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Take a measured approach to private clouds, contractors say

Aug. 4, 2014 - 01:32PM   |  
By ANDY MEDICI   |   Comments
Agencies should move to the cloud carefully and deliberately, says Jason Langone of Nutanix Federal.
Agencies should move to the cloud carefully and deliberately, says Jason Langone of Nutanix Federal. (Rob Curtis/Staff / Staff)

Even as agencies look increasingly to the cloud to save money and increase efficiency they must take measured steps to get the full benefits, federal network contractors said at the Federal Innovation Summit in Washington, D.C.

Jason Langone, the director of federal and federal system integrator sales at Nutanix Federal, said agencies cannot just jump into the private cloud all at once. They must instead analyze how they buy and implement network infrastructure to get the best results from the private cloud.

“It’s not magic elves that are doing this stuff. It was people who put this stuff together,” Langone said.

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Agencies should start by migrating specific services or applications to the cloud and seeing the results for themselves before migrating more systems.

Doug Hazelman, vice president of product strategy for VEEAM Software, said agency customers expect the networks set up by cloud providers to be “always on” for financial transactions, email or any other uses.

“That is what your customers expect of you and that is what they expect from us from the private cloud” Hazelman said. “There is no tolerance of downtime.”

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That translates into challenges for agencies and contractors alike – you can’t just build a private cloud out of thin air and migrate agency services to it, Hazelman said. Contractors and agencies must work together to migrate small portions of agency operations to private clouds.

“You can’t just bite it off all at once,” he said.

Richard Whitney, the lead systems engineer for Arista Networks, said one of the biggest concerns agencies have is network outages and what happens to agency operations if there is network downtime.

Agencies are more interested in open platforms in order to avoid being locked into one vendor or one specific technology for the life of the data.

And while contractors can work with agencies to solve these problems one of the larger barriers to cloud adoption at agencies is that the time-to-market for their networks and products takes so long the technology or program could be out of date.

“Change should be a one-check box, not a 10-check box,” he said.

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