The government wants out of the data center business.
Ok, not entirely. But at the “Government in the Cloud Era” session at the Government Innovation Forum, government leaders made it clear they are on a journey of cloud technology adoption and are not looking back.
At the Nov. 14th forum, which was produced by FedScoop and sponsored by Juniper Networks, government officials and industry leaders were brought together to discuss the latest in enterprise innovation and security from the public and private sectors, including cloud technologies. The forum also featured topics on innovation and disruption in government, building an open, agile and interoperable enterprise to fit any mission and next generation automation and virtualization solutions to drive security and efficiency. Attendees discussed the path forward and lessons learned on their migration to the cloud.
“CIO, Maria Roat, and I basically have this strategy: if it’s not nailed down, it’s going to the cloud. If it’s nailed down, we’re going to pry it loose and then it’s going to the cloud,” Guy Cavallo, deputy CIO of the Small Business Administration (SBA), said to laughter in the audience. “We set out to get out of the data center business.”
Cavallo said the government needs to maximize the capabilities that major vendors are providing, such as improved security and on-premise WAN, to reap the promises of cloud computing.
During the spirited panel discussion, Cavallo joined panelists Neal Andrew, deputy of the Systems Development Division within the Department of Homeland Security’s Office of IT; Skip Jentsch, an IT specialist with the General Services Administration (GSA) and moderator; and Bikash Koley, EVP and CTO at Juniper Networks. Together, they discussed the path forward for federal IT teams in this period of widespread cloud migration across the government. In addition to cloud adoption, they discussed operating in a multicloud environment and mitigating security gaps.
The panel encouraged federal agencies to embrace the Federal Risk and Authorization Management Program (FedRAMP), a government program that standardizes security assessment, authorization and continuous monitoring for cloud products and services. “Despite its flaws, it’s a great help,” explained Jentsch. The program complies with the Federal Information Security Management Act (FISMA) of 2002 and supports the government’s “Cloud First” initiative that enables federal agencies to use cloud service providers.
Andrew discussed how the physical and logical separation of IT assets is changing the government landscape for IT teams and how the hybrid IT environment is requiring a new set of tools and controls for migration. “There is a large contingency of system integrators running the environment for you,” Andrew said, emphasizing that it’s not all government.
While panelists touted the promise of cloud migration, some also warned of the continued need to address ongoing challenges, particularly in relation to security. When migrating to the cloud, Jentsch said, “Security is paramount.”
“The challenge is still security, and in some cases, acquisition problems,” Jentsch added.
Cavallo agreed, encouraging government security teams to get involved in every aspect of the security paradigm – from physical to virtual – and “not just at the end of the project.”
As the cloud technology dialogue continues, Juniper Networks will stay informed of government concerns and sticking points. Issues like cloud migration, security, network modernization and other topics that were the focal point of the “Government in the Cloud Era” discussion will continue to evolve and impact our customers. In time, they will no doubt be joined by new innovations that will present both challenges and opportunities. Staying on top of these issues will allow us to continue to better serve government agencies by helping them navigate the path ahead and guide them toward the adoption of modern, flexible and secure network architectures.
More interviews from Juniper’s Government Innovation Forum can be found here. We hope to see you at next year’s event.
Carriers and enterprises know that success today is largely dependent upon giving customers and business units infrastructure choices that allow them to continuously move faster, all the time. New and improved applications and network services must be developed, packaged, and deployed across different environments—public, private, proprietary, open. To get there, they need a reliable and scalable infrastructure with security that is consistent across all environments, reducing complexity and risk while supporting growth opportunities.
Making this a reality requires giving developers a new set of abstractions that allow them to specify the infrastructure performance requirements that these services will demand in order for them to deliver the business value that customers expect. At the same time, operators of the infrastructure need to automate the monitoring and remedial actions necessary to keep those applications performing as expected.
This, in a nutshell, is what Intent-Driven Cloud is all about.
Few who have watched the film of the same name will forget the compelling scene towards the end where the group of captured slaves are asked to identify Spartacus from amongst them and one by one they memorably stand to each proclaim ’I’m Spartacus.’
Bear with me as I somewhat tenuously (for now) draw a parallel between that scene and the claims and cries of IT and Networking vendors as they all clamour to shout ‘I’m Open’
It seems as though ever since I was a young lad, vendors in the IT community have positioned themselves as “open”. It could be argued of course that no one would ever claim they are closed and proprietary so the word open became almost the default or ‘safe harbour’ position.
Recognising these unique challenges facing the industry, Juniper and BT have joined forces to commission a white paper from Ovum that looks in to these issues and how CIOs should respond to the challenges. The white paper looks at how financial institutions can address the challenge of Creating the Network of the Future for the Digital Financial Institution.
The key messages in the paper revolve around three themes:
Institutions needs to embrace new SDN technologies that will enable them to orchestrate the network and increase automation
There will be an increasing move to the cloud, with a hybrid of both public and private cloud becoming more important
Open technologies will be advantageous to enable change as technology evolves
Any non-US citizen who’s visited the US will have experienced the “pleasure” of US immigration and the long wait to get your passport stamped. When I arrived at JFK airport this week I was happy to get access to the new Automated Passport Control machines that check your passport, fingerprints and take your picture. However, this delight was soon dealt a crushing blow. After leaving the machine, I realised that there was then a manual process to check that I looked like my passport picture and to get my passport stamped. Unfortunately, there was 35 minute wait for this final manual check.
My experience had illustrated how automation can be useless, and even a negative impact, unless 100% of the process is automated.
Automating your network (aka ‘doing more, with less…’)
I’m often asked about ‘Digital Transformation’ and what it means. So while there are many ways to define it, there is one universal truth - that many organisations operating in the digital economy now have to react to change and innovate faster than ever before.
Equally, during these conversations, I’m struck by the extent to which the online economy continues to exert pressure across every aspect of the business, forcing change on almost every level. And fuelling this change, in an always connected/always available world, is sky-high customer expectation, meaning that today’s commercial imperative is not only focused on keeping up with market forces, but finding ways to stay ahead of them.
So when looking across this new economic landscape and the many opportunities it presents, it’s clear the entire organisation has to evolve with it. Businesses need to act and adapt to rapidly changing market conditions and the challenges they bring. And whether it’s an enterprise or SMB, a public sector organisation or service provider, transforming into a fast-moving digital business is a journey many organisations have already begun, while many have yet to start.