How Feds Can Best Deploy and Manage Hybrid IT

Presented by FedTech FedTech's logo

As agencies move data to the cloud while maintaining on-premises data centers, they can use automation and cloud management tools to optimize their IT.

Federal agencies are being aggressively pushed, and in some cases are aggressively pushing themselves, to migrate to the cloud — and with good reason. The cloud is no longer new, and brings scalability and elasticity to agencies’ computing, storage and networking needs.

Yet not all applications and workloads, especially for sensitive data, can or should be moved to commercial clouds. Increasingly, agencies are adopting hybrid IT models that mix public cloud usage with a continued focus on on-premises data centers, which are being consolidated, modernized and optimized.

In many respects, agencies are simply catching up to wider trends in the private sector. According to CDW’s Modern IT Infrastructure Insight Report, many organizations are rethinking their approaches to IT infrastructure.

Many are going through their apps and carefully determining which ones to shift to public clouds, which to host in private clouds and which to keep in traditional data centers.

While hybrid IT environments are increasing in popularity in some sectors, others, like government, are relative laggards. According to IDG Research survey data cited in the report, nearly half (49 percent) of organizations report that their IT environments are hybrid. Another 39 percent identify with the concept of hybrid IT to “some extent.” However, government agencies are among the least-likely sectors to embrace hybrid IT (20 percent), due to security concerns and the prevalence of legacy systems, according to the report.

Despite that, numerous agencies are successfully navigating the world of hybrid IT. They judiciously decide where to host apps and data, adopt hybrid cloud models and consolidate and optimize data centers. Once they start using hybrid IT models, agencies should look to optimize their environments with automation and management tools.

DOJ, SSA Adopt Hybrid IT Environments

Some of the Justice Department’s components have moved mission-critical apps to government-only cloud providers that meet stringent security and availability requirements, FedTech previously reported. Other apps have been kept on-premises because of the sensitive nature of the data.

“There’s no one-size-fits-all,” David Rubin, the department’s director for service engineering, told FedTech. “We are continually evolving and assessing the best way to house data. Where it makes sense, we will move to the cloud.”

Like many agencies, DOJ has been striving to consolidate and optimize its data center footprint under the Data Center Optimization Initiative.

Meanwhile, under the leadership of CIO Rajive Mathur, the Social Security Administration has consolidated its data centers down to two and has embraced a hybrid cloud approach.

Some of SSA’s apps are in the public cloud, but Mathur told FedTech that the agency is also building a private, on-premises cloud, and will start using Microsoft Azure and Office 365 by the end of September.

“The main driver for deciding which cloud an application fits in will be the proximity to the data,” Mathur told FedTech. “Many of our applications will continue to interface with legacy applications and data that may not tolerate the added latency of connecting to an off-premises cloud.”

How Feds Can Optimize the Hybrid IT Approach

Once agencies have decided they want to adopt a hybrid IT model, how can they best navigate the move?

Zeus Kerravala, the founder and principal analyst for ZK Research, writing in FedTech, offers agencies some clear best practices to follow:

  • Agency IT teams should embrace automation as a key management tool, he says. “Start by automating highly repetitive tasks that weigh down IT staff, such as configuring virtual local area networks and access control lists or creating scripts, and then branch out to more advanced use cases, such as setting policies,” Kerravala says.
     
  • Agencies should extend the management tools they use in their data centers to their cloud environments. “Today, nearly all vendors that work in the IT management space, including network, virtualization and container monitoring, have solutions that operate in public cloud services (among them, NetScout and Cisco Systems),” according to Kerravala. “You can’t manage what you can’t see, as the saying goes, so make sure you can see everywhere.”
     
  • Finally, agencies should “implement remote management tools where a centralized team can make changes, such as upgrading bandwidth anytime from anywhere,” Kerravala says. That way, IT teams can manage operations at remote data centers. Another option is to use “an orchestration platform where changes can be made in a central location and then pushed out to every location at once.”

>>Download CDW's Modern IT Infrastructure Insight Report to learn more about how organizations are using and benefitting from a hybrid IT approach.

This content is made possible by FedTech. The editorial staff of Nextgov was not involved in its preparation.

X
This website uses cookies to enhance user experience and to analyze performance and traffic on our website. We also share information about your use of our site with our social media, advertising and analytics partners. Learn More / Do Not Sell My Personal Information
Accept Cookies
X
Cookie Preferences Cookie List

Do Not Sell My Personal Information

When you visit our website, we store cookies on your browser to collect information. The information collected might relate to you, your preferences or your device, and is mostly used to make the site work as you expect it to and to provide a more personalized web experience. However, you can choose not to allow certain types of cookies, which may impact your experience of the site and the services we are able to offer. Click on the different category headings to find out more and change our default settings according to your preference. You cannot opt-out of our First Party Strictly Necessary Cookies as they are deployed in order to ensure the proper functioning of our website (such as prompting the cookie banner and remembering your settings, to log into your account, to redirect you when you log out, etc.). For more information about the First and Third Party Cookies used please follow this link.

Allow All Cookies

Manage Consent Preferences

Strictly Necessary Cookies - Always Active

We do not allow you to opt-out of our certain cookies, as they are necessary to ensure the proper functioning of our website (such as prompting our cookie banner and remembering your privacy choices) and/or to monitor site performance. These cookies are not used in a way that constitutes a “sale” of your data under the CCPA. You can set your browser to block or alert you about these cookies, but some parts of the site will not work as intended if you do so. You can usually find these settings in the Options or Preferences menu of your browser. Visit www.allaboutcookies.org to learn more.

Sale of Personal Data, Targeting & Social Media Cookies

Under the California Consumer Privacy Act, you have the right to opt-out of the sale of your personal information to third parties. These cookies collect information for analytics and to personalize your experience with targeted ads. You may exercise your right to opt out of the sale of personal information by using this toggle switch. If you opt out we will not be able to offer you personalised ads and will not hand over your personal information to any third parties. Additionally, you may contact our legal department for further clarification about your rights as a California consumer by using this Exercise My Rights link

If you have enabled privacy controls on your browser (such as a plugin), we have to take that as a valid request to opt-out. Therefore we would not be able to track your activity through the web. This may affect our ability to personalize ads according to your preferences.

Targeting cookies may be set through our site by our advertising partners. They may be used by those companies to build a profile of your interests and show you relevant adverts on other sites. They do not store directly personal information, but are based on uniquely identifying your browser and internet device. If you do not allow these cookies, you will experience less targeted advertising.

Social media cookies are set by a range of social media services that we have added to the site to enable you to share our content with your friends and networks. They are capable of tracking your browser across other sites and building up a profile of your interests. This may impact the content and messages you see on other websites you visit. If you do not allow these cookies you may not be able to use or see these sharing tools.

If you want to opt out of all of our lead reports and lists, please submit a privacy request at our Do Not Sell page.

Save Settings
Cookie Preferences Cookie List

Cookie List

A cookie is a small piece of data (text file) that a website – when visited by a user – asks your browser to store on your device in order to remember information about you, such as your language preference or login information. Those cookies are set by us and called first-party cookies. We also use third-party cookies – which are cookies from a domain different than the domain of the website you are visiting – for our advertising and marketing efforts. More specifically, we use cookies and other tracking technologies for the following purposes:

Strictly Necessary Cookies

We do not allow you to opt-out of our certain cookies, as they are necessary to ensure the proper functioning of our website (such as prompting our cookie banner and remembering your privacy choices) and/or to monitor site performance. These cookies are not used in a way that constitutes a “sale” of your data under the CCPA. You can set your browser to block or alert you about these cookies, but some parts of the site will not work as intended if you do so. You can usually find these settings in the Options or Preferences menu of your browser. Visit www.allaboutcookies.org to learn more.

Functional Cookies

We do not allow you to opt-out of our certain cookies, as they are necessary to ensure the proper functioning of our website (such as prompting our cookie banner and remembering your privacy choices) and/or to monitor site performance. These cookies are not used in a way that constitutes a “sale” of your data under the CCPA. You can set your browser to block or alert you about these cookies, but some parts of the site will not work as intended if you do so. You can usually find these settings in the Options or Preferences menu of your browser. Visit www.allaboutcookies.org to learn more.

Performance Cookies

We do not allow you to opt-out of our certain cookies, as they are necessary to ensure the proper functioning of our website (such as prompting our cookie banner and remembering your privacy choices) and/or to monitor site performance. These cookies are not used in a way that constitutes a “sale” of your data under the CCPA. You can set your browser to block or alert you about these cookies, but some parts of the site will not work as intended if you do so. You can usually find these settings in the Options or Preferences menu of your browser. Visit www.allaboutcookies.org to learn more.

Sale of Personal Data

We also use cookies to personalize your experience on our websites, including by determining the most relevant content and advertisements to show you, and to monitor site traffic and performance, so that we may improve our websites and your experience. You may opt out of our use of such cookies (and the associated “sale” of your Personal Information) by using this toggle switch. You will still see some advertising, regardless of your selection. Because we do not track you across different devices, browsers and GEMG properties, your selection will take effect only on this browser, this device and this website.

Social Media Cookies

We also use cookies to personalize your experience on our websites, including by determining the most relevant content and advertisements to show you, and to monitor site traffic and performance, so that we may improve our websites and your experience. You may opt out of our use of such cookies (and the associated “sale” of your Personal Information) by using this toggle switch. You will still see some advertising, regardless of your selection. Because we do not track you across different devices, browsers and GEMG properties, your selection will take effect only on this browser, this device and this website.

Targeting Cookies

We also use cookies to personalize your experience on our websites, including by determining the most relevant content and advertisements to show you, and to monitor site traffic and performance, so that we may improve our websites and your experience. You may opt out of our use of such cookies (and the associated “sale” of your Personal Information) by using this toggle switch. You will still see some advertising, regardless of your selection. Because we do not track you across different devices, browsers and GEMG properties, your selection will take effect only on this browser, this device and this website.