With federal government agencies obligated to choose cloud-based solutions to contain costs and improve work flow efficiency and resource utilization, CIOs are asking which cloud service will best meet their agency’s needs. If decisions were driven by cost alone, then the choice would be easy. However, for federal agencies balancing cost considerations against security, ease of use, and data portability, the decision is more complex.
To help federal government IT leaders navigate the cloud decision maze, the Federal Technology Insider team has identified three key areas that IT leaders should focus on when talking with cloud providers.
- Look for network architecture that is capable of isolating traffic, protecting back-end servers from public traffic, and creating physical network separation between web and database servers.
- Ask if only federal workloads run in data centers and if single tenancy is the norm.
- Do a deep dive on security protocols, transparency, and auditability
- Explore their architecture; are there geographically distributed data centers to enable continuous operations during a natural disaster or public emergency?
Performance & Value
- Look for pricing that includes enterprise-level support, and other all inclusive options that will make monthly costs predictable.
- Ask how virtual instances are provisioned and ensure that the provider is not over-provisioning which will reduce performance and eventually require more spend.
- Get granular on pricing down to the hourly and monthly costs.
- Question proprietary infrastructure and look for the ability to integrate open source solutions. This will ensure that you have the flexibility to shift workloads to another environment as needed without costly conversions.
- Ask about the ability to run databases without a hypervisor and without license issues.
- Get a hands-on demonstration of the portal and ask about APIs and API integration with existing tools.
Want to read more about a solution that can answer all these questions? You can do that here…
Think a private cloud solution might be better suited to your agency needs? You can find out more about private cloud solutions here…