relatively higher proportion of operations expense (OpEx) orientation relative to capital expenditure (CapEx).

To explore the most contemporary approaches to cloud development, deployment, and management, Federal News Network convened a panel of federal and industry experts.

Hill pointed out that in response to the Cloud Smart strategy, GSA developed a “playbook” and a cloud information center agencies can use to tune their strategies. Gupta noted that when thinking about meeting mission needs and improving customer service and experience, agencies need to be mindful of the deep interconnections among systems – dependencies that much be maintained as they introduce new technologies. Hill noted that strong governance among the technical, program and financial staff in an agency can aid cloud deployments so they meet each respective group’s requirements.

Ahmed said a growing number of products such as CenturyLink’s Cloud Application Manager are joining agencies’ critical utilities in the multicloud era. He and others pointed out that cloud providers constantly add new services, and agencies need clear visibility into usage rates and costs if they’re to maintain control over performance and spending. Panelists also agreed that agency tech staffs much regularly review their network architectures and protocols, given that the network constitutes the foundation of service delivery from multiple clouds and data center hosts.

The Status of the Migration of Application Services to the Cloud

Our vision is to get to the software-as-a-service model to the extent possible. For some of the core applications at the SBA like our financial applications or our loan processing and loan servicing applications – which in some ways are legacy applications – we are looking for ways to move them to a cloud footprint.

How to Manage Cloud Application Tools

We developed this tool called cloud application manager which provides data analytics behind the scenes as to how your applications are performing. It also gives you a bridge into which cloud to send which application to, and which workload needs to go where. This gives you an opportunity to see it before it happens and lets you optimize that.

Governance and Infrastructure

Governance of our cloud environment is a collaboration among multiple teams…[starting with ]our infrastructure group. We also have our developer groups, our cybersecurity division. We formulate policy about what can be done in the cloud, what kinds of workloads can be moved into the cloud, and how that infrastructure is going to be organized inside of the various cloud environments. We [also] have active monitoring policies in place so that when a workload is running in the cloud … to ensure the workloads are meeting our requirements.

 

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