Cloud for the Public Sector – A Primer

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Why should I move to cloud?

Unless you want to be in the data center business, chances are the idea of purchasing and maintaining on-premises servers is one that you don’t relish. For most organizations, there is no longer a need for expensive on-premises server infrastructure, which also requires plenty of power and cooling systems to function, staff to operate and maintain, and will eventually need to be replaced or added to in order to appease demand as your organization grows.

Cloud presents a solution to those for whom on-premise servers aren’t a good fit, but who still need the ability to store and access data internally or when interacting with the public. With flexible usage, it’s possible to optimize the money you spend on data storage and processing while still having everything you need right at your fingertips.

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What will I get with cloud?

With cloud, your organization will be able to do more with the budget you have. Additional money, time, and resources that would have been spent maintaining on-premises servers can be directed elsewhere, such as a new website, more community outreach, or better tools for your employees. In fact, cloud can help you optimize so that you only pay for servers when they’re actually in use, so you don’t have to pay for them when you don’t need them.

Cloud allows you to purchase only the server you need, and only for the times you need it. This makes it possible for you to pay for servers when you will use them during peak business hours, and then stop paying for them later in the evening, when there is less overall server demand. In the chart below, you can see that this organization needs a second server to serve demand during the middle of the day. If they were to purchase on-premises infrastructure, they would need to purchase, operate, and maintain both servers all the time- even late at night when that extra power isn’t needed. With cloud, this organization can run an additional instance in the cloud during peak hours, and pay only for the server time that they actually use.

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It’s not all about the money, however. There are other reasons why cloud might serve you better than on-premise architecture. If you will be serving large volumes of users in different parts of the country, or even different parts of the world, cloud allows you to utilize data storage closer to where your users are accessing from. If you are based in California and choose an on-premise solution, users in California could have acceptable latency, while users in New York, London, or Shanghai would find the wait far more aggravating. With cloud, each of these users could be served with closer servers, thus improving the performance of your applications for everyone.

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Why should I use a cloud brokerage?

A cloud brokerage is a company who acts as a liaison between the cloud provider and the customer, providing services like simplified billing, contract management, advisory services, and acts as an advocate for the customer. Cloud brokerages may have agreements with multiple providers, or may have an exclusive agreement with one provider. Sometimes these brokerages can offer significant discounts off of the ‘sticker’ price of cloud services through the partnerships they have with the cloud provider. Likewise, they can provide advisory services for how to keep costs low, can help migrate your data to cloud quickly and easily, and provide simplified billing and support services.

Another reason many organizations choose to utilize a cloud brokerage is the contract vehicles that they hold. For example, DoubleHorn holds two Texas DIR Contracts, in addition to OMES and GSA Contracts. These vehicles help expedite the process of negotiating and purchasing cloud products and services for organizations that utilize those contracts. This allows you to spend more time and resources on other parts of your cloud journey, or on something else entirely.

A Cloud brokerage can also help make sure you have the *right* cloud infrastructure, in addition to saving you money and making the purchasing process easier. With a wealth of cloud experience and configuration knowledge, they can help you optimize your business process for the cloud and provision your infrastructure in a way that is efficient and scalable. For example, the top concern for many companies when moving to the cloud is vendor lock-in, a concept in which it’s easy to move into a cloud infrastructure, but difficult to leave without incurring large costs. However, vendor lock-in is easy to avoid if you know what to do, how to configure your workloads, and if you have other vendor options. A cloud brokerage can provide all those in one place, making it even more risk-free to make the switch.

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Is cloud secure?

After vendor lock-in, the next most common concern about cloud is security. Like any outside data connection, cloud can have vulnerabilities if it isn’t configured correctly. Keep in mind that some of the biggest companies in the world utilize cloud for various forms of secure data, worth hundreds of thousands of dollars. Each of those companies should be taking all the necessary steps to configure their cloud correctly, and if they aren’t, their data could be at risk. However, when done properly, cloud can actually be more secure than on-premise or hybrid infrastructure.

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How do I convince others at my organization that cloud is the right move?

One thing that almost everyone agrees on is that cloud is the future. The question becomes when, and how, should your company move to the cloud? Every business is going to have a different take on how best to accomplish the big task of migrating their infrastructure, and a cloud service brokerage like DoubleHorn can help you and your business get to all the right answers, ahead of the curve.

The stats and figures in this article can help illustrate that idea. You can download the full document here: [Download]

 

How do I get started with cloud?

Give us a call or Schedule a Consultation to get in touch with DoubleHorn about how you can start your cloud journey.

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