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FCW : September 15, 2013
W n n n n n n , n n When an agency hires an outside provider to manage its cloud services, the people managing the cloud have expertise they ve built from doing what they do every day, and they ve generally seen many more things than any single agency team could have on its own. ere are inherent e ciencies that come from a provider s pro ciency in how the cloud is managed based on industry best practices, and a predictability in how well the cloud will perform from the perspective of a service level agreement (SLA). A provider also has the design expertise to make sure that the right application is rid- ing on the right virtual machine. at expertise also includes knowing what kind of con gurations are more likely to be e ective and ef- cient for any given situation. e agency can instantly scale such things as computer resources, storage and bandwidth either up or down depending on mission requirements. W n n n , n By outsourcing that responsibility, agencies will imme- diately save on the upfront costs of hiring the people needed to manage a cloud environment. Also, since a hosted cloud is a "pay-as-you-go" model where the agency only uses the cloud resources it needs when it needs them, it provides for signi cant cost e cien- cies. And, in a typical managed cloud, the agency will share the technology resources with more users across multiple entities than it would by going it alone, so it will also gain cost bene ts from that. A particular challenge government agencies face comes from the fact that they often rely on the Gen- eral Services Administration to manage facilities for them, and such things as data center power costs are buried in the overall service fees they pay. So that s also a hard cost savings they ll see from moving to a managed cloud. But that savings can be hard for an agency to quantify because the power budget is controlled elsewhere, so we think that s an area where we can help them nd savings and highlight or show them their actual savings. n n n n n n n Agencies can rely 100 percent on them. What the agency has to do is gure out what it needs now and what it wants in the future, and then have its cloud provider sign up to appropriate SLAs. en it s up to the provider to perform, and usually that will be at a far higher performance level than the agency can attain itself. CenturyLink is typically in the 99.999 percent uptime range, for example. And the agency will get the proof it needs to assure the agency of that. We also provide all the dashboards and portal resources agencies may need or desire in order to obtain more speci c reporting and analytics so they can conduct more de- tailed auditing of our performance against their SLAs. W n n , n ere are many reasons. ere might be a shared envi- ronment where the government agency and an extranet community of business entities or other collaboration partners need to interoperate, with each side owning and managing various assets. It could also be driven by various data needs. e agency might want to keep such things as nancial data or personally indenti able in- formation (PII) in a private cloud, for example, because that s governed by FISMA or HIPAA requirements. At the same time, it also might need to link itself with a public-facing website that sits in the public cloud. H n n ' n n n is goes back to making sure that the SLAs give the agency access to data on both the current and historic performance of the hosted cloud. e agency will want to be able to measure and monitor those things that en- able the agency to validate the performance of the cloud environment against the speci c audit measures needed to make sure it is meeting FISMA high, moderate or low requirements, for example. erefore the agency has to make sure that the cloud provider has the ability to enable and sup- 1 2 3 4 5 Sponsored Content managed cloud services the PODIUM
August 30, 2013
September 30, 2013