Short ‘n Sweet: A post on CGI’s latest white paper

“Seek service, not just servers”.

That’s the subtitle of the latest white paper from CGI, Practical Cloud Infrastructure for Federal Executives (pdf).

Since it’s linked (or ‘hypered’, as I like to say), I won’t break the whole paper down for you.

What I found interesting, however, in the introductory paragraph is the notion that cloud computing is “not an either-or proposition”.

The intro continues:

Cloud techniques can be applied outside an agency by a company offering excess capacity on its infrastructure, or by another agency that procures capacity on the government’s behalf. They can be applied by a company that hosts software applications and provides them as a service, or by an agency doing so as a shared-service provider for others. Alternatively, one or more agencies could decide to offer such services agencywide or across agencies as a private cloud provider.

In creating a business case, agencies must keep in mind that cloud computing is not a one-size-fits-all solution, especially to the many unique, sensitive, and enterprise level computing challenges federal agencies face.

The notion that IT managers — whether federal or not — have to think outside the box is nothing new, but the idea does seem to be growing more popular.

GSA CIO Casey Coleman reflected this last week when she talked about cloud computing and how her agency is moving ‘up’.

“The traditional model is that you have to run your own systems in your own data center or computer room, patch them, secure them, and upgrade them, make sure that there are not conflicts between different systems and be responsible for all that yourself. Cloud computing moves all of that into the cloud so you can focus configuring the applications and solutions in a way that delivers value quickly.”

CGI is currently working with GSA and other federal agencies on moving to the cloud, and Ralph Tufano, director managing technology services for CGI Federal and author of the paper, does an excellent job of outlining why agencies are moving to the cloud — and how it all began.

In his conclusion, he outlines criteria that he thinks agencies should use when looking for a cloud service provider:

  • The degree of visibility they offer into application and infrastructure services
  • The extent of governance they apply in managing cloud components
  • Their ability to offer service levels — for availability and response time — that apply
    to both infrastructure and applications

  • Whether their pricing truly refl ects all costs of cloud computing
  • Their ability to guarantee security for hosted applications
  • The degree to which they can synthesize and manage multiple components and
    service providers

Also — a note.

I have been told by Dorobek Insider author Chris Dorobek that he’s working on gathering links for a ‘cloud reader’. He had promised it to me yesterday, but then confessed that the project has gotten bigger than he anticipated.

I promise to bring you that list as soon as it is available!

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