fbpx Skip to content

How Resilient are FedRAMP Clouds Anyway?

2018 AT&T Business Summit: Security “in” and “of” the Cloud

By G C Network | November 10, 2018

While public cloud is undoubtedly an outsized piece of the conversation, news headlines of the latest data breach can make this move a very frightening proposition. The question of how to balance the downside of cloud computing risks with the upside of promising cost savings is, therefore, top of mind.  The dilemma becomes even more…

My Brush with Royalty: Queen Latifah

By G C Network | November 9, 2018

Queen Latifah! Hip Hop Icon. Movie Star. Television Star. Fashion Model. Songwriter. Producer. Entrepreneurial Genius!? YES! Dana Elaine Owens, her given name, is co-owner of Flavor Unit Entertainment, a firm that includes television and film production units, a record label and an artist management company. She has been managing herself since age 21 and within 2 years…

What’s New in Puppet 5?

By G C Network | November 9, 2018

Puppet 5 is released and comes with several exciting enhancements and features that promise to make configuration management much more streamlined. This article will take a comprehensive look at these new features and enhancements. Puppet 5 was released in 2017, and according to Eric Sorensen, director of product management at Puppet, the goal was to…

5 Reasons Why Ansible is the Best CM Tool Out There?

By G C Network | November 9, 2018

Amidst volatile markets, dynamic technology shifts, and ever-increasing customer demands, it is imperative for IT organizations to develop flexible, scalable and high-quality applications that exceed expectations and enhance productivity. A software application has numerous moving parts, which, if not effectively maintained, will definitely affect the final quality and end user experience. This is where configuration…

Machine learning APIs for Google Cloud Platform

By G C Network | November 9, 2018

Google Cloud Platform (GCP) is considered to be one of the Big 3 cloud platforms among Microsoft Azure and AWS. GCP is widely used cloud solutions supporting AI capabilities to design and develop smart models to turn your data into insights at a cheap, affordable cost. (The following excerpt is taken from the book ‘Cloud Analytics with…

What Is The Most Important Part of Architecture?

By G C Network | November 9, 2018

I always find it interesting to hear what people view architecture as. A lot of people think it’s just about the design aspect, where you get to put pen to paper and create a solution. Even more people think that it’s just about putting together different technical components in a server room. And these people…

Cloud migration best practice Part 4: Executing the migration

By G C Network | September 16, 2018

This series has stepped through cloud migration best practices. After providing an overview, we discussed: Classifying business-critical data. Updating organizational IT governance policies. Application screening and cloud workload selection. How to select the most appropriate target deployment environment. With all of that completed, it’s now time to select the right cloud service provider (CSP) and finally…

Cloud Migration Best Practice Part 3: Application Portfolio Analysis

By G C Network | September 16, 2018

In part three of this series on cloud migration best practice, I will focus on migrating the application itself. If you haven’t had the opportunity to read our recommendations from part two, “Classifying Your Data,” check it out — those activities are crucial to the decisions addressed in this installment. While many organizations are aggressively moving…

Why Use Immutable Storage?

By G C Network | September 11, 2018

Data has become a global currency, and its value has nowhere to go but up.  According to The Economist online, the world’s most valuable resource is no longer oil, but data. The volume and velocity of data creation are astounding, and some estimates say that something like a self-driving car can generate 100 gigabytes per…

CLOUD ACT: What Does That Mean for Your Cloud Storage

By G C Network | August 31, 2018

When Congress names a law after you, it’s getting serious.  That is where we are now with cloud computing.  The Clarifying Lawful Overseas Use of Data Act or CLOUD Act (H.R. 4943) is a United States federal law that amends the Stored Communications Act (SCA) of 1986.  This amendment allows federal law enforcement to compel U.S.-based technology companies…


By Jodi Kohut
For the uninitiated, FedRAMP is the Federal Risk Authorizationand Management Program, a government-wide program that provides a standardized approach to security assessment, authorization, and continuous monitoring for cloud products and services. Implemented to support the Administration’s “Cloud First” policy, some have pointed to FedRAMP as a great model for commercial industry’s adoption of cloud as well. But when it comes to disaster recovery in the cloud, is that necessarily the case?
One of the questions I’ve been asked from the beginning of the Federal Cloud First initiative, is, “If my data is in   The answer is not as clear-cut as the question.  In theory, most cloud services offer extremely resilient platforms and a modicum of disaster recovery is built in. In fact, those cloud service provider (CSP) systems that have received an ATO through the FedRAMP program do have fairly sophisticated contingency plans in place, with Recovery Time Objectives (RTO) and Recovery Point Objectives (RPO) clearly articulated- and plenty of alternate processing sites, policies, and procedures in place in the event of a contingency.  So, it’s in there right?

Not so fast- it depends on what services you are acquiring and how you are deploying and managing them.  The baseline of this discussion is however rooted in availability and uptime. 

the cloud, isn’t my disaster recovery built in? Isn’t that the benefit of being in the cloud?”

A CSP may be able to provide a more resilient infrastructure than an Agency can build internally.  For example, recent research from the International Working Group on Cloud Computing Resiliency (IWGCR) reported 2013 total downtime hours from major providers as follows:

  • Amazon – 28.23 hours
  • Rackspace – 97.98 hours
  • Verizon – 136 hours

The availability percentages of these providers range from 98.44-99.68%.  Even though the IWGCR believes this data may under report outages, the data may also overstate service downtime.  Let me explain.
The cloud providers mentioned here provide SLA’s for individual services.  Often these are subject to separate SLA’s rather than aggregated ones.   In practice, CSPs orchestrate these services in such a way that a customer can expect 100% availability at a fraction of a cost of building the same solution internally. Considering that only 8% of federal government agencies report confidence in being able to recover 100% of the data required by their governing SLA’s, FedRAMP authorized clouds seem to be perfect for addressing disaster recovery. These same agencies also report an inability to test their disaster recovery plans as often or as thoroughly as they would like. In addition, from an alternative processing site standpoint, Cloud Service Providers offer more, geographically distributed sites for a fraction of the cost of building equivalent solutions internally.  And contrary to the emotions of some, moving disaster recovery to the cloud does not mean relinquishing control of the process or data.  FedRAMP mandatory contractual clauses give the government absolute control of all of its data, all of the time.
So with this in mind, “Is FedRAMP a good model?” Compared to the current state of government IT affairs, the answer is an unequivocal YES! Budget cuts, rapidly increasing IT requirements and the rising threat of cyber-attack are also great arguments for rapid adoption of commercially available, FedRAMP authorized cloud baseddisaster response services. Commercial companies operating in government-regulated industries should leverage this process as well by making FedRAMP provisional approval a minimum requirement for their own cloud service providers.   The list of companies currently in process to receive provisional authorization status for FedRAMP shows industry commitment to security of systems “In the cloud”.   

(This post was written as part of the Dell Insight Partners program, which provides news and analysis about the evolving world of tech. To learn more about tech news and analysis visit TechPageOne. Dell sponsored this article, but the opinions are our own and don’t necessarily represent Dell’s positions or strategies.)

Bookmark and Share

Cloud Musings

( Thank you. If you enjoyed this article, get free updates by email or RSS – © Copyright Kevin L. Jackson 2012)

Follow me at https://Twitter.com/Kevin_Jackson
Posted in

G C Network

Leave a Comment





Crate

Purchase Crate

Shipping and discount codes are added at checkout.

Checkout
Scroll To Top