Federal Cloud Initiatives for 2012

Apr 12, 2012

In a talk at FOSE last week, Department of Energy CTO Peter Tseronis said that agencies should do much more than meet the minimum three use cases for Cloud to be identified by the end of the year.  A full article discussing his comments is at Federal Computer Week: http://fcw.com/articles/2012/04/03/energy-cto-pete-tseronis-cloud-migration.aspx?s=fcwdaily_040412

I couldn’t agree more with Mr Tseronis.  In fact, I recently blogged about the Los Alamos National Lab Hybrid Cloud implementation, and praised LANL and its architect, Anil Karmel, for the money they have saved through virtualization, as well as the improvement in service delivery that they have made. Both were accomplished through implementing a hybrid cloud solution using tools from VMware, Microsoft and Terremark. In my upcoming book “Get Your Head in the Cloud: Unraveling the Mystery for Public Sector”,  I will talk at length about NASA’s Jet Propulsion Lab and their motivations for use of the Public Cloud.

I also spoke at the show (in the next room as Pete) on a panel hosted by Fred Whiteside of the NIST Cloud Computing Program at the Department of Commerce.  During the panel, we spoke about the ever-popular topic of security issues when migrating to the Cloud. However, what struck me for the first time, was that questions surrounding security seem to be abating, while questions such as “What applications or services are right for which types of Cloud?” and “How do I migrate an application to the Cloud?” are surfacing much more than before.

This takes me back to the real question that people in government are asking today: “Which type of Cloud is right for me?”  I want to make sure that we are looking at each service individually as we evaluate which Cloud is best and not at the agency level.  Too often, as I’ve blogged before, agencies are trying to select one kind of Cloud to be appropriate for every use in the agency, when they should be looking at each service they provide.  In other words, email and collaboration may be perfect for a public SaaS offering, a new web application might be best coded in a public PaaS offering, and a private IaaS Cloud may be the best for future application development.

In any case, I agree with Pete.  Three use cases by the end of 2012 is not enough.  Given everything that is happening in Cloud and the great case studies that are out there today, with more coming all the time, I would encourage every agency to be looking at doing more.  Given the savings that some are already realizing, and the uncertainty in future budgets, there are compelling reasons to find the Cloud now.

As always, thanks for reading.  Follow me on twitter at @GTSI_CTO

Jim


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