Many government agencies are still in the early adoption stages of cloud computing. While the benefits of cloud computing are many, work functions containing classified or Personally Identifiable Information (PII) are too sensitive to be housed on cloud servers. In these situations, federal agencies may be forced to work in a hybrid IT environment for many years. Agencies may also choose to utilize multiple cloud providers as a strategy to avoid the pitfalls of downtime and outages that can occur when relying on a single provider. The combination of hybrid infrastructures and multiple cloud providers creates a more complex environment for federal agency professionals to manage.
Navigating a Hybrid Environment
Gain Efficiency Through Automation
Humans are, well, human. And in a rapidly changing environment, your IT professionals may scarcely keep pace with the changing infrastructures, as well as growing data and task loads housed in multiple locations. Automation of tasks can be a powerful management tool to manage the workload. The first step in this process would be to automate highly repetitive tasks such as configuring virtual LAN’s and access control lists or creating scripts. Once simpler automation tasks are in place, your staff can develop more advanced automation cases.
Manage Your Cloud Environment
A key element in managing IT environments is complete data center transparency. In a hybrid environment, this encompasses any in-house servers, as well as private and public clouds environments. Easy visibility into these cloud environments wasn’t realistic in the recent past, however, today almost all vendors have solutions in the public cloud and it is imperative that managers gain insight into every aspect of their infrastructure in order to successfully manage them. While this is made more complex with the use of multiple cloud providers, the benefits of flexibility and freedom to move environments outweighs the challenge of managing the data center transparency.
Centralize the Remote Operations
Your federal agency may operate remote data centers that process enormous amounts of data without the supervision of local IT staff. Implementing remote management tools provides the centralized teams complete control to make changes to these data centers. Another option is to simultaneously push changes from a central location to all remote data centers with an orchestration platform. While legacy hardware may need to be configured on a per-location basis slowing down the orchestration, once configured the result will be speedier and less prone to error. Containerization of application resources also allows for easy orchestration by allowing the app workloads to be moved between environments seamlessly.
As federal agencies begin to utilize public and private cloud solutions in tandem with their in-house server environments, they will have the ability to excel in managing highly sensitive data. Proactively managing your hybrid environment through automation, cloud environment transparency, and centralization of tasks can simplify the management of these dynamic distributed environments.
For more information on how iT1 supports federal agencies with structuring streamlined hybrid environments, please contact iT1 today.
Source: Zeus Kerravalla, FedTech Magazine, March 26, 2018, https://fedtechmagazine.com/article/2018/03/3-tips-feds-navigating-world-hybrid-it