Data transfer in the cloud

Cloud broker platform lets agencies mix, match their services

General Dynamics will use cloud brokerage technology from Gravitant Inc. to put together hybrid cloud computing service offerings for government agencies, the companies announced.

Gravitant is an Austin, Texas-based company whose cloudMatrix platform enables organizations to test and design public and private cloud service configurations rather than resorting to a one-size-fits-all approach.

The system lets agencies tap multiple providers for services that can scale more closely to the often shifting requirements agencies must juggle.

Depending on their mission, agencies might have a range of data security requirements that call for a mix of private and public cloud services. The cloudMatrix platform lets agencies compare features from multiple providers against cost, service-level agreements and other procurement factors.

The system has been used in different ways in government.

The Texas Department of Information Resources recently put together its own portal  using the Gravitant platform through which several Texas state agencies could customize their cloud services.

In another case, the technology is being pitched as a way to reconcile “shadow IT,” resources or services that might have been contracted years earlier without the approval of current IT managers. The feature lets CIOs identify cloud services used by their employees, as well as aggregate, link and govern them on an ongoing basis. 

NJVC's Cloudcuity management portal also includes tools that can be used to determine if application workloads are ready for the cloud, depending on the number of users in the enterprise and what type of technology they are using.

In announcing the deal, GDIT noted the rising complexity of cloud service requirements and the lack of standard tools to manage the cloud supply chain. The company’s new brokerage offerings would also be “optimized for state and local governments and federal agencies,” the firm said.

The idea of using cloud brokerage services seems to be catching on in government. In addition to state agencies, the General Services Administration last fall issued request for information on the concept.

About the Author

Paul McCloskey is editor-in-chief of GCN. Follow him on Twitter: @Paul_GCN.

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