Monday, June 6, 2011

US Fed extracting the juice out of the cloud

If ever there was to be a generic case study sought by enterprises seeking to leverage cloud computing, there can’t be a better one than the US Federal Government whose “Cloud First” policy.

US Govt cloud

Two key lessons that come out crystal clear from US government’s experiments with cloud computing

1. Move the essentials but non-core items to the cloud. Focus on the low hanging fruit first.

Case in Point 1: US government has saved $40 million a year by moving e-mail services for General Services Administration (GSA) and Dept. of Agriculture.

Case in Point 2: The Recovery Accountability and Transparency Board have saved $750,000 by moving to Amazon Web Services’ cloud-computing infrastructure; a move started in May 2010. About 100 data centers nationwide are closed this year  The government has an ultimate goal of shuttering 800 data centers by 2015.

2. Move those apps to the cloud that can take advantage of at least 2-3 basic tenets that cloud computing promises.

Case in Point 1: GSA moved its website to the cloud thus ensuring that website content could be updated in hours instead of days and weeks. This allows the staff to turn to other tasks rather than site maintenance. This move alone is supposed to save $1.7 billion to the US tax payer. The website application took advantage of the cloud’s on-demand ability to scale up/down and also lent itself to a pay-go model for GSA to pay for the support and maintenance of the website.

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