Best Practices

Properly planned and well-executed, cloud migration can result in significant savings, increased efficiency and performance, and even enhanced privacy and security. This section of the site includes case studies of cloud deployments with the goal of articulating best practices and potential pitfalls by focusing on the risk management, strategic planning, and resource management issues that define a successful cloud transition.

Cloud Metrics Could Provide the Goldilocks Solution to Which Cloud Vendor Is 'Just Right'

National Journal,  Monday, December 15, 2014

As government agencies and other organizations invest in cloud computing services, they are challenged to determine which cloud provider and service will best meet their needs. As the nation's official measurement experts, the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) has developed a guide to creating cloud metrics that could aid decision makers in finding the cloud service that is "just right." The new NIST guide, which is being offered as a draft for public comment, proposes a model for developing metrics-objective measures of capabilities and performance-that cloud-shopping organizations can use to navigate a rapidly expanding marketplace.

Top 5 Things You’ll See In Cloud Platforms In 2015

Allen Leinwand, Business2Community,  Wednesday, December 10, 2014

While the public cloud wars continue to rage among Google, Amazon and Microsoft, in 2015 we’re likely to see a quiet storm gathering around enterprises adopting cloud platforms. Cloud platforms are typically less understood architecture but serve as a growing greenfield for enterprise innovation, application creation and business agility. Why is the platform coming into its own? Look at these milestones around domain maturity and growth...

Microsoft announces US general availability of Microsoft Azure Government

Microsoft News Center,  Tuesday, December 09, 2014

With the importance of enabling citizen services at all levels of government while keeping costs contained, the Microsoft Cloud for Government services meet or exceed public sector security, privacy and compliance standards. In fact, Microsoft’s government cloud services have been designed from the ground up to help government agencies integrate disparate on-premises, cloud and data systems and enable seamless communication and collaboration to operate in this new cloud-first world.

Microsoft unveils full suite of cloud offerings aimed at government

Greg Otto, Fedscoop,  Tuesday, December 09, 2014

Microsoft unveiled the full availability of its much-touted Azure Government Tuesday, combining three of its most popular services in one offering aimed at government users. The full capability includes Azure, Microsoft’s community cloud platform; Dynamics CRM Online, a customer relationship management tool; along with Office 365 for Government, giving Microsoft a holistic offering aimed at federal, state and local governments. “Through the completeness of this cloud, it really facilitates and will enable a transformation: that interconnectedness of security, your directory and putting together the solutions in a way that will really help propel you forward,” said Microsoft’s Vice President of the U.S. Public Sector Curt Kolcun.

Commentary: Not All Clouds Are Created Equal

Susie Adams, Fedscoop,  Tuesday, December 09, 2014

Since moving to the cloud is such a major operational shift, many organizations start their transition with a hybrid solution before moving all of their data to a private cloud. For others, a hybrid model offers the long-term flexibility to store more sensitive data within the agency’s firewall while leveraging the strength of a public cloud for less-sensitive information. Aside from public, private or hybrid solutions, there are also choices about which service model to use, including infrastructure as a service (IaaS), software as a service (SaaS) or platform as a service (PaaS). Each offers a range of application-hosting options, allowing governments to scale, or even eliminate, much of the work related to IT and network management so they can focus more on mission-critical projects.

How Cloud Computing Can Help State Governments

Rick Delgado, SYS-CON Media,  Saturday, December 06, 2014

Cloud adoption among state governments is increasing at a rapid pace. In a recent survey from the National Association of State Chief Information Officers, 20% of states in the U.S. had already highly invested in cloud services. That's a big increase from the 6% the previous year. The same survey also shows that almost three out of every four states had some applications in the cloud and were considering adding others. It's clear from these findings that there is a definite trend of transitioning to the cloud for state governments.

Apple And Google At Work: The Enterprise Challenge

Julie Anderson by Julie Anderson, Civitas Group
Thursday, December 04, 2014

Tech companies that made their fortunes in the consumer market have shifted their focus to what was once considered an archaic target -- the enterprise. This shift means that CIOs must be aware of the potential tradeoffs that come with the various services offered by different enterprise providers. For example, enterprise CIOs could unknowingly pursue a less expensive technology option while increasing their data security risk. They must take specific steps to make sure their security needs are met. Recently, developments in the enterprise tech space among consumer market leaders Apple and Google have brought these issues to the forefront.

Microsoft Research thinks Haven might be the answer to cloud storage security problems

Mark Wilson, BetaNews,  Tuesday, December 02, 2014

Storing your data in the cloud requires you to place trust in a company and its service. Whether you're talking about Dropbox, Google Drive or an enterprise level solution, security is of paramount importance. There have been numerous high profile cases in recent months in which data breaches have occurred and private data has been accessed by unauthorized people -- including the NSA et al. It's little wonder that many people are wary of moving entirely to the cloud. But Microsoft Research may have a solution. A small team of researchers came up with the idea of Haven, a cloud system that introduces the idea of shielded execution. This is a platform designed not just for storing data, but also to securely run cloud-based applications, including those based on legacy code.

4 Trends to Watch in 2015

Stephen Goldsmith, Government Technology,  Monday, December 01, 2014

In the New Year, municipalities will face the challenge of ensuring that their data-driven approaches empower them to be responsive to citizens’ wants, needs and ideas. In 2014, municipalities across the country made meaningful progress in systematically integrating data and technology into the way they conduct government business. In the New Year, they’ll face the next challenge of ensuring that this new data-driven approach goes beyond the walls of city hall and empowers them to be responsive to citizens’ wants, needs and ideas. Here are the four trends that I expect will be pivotal to continuing the ongoing transformation of government in the coming year...

Working Our Way Toward the Federated Cloud

Arthur Cole, IT Business Edge,  Monday, December 01, 2014

Some interesting research came out last month regarding the enterprise’s attitude toward the cloud and what it will take to push more of the data load, and mission-critical functions in particular, off of local infrastructure. It turns out that while security and availability are still prime concerns, flexibility and federation across multiple cloud architectures are equally important.