Just like organizations in most other industries, federal agencies are migrating to the cloud. But given the sensitive nature of the data they deal with on a daily basis, it’s risky to move everything to the commercial cloud. That’s why government agencies are slowly adopting a hybrid approach—using a public cloud for some apps and relying on on-premises data centers for others.
However, the federal government has been much slower than the private sector in implementing hybrid cloud. According to IDG research
, 49% of companies and organizations currently have hybrid IT environments, while only 20% of government agencies have them. The reasons for the reluctance include security concerns as well as the prevalence of legacy systems.
Those government agencies that have adopted hybrid clouds—including the Department of Justice (DOJ) and Social Security Administration (SSA)—are reporting general satisfaction with the decision.
To move or not to move
The big question for federal agencies planning to go hybrid is what assets to move to the public cloud and which to keep on-premises. The answer depends on several variables, most notably, security and availability requirements. The need for proximity to the data is another important factor. If applications need to interface with legacy applications and data, they may not tolerate the added latency of connecting to an off-premises cloud.
How to optimize hybrid data centers
Those federal government customers who are thinking about transitioning to the hybrid approach should keep the following tips in mind for the best results:
- Automate highly repetitive tasks that weigh down IT staff and resources—tasks such as virtual local area network configuration and access control lists—so data center personnel can devote quality time to making critical migration decisions.
- Extend the management tools that are used on-premises to the cloud to ensure the best possible control over the resources in both environments.
- Implement remote management tools to enable a core team to upgrade bandwidth and make other changes at anytime from anywhere.
The hybrid cloud, when implemented and managed thoughtfully, can be an excellent choice for public sector agencies looking for security, scalability and elasticity. To learn more about how best to advise your federal customers, contact our data center expert, Nick Vermiglio