Home' Defense Systems : March and April 2014 Contents A cloud computing is
not the endgame.
Although cloud and related
virtualization capabilities already play
an important role in programs across the
Defense Department, these technologies
have only set the stage for a more
signi cant transformation of defense
IT. This transformation will unfold as
defense agencies learn to leverage their
virtual infrastructure to create what
experts are now calling IT-as-a-Service.
ITaaS is a way of more closely aligning
technology with mission requirements.
In ITaaS, an agency builds a portfolio of
products and services that can be easily
tailored to meet the evolving needs of its
various mission components.
"Evolving" is the key. The mission
requirements of defense organizations
change frequently, which traditionally
has proven a constant challenge for IT
organizations. But ITaaS, built on a
virtualized infrastructure, provides an
unprecedented level of adaptability.
"For defense programs, having an IT
organization that can be agile, and an
infrastructure that can change rapidly,
would be very bene cial," said Doug
Bourgeois, a Vice President and Federal
Chief Cloud Executive for VMware.
AN ITERATIVE PROCESS
Many defense agencies are already on
the road to ITaaS, investing in cloud and
virtualization technologies as a way to
improve the cost-ef ciency of their
Most agencies have begun by
virtualizing their servers, recognizing
that it can help them better utilize their
existing compute capacity and avoid
unnecessary expenditures. Others also
have invested in storage or network
virtualization, looking to gain more
exibility in how they allocate and
manage these resources.
However, the real gains come when
these different pieces are integrated via
a management fabric, which makes
it possible to de ne and automate IT
services and their governing policies,
such as availability and security. This
is the concept of the software-de ned
data center, which provides the basic
technology architecture for ITaaS.
But the architecture itself is only part
of the picture. To realize the full vision
of ITaaS, agencies need to develop
a business model based on a clearly
de ned portfolio of IT services and
transparent pricing. As part of this model,
the IT organization effectively becomes a
broker of IT services.
As with any "as-a-service" model,
customers pay for services as needed --
which means they also have the option of
buying services elsewhere. This dynamic
provides the IT organization with an
incentive both to keep its portfolio
aligned with the mission requirements of
its customers and to make those services
as ef cient and competitive as possible.
"They really do have to take a business-
centric approach, which is quite different
from the traditional model in the
government IT arena," said Bourgeois.
The good news is that agencies do not
need to transition to ITaaS all at once.
Instead, it is likely to be an iterative
process, in which the savings gained
in the early stages can help fund the
investments needed down the road.
Although most agencies have made
some investments in virtualization,
there is much more that can be done.
Bourgeois estimates that less than half of
the compute capacity in government has
been virtualized. Agencies can accrue
more savings by continuing to push
virtualization throughout the data center
while also automating the management
of that environment.
"We are probably only scratching
the surface on those capabilities across
government," Bourgeois said.
Clearly, ITaaS represents a signi cant
change in how agencies operate. In
particular, IT organizations must become
much better at gauging the cost of their
services and the anticipated level of
demand from their customers.
Fortunately agencies do not need to
undertake it alone. VMware now offers
consulting services to public sector
organizations looking for help with
developing its brokering capability and for
factoring it into its strategic planning and
budget process. •
THE FUTURE OF DEFENSE IT
to Meet Agency Missions
-A -A- E V CE
Fo o o o l
" efen e en e e
e e ne - en
e e en f e n
e n e e n en en .
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