Making the most of the cloud whitepaper


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Making the most of the cloud whitepaper

  1. 1. SPONSORED CONTENT TO DEFENSE SYSTEMSThe cloud is not a one-size-fits-all commodity orproduct. Getting the cloud infrastructure youneed—one that fits different layers of requirements,access and performance levels—works best when thegovernment deals directly with a cloud provider that has afull set of capabilities, technologies and expertise. A goodcloud provider, like CenturyLink, can work with you tobuild a system that is customized and flexible, based on yourspecific needs.With enterprise-grade infrastructure and accessto enterprise-grade manufacturers and vendors, anexperienced cloud provider knows how to make all ofyour systems and equipment work togetherseamlessly. A good cloud provider shouldalso have the expertise to know when youcan use a less expensive public-facinginfrastructure for less sensitive information,and when you need more protection, orprivate clouds, for secure data.As is the case with any technology, standardsare critical when it comes to cloud offerings.Traditionally, standards develop faster whengovernment works with industry to identify thecritical drivers. That method will encourage theadoption of cloud standards as well.It’s also a misconception that all systemsmust be fully compatible with all othersystems. What is important is that thedata can be understood, used on all systems and movedbetween systems easily. For example, Cisco equipmentisn’t interoperable with Avaya, but that doesn’t mean thatyou need a broker in the middle to determine how to builda network. A simple protocol allows the data to movefrom one network to another. The same is true with cloudtechnology. In other words, it’s the data that matters—notthe vehicle.Future innovation depends on how well cloud providersdo their jobs and how quickly standardization evolves.Both of those events are, and should be, fueled by marketforces and driven by end user requirements. The need forcustomized solutions based on those end user requirementsis what spurs vendors to keep innovating.Performance-based contracts are another great way tokeep innovation flowing. Once an agency describes itsrequirements to cloud vendors like CenturyLink, industryproviders will instinctively develop innovative solutions tosolve those needs.Do you really need a broker?While cloud computing clearly provides many benefits,government’s growing use of the cloud makes governance,secure collaboration, standardization and interoperabilitycritically important issues. For the defensecommunity, the Defense InformationSystems Agency (DISA) addresses theseissues by functioning as a cloud broker.In that capacity, DISA is responsible forensuring the interoperability of cloudfunctions among vendors.DISA’s approach to cloud brokerage is asound one for both government and industry.It should help foster interoperabilitybetween cloud vendors and systems byworking directly with industry providers,like CenturyLink to make it happen.“We’re at the same crossroads with thecloud that we were 20 years ago with thetelecommunicationsindustry,wheretherewasno common protocol to make everything work together,”says Diana Gowen, senior vice president and generalmanager for CenturyLink Government. “Eventually,industry built the interfaces that would allow for commoninteroperability among telecommunications providers.That’s what’s happening in every area, from cybersecurityto common monitoring and optical switching. And that’swhat’s going to happen with the cloud.”When designed and implemented properly, DISA’s cloudbrokerage model will support the cloud ecosystem andadvocate for it, thus fostering ongoing innovation—something government desperately needs. •For more information about CenturyLink Government’s services andofferings, please contact your agency’s representative or email us more information on CenturyLink, please go to: the Most of the CloudTHINKDiana GowenSr. Vice President and GeneralManager, CenturyLink Public SectorCM120450 3/13