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Agencies must leverage shared services and embrace commercial technologies such as Software as a Service (SaaS) where possible, building new capabilities only when shared services and commercial technologies cannot meet mission need.”

– Report to the President on Federal IT Modernization, December 2017

 

The Report to the President on Federal IT Modernization provides updated guidance on modernizing federal IT infrastructure to improve security posture, advanced shared services, and more cost effectively achieve mission objectives. The bulk of the report’s focus is on network modernization—a must-have IT initiative for today’s volatile cybersecurity climate. It also emphasizes the use of commercial cloud solutions to further consolidate on-premises infrastructure, increase agility, and improve overall service delivery—all more reason to incorporate public cloud into your data center strategy. Without it, agencies will reach an inflection point that requires additional planning and investments in hybrid cloud architecture.

 

 

“At the same time, agencies are encouraged to make use of the best and most cutting-edge services that cloud service providers have available. This can include services that may be specific to individual providers’ and which are optimized for their strengths.”

 

So why not predicate data center modernization efforts on hybrid cloud functionality? A best-in-class data center is one that can run a best-in-class private cloud and support multiple independent cloud environments.

 

“Where feasible and appropriate, the use of tools and platforms that can be used portably across multiple underlying cloud service providers is encouraged. Agencies of any significant size, such as CFO Act agencies, are generally expected to authorize and make use of multiple independent cloud environments.”

 

Don’t let traditional architectures and complex app models hold your agency back. Ensuring that public cloud services can integrate and work seamlessly with on-premises infrastructure requires agencies to modernize where it matters most: the data center. Virtualization and hyper-converged infrastructure enable this approach, abstracting core data center functionality—compute, storage, networking, and management—from hardware and running each through software. This approach to the data center enables agencies to build a best-in-class private cloud that can agnostically extend to public cloud providers (because it’s software-defined) when ready.

 

 

Ultimately, the ability to meet changing mission requirements while containing costs and embracing innovation will depend on data center infrastructure, making now the ideal time to modernize data centers and prepare for hybrid cloud. When you’re ready to engage with a public cloud service provider, ensure that both your infrastructure and the vendor’s can meet these five hybrid cloud must-haves.

 

Hybrid Cloud Must-Haves

VISIBILITY – Insights into where workloads are deployed and how these resources are being utilized

OPERATIONS – Ongoing management to ensure the health of production workloads and proper resource utilization

AUTOMATION – Intelligent systems to manage the provisioning, capacity, performance and availability of infrastructure and application environments, delivering increased IT agility

SECURITY – Consistent security models and policies to reduce risk and vulnerabilities connected to core infrastructure, applications, and devices

GOVERNANCE – Clear policies for how resources are utilized and by whom, to optimize costs and ensure compliance