Insight by Red Hat

There’s a growing realization that hybrid cloud makes the most sense

Hybrid Cloud Strategy for Agencies

Now it’s really time for agencies to really carefully look at what their overall hybrid cloud strategy is going to look like and design not just for how it meets mission needs of today, but what their mission needs are going to be tomorrow.

The Balance of Hybrid Cloud Stakeholders

Now you have the flexibility of taking a look at what is the best resource for the job for a particular application you are looking to move. Just as important as finding the right cloud for the resource you are looking at deploying, you want to make sure it’s open standards based and flexible so you have the ability to move if the cloud is right for that workload today, but may not be in 2025.

Some say hybrid cloud is the best of both worlds. Agencies can move those applications that are considered cloud ready into a commercial or government cloud, while keeping software that needs to be modernized or is so old that it can never be cloud ready on-premise in a virtualized environment.

At the same time, the multi-cloud approach lets agencies ramp up during peak demand times and come back down when the spike ends.

Additionally, the move to hybrid cloud lets agencies manage security risks in a way that shares and disperses the threat.

As OMB’s Cloud Smart Strategy says, agencies should be equipped to evaluate their options based on their service and mission needs, technical requirements, and existing policy limitations. Computing and technology decisions should also consider customer impact balanced against cost and cybersecurity risk management criteria.

Additionally, agencies need to weigh the long-term inefficiencies of migrating applications as-is into cloud environments against the immediate financial costs of modernizing in advance or replacing them altogether.

Tricia Fitzmaurice, the regional manager for law enforcement and justice at Red Hat, said the benefits and potential of hybrid cloud is unmistakable and only growing.

“Now it’s really time for agencies to really carefully look at what their overall hybrid cloud strategy is going to look like and design not just for how it meets mission needs of today, but what their mission needs are going to be tomorrow,” Fitzmaurice said on Innovation in Government. “I think there is a lot more introspection now on workloads. At first, it was just let’s get to cloud. Now, we are really seeing that some agencies who moved to cloud that maybe it wasn’t the best financial decision or functionality decision based on the workload they may have moved there. You’ve seen federal agencies moving workloads back on premise for a cost savings.”

Fitzmaurice said chief information officers and other federal IT managers must design a cloud strategy that is flexible and will allow for portability between public and private service providers.

“As they are looking at the legacy workloads they have today, they have to decide which legacy systems make more sense to reside in the data center, or do some applications need to be refactored or repurposed and break down into micro-services and split them out into multiple clouds and doing so in a way that enables them to have multi-cloud portability,” she said.

This concept of understanding which workloads make the most sense to move to the cloud is a newer concept for many agencies. The days of lift-and-shift just to get software out of legacy data centers is mostly over.

OMB’s Cloud Smart strategy and its application playbook promotes that change in thinking.

One important byproduct of Cloud Smart is agencies are more comfortable now moving mission-critical workloads to the public cloud.

“Now you have the flexibility of taking a look at what is the best resource for the job for a particular application you are looking to move,” Fitzmaurice said. “Just as important as finding the right cloud for the resource you are looking at deploying, you want to make sure it’s open standards based and flexible so you have the ability to move if the cloud is right for that workload today, but may not be in 2025.”

She said one way to ensure agencies plan for that flexibility and portability is by developing an IT modernization strategy that assesses the current state of their applications. Agencies should consider which applications are ready to move to the cloud today, which need to be modernized and then moved and which systems may never move off premise.

Fitzmaurice said that strategy also should look forward 3-to-5 years and consider how workloads and mission needs may change.

About Red Hat and Carahsoft  

Red Hat is the world’s leading provider of enterprise open source software solutions, using a community-powered approach to deliver reliable and high-performing Linux, hybrid cloud, container, and Kubernetes technologies. Red Hat helps customers integrate new and existing IT applications, develop cloud-native applications, standardize on our industry-leading operating system, and automate, secure, and manage complex environments.

Carahsoft Technology Corp. is The Trusted Government IT Solutions Provider®. As a top-performing GSA Schedule, SEWP and SLSA contract holder, Carahsoft has served as Red Hat’s master government aggregator and distributor for more than 13 years.

Working as strategic partners—and through a robust ecosystem of value-added channel of partners and system integrators–the companies deliver top-tier Red Hat solutions to federal, state, and local government agencies, as well as the education community, supporting the public sector’s mission to prepare for the digital future and modernize approaches to IT through the application of open source solutions.

Visit Carahsoft at www.carahsoft.com and follow us on Twitter and Facebook.

Visit Red Hat at www.redhat.com/gov and follow us on Twitter and Facebook

Copyright © 2019 Federal News Network. All rights reserved. This website is not intended for users located within the European Economic Area.