'Cloud first' solutions no different than legacy data centers
Federal agencies are reacting to the Office of Management and Budget "cloud first" mandate by doing more of the same, says a March 22 post on the official Federal Cloud Computing Initiative project management office blog.
In many cases, agencies are setting up private clouds "no different than previous legacy-based infrastructure architectures with dedicated infrastructure with dedicated infrastructure that sits silent/dark," says the post, written by Michael Lee, who is an FCCI contract employee from SRA-Touchstone.
"Worse yet, these servers may be powered up and utilized at 0 percent, which, yes, has happened and is happening in the Federal government as I write this," he says.
Lee predicts that hoped-for benefits of the cloud, such as computing efficiency, agility and interoperability, will fail to materialize.
"In five years we will be dealing with a proliferation of private clouds, quasi-clouds, hybrid clouds, etc. similar to the plethora of data centers we find ourselves saddled with today," he says.
"It's entirely possible we'll have over 400 private clouds in the Federal government based on different standards and difficult to interoperate and integrate because different infrastructure, platforms, and software will have been deployed in each of them," he adds.
Federal Chief Information Officer Vivek Kundra has called on federal agencies to move three services into a cloud environment by mid-2012.
In a strategy document Kundra released earlier this year, he predicts that by using a cloud computing model for IT service delivery, federal data center infrastructure costs can drop by 30 percent. That amounts to about $7.2 billion, going on a figure in the report that agencies spend approximately 30 percent of the federal government's $80 billion annual IT budget on data center infrastructure.
It's unclear from the strategy how contingent the savings are on agencies replacing legacy applications with a new software-as-a-service equivalent, or whether it'll come about if agencies also just port applications into a "cloud" environment.
- read Michael Lee's blog post on info.apps.gov