Changing Government’s Perception on Cloud Computing

GovLoop’s recent guide, How Cloud is Reinventing Government, explores the how cloud is helping agencies unlock innovation and improve service delivery. The report includes four government case studies, best practices and insights from industry leaders. Below is an excerpt from our guide. Read the full report here.

Cloud computing is offering government new ways to re-imagine how services are delivered to citizens and how business functions can be executed. And with the federal government’s FedRAMP initiative, government agencies now have the chance to adopt state-of-the-art cloud solutions.

“This is a fundamental mind shift in the way services will be fulfilled. Application owners will now have a much greater say in choosing the vehicles that will satisfy business requirements while staying within government business and security constraints,” said Chip Copper, principal engineer, Brocade, in an interview with GovLoop.

As our guide has shown, the cloud provides many different benefits that help drive innovation in government. “The cloud brings technologies that change the way IT providers do business. These technologies are now available for use by in-house IT providers. The speed, quality, and cost of services are bringing users to the cloud,” said Copper. “As these technologies find their way into government data centers, those data centers will become more competitive and capable, and in several years, we may even see the current exodus out of the data center reversing itself.”

Changing the government mindset will not be simple; for decades, government has built infrastructures that do not easily communicate with one other. But with the cloud, government now has an opportunity to build safe, scalable, and secure cloud solutions to improve government efficiency. Using cloud technology, government agencies can deploy solutions on-demand, and receive access to infrastructures, without having to buy expensive set-ups.

So what can government do to start changing its mindset around the cloud? Copper advised just being open to the idea of trying the cloud as a new service delivery model.

“Too many IT professionals have determined that the cloud is inappropriate for government business based on either a lack of information or on outdated assumptions,” Copper explained. “The cloud service providers want government business, and have hardened and refined their services to be suitable for government use. These same providers have opened themselves up to the government for examination, and to the surprise of many government IT professionals, they have passed the test.”

Government agencies are looking for vendors and professionals who can help them quickly and efficiently make the move to the cloud. That’s where Brocade can help.

“Moving to the cloud should be evolutionary, not revolutionary. By complementing existing infrastructure with software defined networking-based bridges, a controlled, efficient, and secure transition to the cloud can take place,” said Copper.

To prepare the way for Software-Defined Networking (SDN), Ethernet fabrics based on Brocade VCS Fabric technology help organizations create efficient data center networks that just work. Brocade fabrics provide unmatched automation, efficiency, and VM awareness compared to traditional network architectures and competitive fabric offerings.

“Brocade knows how to help organizations prepare for the cloud, and has been doing it for commercial and some government customers for a very long time,” said Copper. “With information as important as that which the government has, it is critical to partner with a networking company that has this type of experience. This is not a place for experimentation, and Brocade has some of the best engineers in the world to bring world-class solutions to government agencies.”

Brocade is actively engaged with partners on open industry initiatives, such as OpenDaylight and OpenStack, advancing their capabilities and providing seamless interoperability between platform layers. Additionally, Brocade is aggressively partnering with several vendor ecosystems that are delivering solutions that build upon various combinations of these platform capabilities. For example, the Network Functions Virtualization (NFV) Connection Services components of the Brocade Vyatta Platform are anchored through the Layer 3-7 capabilities of the Brocade Vyatta vRouter and Brocade vADX products, which are available today and deployed worldwide.

It’s simple: the cloud has changed the way government does business and delivers services to citizens. You can help change the perception of the cloud at your agency, and use it as a tool to drive innovation.

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Achieving agency missions becomes harder and more complex every minute. But with less money in the budget, many agencies are stuck between the need to deliver new services and the cost of supporting old infrastructure. To break the cycle of dependence on proprietary systems and endless service contracts, agencies need simpler, widely compatible network infrastructure that empowers IT and accelerates mission performance.

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