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. (NIST definition)
With Cloud services deployed you have on-demand access through a self-serve web interface. Cloud services provide broadband network access available from anywhere with an Internet connection. Common resources build economies of scale, high efficiency infrastructure drawn from a common pool.
Resources can be dynamically-allocated and released using a fully automated process.
Services are metered, like a utility, where users pay only for services used and they can be cancelled at any time. Cloud services provide for reduced upfront capital expenditures.
The benefits far outway the challenges, though Cloud hosting is not without challenges.
Government IT security risks and threats are increasing and a lack of incentive to leverage existing Authorizations to Operate (ATOs) among agencies results in inconsistent and time consuming security management. To address this issue we are partnering with FedRAMP, a government-wide program that provides a standardized approach to security assessment, authorization, and continuous monitoring for Cloud products and services.
Our team will also work to provide tools and mechanisms that will ensure portability among different Cloud providers.
In order to efficiently migrate services to the Cloud we must streamline our IT footprint in order to keep costs at a minimum and optimize management of data and information.
Another challenge of using the Cloud is tailoring environments to meet custom needs of specialty applications and services. Our teams will diligently interact with customers and vendors to ensure smooth transitions and operations.
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