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FCW : May 30, 2015
In the early days of cloud computing, agencies feared the cloud. At the time, there were good reasons. Cloud security was not a given, and the skillset needed to handle such technology simply wasn’t there. Today, however, as agencies and organizations adopt cloud strategies, it is becoming clear that so much—from compute to applications to backup and recovery—is not only possible in the cloud but in many cases preferable, especially as regulation and technology catches up to needs. Last year in particular was a good year for cloud. As of June 2014, agencies can only use cloud services that have been certifed under FedRAMP so that any cloud service they choose has been certifed to meet all security measures put forth in the Federal Information Security Management Act (FISMA). This is a boon for IT, says Jack Nichols, the Federal Cloud Client Executive for CDW-G. “In addition, the DISA SRG or Security Requirements Guide for cloud services was released in the middle of January so now agencies have a defnitive guide for cloud services.” This means agencies can use cloud for any number of applications and services with the confdence that no matter what they choose it will meet the agency’s business and technology needs. Still, with so many options, fguring out which technology and where it lives—in the public, private or hybrid cloud—isn’t always easy. That’s where CDW-G comes in, says Nichols. The company can help agencies fgure out the way forward. “We help them try to determine what in their IT services catalog can or should be best delivered from a cloud provider, whether it’s public or private. Then we help them determine what’s the best cloud,” he explains. “If it is best suited for cloud as the IT delivery mechanism, then which is the best method or which is the best cloud provider? Is it public or private? If it’s public, then which is the best public cloud provider?” CDW-G has relationships with practically every IT manufacturer so the organization can help agencies scope their requirements and then custom confgure and create the products and services that are needed. “We can also bring the capability to audit those and audit them in accordance with either the DISA security requirements guide or the FedRAMP baseline,” he says. For some customers, backup and recovery will be an important addition to their cloud strategy. One option, says Nichols, is software, systems and service company NetApp’s SteelStore appliance. SteelStore, a backup and archive solution, sends data to the cloud, boosting recovery time, cutting costs and reducing risks. The solution, which offers end-to- end security at rest and at fight using FIPS 140-2 certifed encryption, uses inline deduplication and compression, reducing storage costs by up to 90 percent. The SteelStore option also gives agencies more options since the appliance integrates with more than 90 percent of all cloud providers, says Nichols. “NetApp is also famous for ease-of-use,” he says. In the end, says Nichols, working with CDW-G is a matter of comfort and abilities. “Working with cloud services in general can still be uneasy for folks,” he says. “The challenges are not just technology-driven but culturally-driven. It takes patience and understanding on both sides. At the end of the day, CDW-G makes the process easier, more effcient and cost-effective.” CDW-G Delivers Cloud Skills, Capabilities to Agencies GameChanger GAME CHANGING TECHNOLOGY TO MEET AGENCY MISSIONS SPONSORED CONTENT HYBRID CLOUD FOR MORE INFORMATION ON FEDERAL CLOUD SOLUTIONS PLEASE VISIT CDWG.COM.
May 15, 2015
June 15, 2015