Data transfer in the cloud

Cloud compute services: Where benefits add up

Instead of shuttering data centers and moving operations to the cloud. "federal agencies should focus on compute,"   said David Naumann, senior advisor, data center practitioner, in the GSA's Office of Government-wide Policy's Data Center Optimization Initiative (DCOI).

Naumann, who helped craft the DCOI and the Cloud Smart policies, said the notion of simply closing data centers for the sake of consolidation doesn't make any sense for transforming agencies' operations.

Cloud, in all of its forms, is also a big part of that transformation, he said in remarks at a Nov. 12 Red Hat federal technology summit. Agencies have to take a broader view.

"What I've seen" in working with executive branch and other agencies "is that everyone is at different phases" of cloud adoption and data center optimization, Naumann said. "The key to this is to just start doing it. You're always going to be in a chicken and egg scenario, but what we try to get people to do is focus on the compute to reduce costs, or business resiliency or service delivery."

Susie Adams, federal CTO at Microsoft, said agencies are almost all operating in hybrid public and private cloud environments, as they find moving to the cloud completely is very difficult.

"We see a hybrid world for all agencies," said Adams. "I don't think in my lifetime we'll move away from hybrid." All federal agencies are currently operating in a hybrid cloud world, she said, because they have legacy data that needs to be supported and don't have the budgets to move everything to the cloud.

Adams said that's the case even for commercial firms. "Microsoft is hybrid," she said, because it has had to support some legacy applications even after it undertook an applications rationalization process 10 years ago.

This article was first posted to FCW, a sibling site to GCN.

About the Author

Mark Rockwell is a senior staff writer at FCW, whose beat focuses on acquisition, the Department of Homeland Security and the Department of Energy.

Before joining FCW, Rockwell was Washington correspondent for Government Security News, where he covered all aspects of homeland security from IT to detection dogs and border security. Over the last 25 years in Washington as a reporter, editor and correspondent, he has covered an increasingly wide array of high-tech issues for publications like Communications Week, Internet Week, Fiber Optics News, magazine and Wireless Week.

Rockwell received a Jesse H. Neal Award for his work covering telecommunications issues, and is a graduate of James Madison University.

Click here for previous articles by Rockwell. Contact him at [email protected] or follow him on Twitter at @MRockwell4.

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