Cloud migration made easy
- By Sara Friedman
- Aug 15, 2018
Office of Management and Budget Digital Services Expert Bill Hunt knows a thing or two about online services, having started as a developer some two decades ago. So as agencies look to move more of their applications and workload to the cloud, has some advice for making the most of those migrations.
First off, automation can make the move to the cloud easier, Hunt told the audience at an Aug. 15 FCW Event. But it's important to remember, he said, that automation doesn't eliminate complexity -- it simply moves the complexity to different areas.
“Cloud is an automation system itself,” he said. “We are talking about taking a server, putting in a data center, getting it running and putting your application on it. At the end of the day, cloud is the automation of all of these concepts at varying levels. … All of this automation is useful and helpful and makes it easier to shift to cloud overall.”
Virtualization and containerization also will make it easier for agencies to move legacy applications into the cloud, Hunt added. Both technologies create practical paths to hybrid or multicloud environments.
Second, agencies should measuring their needs before moving to a cloud environment. This involves looking at what applications are actually doing (to eliminate redundancies) and talking to system owners who manage the applications on a day-to-day basis (to understand the real-world swings in usage-loads).
“There are a lot of opportunities for savings using the dynamic nature of the cloud, the ability to spin up resources easily and spin them back down,” Hunt said. “This is where your savings are coming from.”
Agency IT managers should also pay attention to technology trends in the private sector. With new services released every week, Hunt said agencies must be forward looking even if they can’t obtain new applications quickly.
Lastly, agencies must invest in people with skills and knowledge in the government systems rather than outsourcing the work.
“At the end of the day, if you can’t solve the problem and don’t understand the problem, then you don’t know what you are buying, and you won’t buy the right thing,” Hunt said. “If your acquisitions staff understands these technologies, they can leap ahead of the game a bit and actually make sure the vendors are delivering the right solutions to the right office.”
While Hunt offered his personal view about cloud success, he said all of these strategies will incorporated into OMB’s upcoming Cloud Smart strategy, which is expected to be released within the next month, he said.
Sara Friedman is a reporter/producer for GCN, covering cloud, cybersecurity and a wide range of other public-sector IT topics.
Before joining GCN, Friedman was a reporter for Gambling Compliance, where she covered state issues related to casinos, lotteries and fantasy sports. She has also written for Communications Daily and Washington Internet Daily on state telecom and cloud computing. Friedman is a graduate of Ithaca College, where she studied journalism, politics and international communications.
Friedman can be contacted at firstname.lastname@example.org or follow her on Twitter @SaraEFriedman.
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