Why service providers are good for federal end users

As we’ve discussed in previous posts here at GovCloudTalk, there are many different reasons why government agencies and organizations would want to embrace cloud computing.

There are also many different types of cloud architectures that can help each agency overcome the hang-ups and challenges that are keeping them from embracing the cloud.

For example, many organizations are apt to construct private clouds within their four walls and under their area of control because of their mission and the nature of their data. However, in addition to a cloud managed within the four walls of an agency there are major benefits to extending this to service provider environments. There is a large percentage of data that can be housed on clouds managed by a service provider, such as:

  • Data used for constituency services
  • Data being used to show transparency in government
  • Data that can be improved through collaboration in a public area

But why should a government agency utilize a service provider for their cloud?

Service providers are expert operators at scale. They can design heavily leveraged systems that provision one-time burst and surge, or low cost ongoing services, without multi-year commitments. In other words, they can easily enlarge the cloud in situations where heavy traffic would strain existing datacenter infrastructures.

In a traditional datacenter environment, new hardware would need to be provisioned to handle increasing traffic. If traffic decreases, there would be extraneous hardware in place that didn’t need to be purchased in the first place and is now being powered and cooled on the agency’s dime.

In a cloud environment from a service provider, the cloud could simply be enlarged to handle spikes in traffic and then reduced during troughs. This ensures that unnecessary hardware isn’t purchased. The elasticity that comes from the subscription-based delivery model could effectively save significant amounts of money over time for an agency.

There are a handful of cloud offerings from service providers that are solid, secure and offer the flexibility that many government agencies need. Lockheed Martin’s Starfire and AT&T’s Synaptic are incredible examples of solutions from service providers that are bringing cloud elasticity and benefits to the government.

Is your agency considering service providers for its cloud services? Drop me a comment and let me know.

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