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“Cloud First” Lessons Learned from ViON

Transformation Infrastructure

By pwsadmin | September 26, 2020

Hybrid IT enables a composable infrastructure which describes a framework whose physical compute, storage, and network fabric resources are treated as services. Resources are logically pooled so that administrators need to physically configure hardware to support a specific software application, which describes the function of a composable architecture. This type of transformative infrastructure is foundational…

Essential Characteristics of Cloud Computing as Digital Transformation

By pwsadmin | September 25, 2020

A survey of 2,000 executives conducted by Cognizant in 2016 identified the top five ways digital transformations generate value:      Accelerating speed to market      Strengthening competitive positioning      Boosting revenue growth      Raising employee productivity      Expanding the ability to acquire, engage, and retain customers   Digital transformation is also a cultural change. Cloud Computing as Digital Transformation Since cloud…

Embrace Transformation

By pwsadmin | September 22, 2020

From a business perspective, differentiating business processes and quality customer service are central to overall success. Business leaders must therefore clearly identify and measure how information technology contributes to the value of every key business process. They must also know how to most cost effectively use IT when the task is merely the management of…

Computer Vision Advances Zero-Defect Manufacturing

By pwsadmin | July 25, 2020

by Kevin L. Jackson Electronics manufacturers operate in a challenging environment. It’s hard enough to keep up with the ever-accelerating rate of change in the industry. Now customers want increasingly specialized product variations in less time and of higher quality. Meeting this demand for increased product variation can seriously impact the bottom line. Such variability increases…

Real-Time Analytics Power the Roadway of the Future

By pwsadmin | July 25, 2020

By Kevin L. Jackson The complexities of citywide traffic are pushing the limits of existing transportation management systems. Outdated infrastructure is based on proprietary, single-purpose subsystems, making it costly to acquire, operate, and maintain. And current roadways are simply not prepared for the future of autonomous vehicles. Enter the SPaT Challenge, an initiative encouraging cities and…

Thriving on the Edge: Developing CSP Edge Computing Strategy

By pwsadmin | March 6, 2020

Communications Service Providers (CSPs) are facing significant business model challenges. Referred to generally as edge computing, the possibilities introduced by the blending of 5G networks and distributed cloud computing technologies are redefining how CSPs operate, partner, and drive revenue. A new Ericsson Digital whitepaper entitled, “Edge computing and deployment strategies for communication service providers,” addresses these challenges…

SourceConnecte! Marketplace With A Mission

By pwsadmin | March 6, 2020

Earlier this year, GC GlobalNet launched a new breed of B2B e-commerce sites. Curated by Kevin L. Jackson, SourceConnecte (with an “e”) went live with three strategic goals in mind: Efficiently leverage modern social media technologies to facilitate value-based interactions between enterprise buyers and vetted suppliers; Establish a protected interactive environment capable of supporting high-value B2B e-commerce negotiations…

Potential vs. Reality: Is Edge Computing Real?

By pwsadmin | January 19, 2020

Edge computing provides compute, storage, and networking resources close to devices generating traffic. Its benefits are based on an ability to provide new services capable of meeting stringent operational requirements by minimizing both data latency and the need for bandwidth. Based on Google trend data, searches for the term has also grown substantially over the…

Enabling Digital Transformation

By pwsadmin | December 22, 2019

Digital transformation integrates technology into all areas of an organization’s business or mission. Its fundamental purpose is to create and deliver innovative and industry-changing products and services to a global customer base. This outcome requires the seamless two-way flow of data and information between internal business processes and external processes that interact with customers, business…

The ThinkShield Story Part 1: The Challenge

By G C Network | October 24, 2019

The cybersecurity challenge seems to be growing daily. Threats are becoming more sophisticated, and attacks are becoming more destructive while the corporate world’s response seems to resemble a deer in headlights. Recent examples of this dangerous state of affairs include[1]: A data breach of a US Customs and Border Protection surveillance contractor that led to…


In 2011, then United States CIO Vivek Kundra released the US Federal Cloud Computing Strategy [1]. In the executive summary he pointed to cloud computing as a key component of the US Federal Government’s information technology modernization efforts:
“Cloud computing has the potential to play a major part in addressing these inefficiencies and improving government service delivery. The cloud computing model can significantly help agencies grappling with the need to provide highly reliable, innovative services quickly despite resource constraints.”
This “Cloud First” initiative was a complement to the 2010 Federal Data Center Consolidation Initiative (FDCCI), which was created to reverse the historic growth of Federal data centers.
Since then, ViON Corporation has teamed with its US Federal Agency customers to make the promises outlined by Mr. Kundra a reality. In accomplishing this work, they provide industry leading data center professional services which also include networking, Cloud Design and IT infrastructure architecture expertise.  In the following interview, Richard Campbell and Keith Greene, two of their leading Cloud Solution Architects, share their experience and lessons learned with the “Cloud Musing’s” audience.
Kevin:  Rich and Keith, thank you very much for taking the time to participate in this interview.  In  order to get us all on the same page, could you please tell us how your US Federal customers view data center consolidation and cloud computing? Are these initiatives separate activities or are they part of an overall strategy?
Rich:  Our customers really have differing views on the intended goals of these two initiatives.  Most agencies want to leverage congressionally appropriate funds to help them transition to a more economic IT consumption model that can be funded through their operational budgets.  Data center consolidation efforts, however, are typically a reaction to budget cuts and are based on the need to reduce agency capital expenditures.  Some actually do link the efforts and are using consolidation benefits in order to modernizing while simultaneously reaping the rewards that cloud solutions generally provide.
Keith:  I agree with that observation.  Apart from physical relocation of equipment, customers achieved data center consolidation thru virtualization.  Over time, they discovered that the projected savings weren’t being realized due to unanticipated increase costs associated with licensing, support, security, and compliance issues.  This phenomenon is generally referred to as “VM Sprawl”.  While virtualization can be an important component of many deployments, cloud resource enablement, orchestration, and management capabilities typically reduce the overall costs of an organization’s IT environment. Additionally, controls in the cloud stack continually monitor the provisioning and billing process which inevitably leads to more efficient use of the environment.
Kevin:  With that said, what challenges do your customers run into when they decide to adopt cloud computing?
Rich:  The biggest challenges we see are application modernization and the enterprise getting a grasp on the associated dependencies between those apps.
Keith:  IT Managers are faced with a major dilemma when they are asked to cut overall IT costs by going to the cloud.  While the cloud does provide a relatively easy way to consume infrastructure services in a “pay-as-you-go” model, many current applications are not “cloud ready”.  Most agency applications have been written and designed to operate in a client/server architecture.  Many times these deployments used hard coded IP addresses which introduced static application dependencies within a static infrastructure environment.  With cloud computing, the infrastructure is dynamic by design.  Applications must be therefore be written so that they can deal with the fluidity of the virtual cloud environments.  Rewriting legacy application so that they can work on the cloud can cost more than the infrastructure savings.
https://www.vion.com/

Kevin:  So how can ViON help agencies address this issue?
Keith:  Through the experience we’ve gained, Vion can provide advice and assistance on implementing best practices for cloud transition and data migration.  We can also help the agency understand application dependencies which is one of the most critical inputs when selecting appropriate data migration tools.
Kevin:  Do you see any differences civilian and DoD agencies when you help them in this transition?
Rich:  For the most part they are the same but FedRAMP,the Federal Risk Authorization and Management Program, has really helped by enabling a government-wide cloud computing security accreditation process.  Although the DoD requires some additional security and protection methods, the FedRAMP baseline can significantly reduce both time and cost.
Kevin:  What would be your advice to an agency that’s developing their cloud transition strategy?
Rich:  Government agencies really need to better align their IT resources with their individual mission requirements and goals.  Effective cloud computing solutions aren’t designed and built around a specific technology but rather IT services that support an organization’s global efforts. They also need to have a holistic approach in their application modernization efforts.  The ability to leverage an open agile solutions will deliver benefits at every level.  
Keith:  Agencies must also focus on the change management challenges they are sure to face.  Existing rules and policies need to be modified so that they don’t act as an impediment to the mission agility that cloud can provide.  The ability for the cloud administrator to move resources around dynamically is sometimes viewed by change advisory boards as operating out of control, which in turn is counter-productive and limiting.  
Kevin:  Rich, Keith, thank you both for enlightening us with your experience and insights.
Rich and Keith:  Our pleasure.


[1] https://www.whitehouse.gov/sites/default/files/omb/assets/egov_docs/federal-cloud-computing-strategy.pdf

( This content is being syndicated through multiple channels. The opinions expressed are solely those of the author and do not represent the views of GovCloud Network, GovCloud Network Partners or any other corporation or organization.)
 

Cloud Musings

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