Cloud First Strategy of U.S Federal Agencies
This policy is intended to accelerate the pace at which the government will realize the value of multi-tenant, subscription-based cloud computing by requiring agencies to evaluate safe, secure cloud computing options before making any new investments. The goal is shut down 1200 data centers by 2015. The U.S government has 3200 data centers > than 500 sq ft.
The Dept of Defense (DoD) modernization cuts are going to accelerate the move to the cloud services. DoD, Dept of Homeland Security (DHS) and the Intelligence Services are extremely large buyers of computing. If they start moving services to the cloud, I believe the cloud trend is going to accelerate creating a talent shortage in the government contractors.
The increasing adoption of cloud computing and penetration of mobile devices are the two inter-related trends transforming the IT industry today. Government is no exception and in some areas leading the charge.
We are clearly in the middle of a once-in-a-decade transformation. In the consumer and retail world, the movement to Web based cloud services, is being accelerated by the move to build social apps, mobile apps, location aware, real-time applications. It’s increasingly obvious that old applications and technologies need to adapted — Four different delivery models are emerging differentiated by service level agreements (SLAs).
But, how do you explain “cloud services” to someone new to this space especially in Government? There are multiple ways of describing cloud services.
In this page I highlight some useful taxonomies from various sources that I found useful in explaining Cloud Computing and Cloud Services. Depending on who you are talking to pick the relevant one.
- Describing the Cloud to an Enterprise Audience
- Describing the Cloud to a Technical Audience
- Describing the Cloud as Outsourcing 3.0
- Describing the Innovation Roadmap unleashed by the Cloud
- NIST Cloud Taxonomy
Describing the Cloud to a Enterprise Audience
The simplest way to describe the cloud is to stick to the message that IT is maturing and becoming a on-demand, utility or even a commodity service for certain aspects. This trend is already strong in the consumer side (pretty much everything we do as consumer at home runs in the cloud today – facebook, gmail, NetFlix, iTunes, Kindle, Spotify, e-commerce).
Different layers of IT – Software, Development Platforms and Infrastructure – are becoming service oriented at different speeds. The figure below describes this evolution aimed at leveraging shared infrastructure and economies of scale.
Describing the Cloud to a Technical Audience
We went thru a period in 1990 and 2000s where massive consolidation happened and we were left with vendors (Microsoft, IBM, Oracle) that provide fully integrated stacks. The innovation was being dictated by the vendor and their priorities.
Typically when this happens costs rise and people rebel. So the Open Source community emerged and started to become a credible threat with Linux and other projects. They started to innovate at different layers of the IT stack as shown below. They also started to shift the operational paradigm by asking the question: why can’t this be provided as a service.
Chris Hoff presents this IT Stack disaggregation and re-integration below.
Describing the Cloud as Outsourcing 3.0
Some IT services are becoming a commodity and are ripe for outsourcing. Cloud is simply outsourcing in a new form. So one way to describe the cloud is “what do you do” versus ”what do you have a vendor do”.
The taxonomy below provides a roles and responsibilities view based on Private Cloud, IaaS, PaaS or SaaS.
Describing the Innovation Taking Place in the Cloud Marketspace
There are numerous entrants into the Cloud Marketspace. The figure below from Open Crowd presents a simplified view of who these entrants are and what sector they are playing in.
Other Useful Sources
1) Opencrowd has a great taxonomy page with a lot more detailed insights: http://cloudtaxonomy.opencrowd.com/
2) Definition from National Institute of Standards & Technology: ”Cloud computing is a model for enabling convenient, on-demand network access to a shared pool of configurable computing resources (e.g., networks, servers, storage, applications, and services) that can be rapidly provisioned and released with minimal management effort or service provider interaction.”
- Cloud Services Brokers – New Wave in Systems Integration (cloudblueprint.wordpress.com)
- Congress Calls for Defense Department Plan for Cloud Computing – Businessweek (businessweek.com)