Insight by Iron Bow Technologies, Dell Technologies, Intel Corporation and VMware

How to meet your mission using a multi-cloud environment.

Few agencies have a commercial cloud services provider. To the contrary, they have generally opted to employ multiple cloud providers. The principal reason is that different clouds are optimized for different types of workloads, and no single CSP can serve all of any agency’s requirements.

Hyper-convergence can help by making workloads more portable and scalable at the same time. But agencies must explore ways of making their virtual machines capable of working in different clouds without having to repackage them. This capability has become more important during the expansion of mobile and telework. The challenge becomes delivering applications and data to users on scaled virtual private network instances, or on virtual desktop environments.

Federal News Network and several leading IT vendors led by Iron Bow discussed mission delivery in multi-cloud environments with a panel of federal IT practitioners.

Panelists covered a wide range of challenges including how to rationalize applications in the first place, then prioritize the remaining ones in terms of cloud readiness. Also, the decision tree on whether to scrap and app and create a new one, or refactor existing code so its cloud deployable. Sometimes, the experts said, containerization with surrounding application programming interfaces can enable cloud hosting without code rewriting or refactoring.

They also explained costs issues associated with multiple-cloud, hybrid environments, where agency data centers that are still part of the hosting mix, such as data egress and software licensing.

And, they covered how the pandemic response, with its resulting mass remote working, has affected workload hosting, cybersecurity, and the IT modernization question.

Applications in the Cloud

We’re starting an app rationalization process to understand what is cloud ready, and what is not. So that as we start at headquarters moving things into a [commercial cloud] environment we can maybe get ahead of the game looking at applications that we want to move in the future so they’re cloud ready when it’s time to go.

Strategies for Planning for Multi-cloud

We encourage customers to use software-as-a-service and platform-as a-service, and serverless as much as possible, to reduce their infrastructure burden and improve their time to market. But they also have to think about the licensing implications of having their data in a highly indexed, proprietary system, so that when you do have to share your data there can be hidden costs in that.

The COVID-19 Effects on Cloud Migration

Security is a key conversation when … keeping the data close to the end user, now [that] the end user is a remote user, and what classification of data is he or she needing. Now you can actually get a virtual desktop to your home presenting SIPRnet. When Covid is over and people return to work, we need to implement a design that works now. The design has to be very mobile to get the data to where the user is.

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