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FCW : September 15, 2013
ply the agency with di erent audit and compliance capabilities because it is now managing all aspects of the cloud. e provider should also have people who understand the agency s requirements and the level of scrutiny that a particular agency might be under from its inspector general and Congress, so it can be the agency s trusted advisor. W n n n n n Agencies should care about the provider s track record for reliability and responsibility, and whether or not it s a carrier-class provider of cloud services. Agencies should also care about a provider s record in implementing new applications and systems, among other considerations. e reliability aspect is important because when a provider is a carrier such as CenturyLink, there are certain levels of accountability it must have in order to ensure that it can deliver services to its custom- ers at all times, even during hurricanes or other natural disasters. And that s critical to government customers. A good question to ask a potential cloud provider, in the case of a natural disaster, is what is its track record and uptime? e agency s responsibility is to precisely under- stand its mission and make sure that the provider can help the agency achieve that mission with dedi- cated teams who know how to deliver services that meet or exceed mission requirements. W n n n - n n n at s an interesting question because some agen- cies will begin the process before they really under- stand their requirements and what it will take to migrate their operations. So, the best course, unless the agency truly believes that it has the necessary so- phistication within the agency already to do this itself, is to bring in a cloud service provider to do an initial assessment and recommend a migration plan for what should move to the cloud and what should remain in the agency s physical environment. In fact, even if an agency does think it has the necessary level of sophistication, it would probably still bene t the agency to leverage the expertise of a partner who can help with analysis and consulting, and with that optimization e ort. n n n n n at s really the beauty of cloud. e agency will never be locked in to any speci c con guration of resources because it is no longer managing servers at a customer level. e servers are not sitting in its data centers, so it does not have that overhead any more, and it is not stuck with any one set of resources. e cloud is such a exible model, and it can be adjusted over time to t any need. Don t get me wrong, we de nitely do think about future requirements and what will be needed for the longer term. But I also think the beauty of the cloud is what s available in the short term. ere could be a world event, for example, and the State Department suddenly needs to grow its website tremendously to take that into account. e cloud is uniquely suited to accommodate that kind of immediate demand and to deal with unforeseen increases in tra c. en, once the event is over, the virtual resources that were deployed can easily be taken down without the agency having been forced to procure a lot of new hardware. Using a hosted cloud approach helps an agency quickly downsize its hardware environment after an unforeseen, short-term event so it will once again have just the right resources available to meet the mission requirements of the day. 6 7 8 In depth Q&A with Diana Gowen, Senior Vice President and General Manager, CenturyLink Public Sector For more information about CenturyLink Government s services and offerings, please contact your agency s representative or email us at CTLfederal.firstname.lastname@example.org For more information on CenturyLink, please go to: CenturyLink.com/gov
August 30, 2013
September 30, 2013