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How to Avoid Cloud Silos? Build from the Inside Out

January 01, 1900

Don’t repeat the sins of the past as your agency plots its journey to the cloud.If there’s one thing I’ve learned over the years from years of helping organizations build the right strategy and architecture, it’s the need to avoid moving to the siloed systems that emerged during the era of client/server computing into your current cloud environments. In other words, don’t build a cloud for e-mail, another for office automation tools, and yet another for collaboration or social media. As Carpathia partner Doug Bourgeois of VMware said during a recent event, “That’s just a more efficient way to be more inefficient.”Most government agencies with complex IT organizations need private cloud implementations but also have some expectations for external cloud use. The reality is that public clouds are typically built for proprietary platforms, which hinder them from supporting existing applications without those apps being rewritten. As a result, public clouds are more suited for new applications, which limits their value for agencies. The challenge becomes how to avoid building cloud silos that lack the needed infrastructure integration.A hybrid cloud addresses these challenges and offers a bridge between the private cloud and external clouds by leveraging a technology stack that is built on the same architectural framework. In fact, hybrid clouds are being described as the “new normal for federal IT” because they allow agencies to maximize their existing infrastructure and follow the “more with less” mantra. For agencies that want to avoid a rip and replace scenario, this approach offers a viable and cost-effective solution.What’s more, the hybrid approach lets CIOs use the best resources for the task at hand, offering them a way to connect data and applications to drive new value and respond faster to market changes.But to avoid cloud silos and successfully extend a private cloud to external clouds, agencies need to build their hybrid clouds from the inside out. Virtualization technology is a main ingredient in developing a smart cloud strategy. Using this approach, agency managers can extend their virtualization environment from the computing stage to storage and then to the network. They can then extend their reach from a private cloud to external clouds. With a hybrid architecture, they can interconnect and manage these resources as one single cloud.