Building the Hybrid Cloud

Thursday - 7/3/2014, 8:59am EDT





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The latest acronym to hit the IT circuit: SMAC. It stands for the four priorities that seem to most engage CIOs and tech staffs: Social, Mobile, Analytics (of big data) and Cloud. The first three are applications - and they often end up hosted in the cloud, along with the data they draw from.

When it comes to cloud, practical CIOs have sidestepped the impossible-to-choose binary question of public or private. They've come to realize that they'll have to deal with hybrid environments for the foreseeable future.

To discuss how you manage the reality of a complex, hybrid cloud environment, Federal News Radio convened a panel discussion consisting of Gerard Chelak, the director of the technical services division in the Office of Citizen Services and Innovative Technologies at the GSA; Gunnar Hellekson, chief strategist in Red Hat's U.S. public sector group, and Eric Simmon, systems expert in the cloud computing program at the National institute of Standards and Technology.

Technical issues for hybrid environments include measuring the reliability and performance of the applications in terms of user experience, and in terms of whether cloud producers - no matter who they are - meet their service level agreements. Cloud application performance also requires the design and architecture of the applications to be right. And it means optimizing the end- point infrastructures because there's only so much you can do with your WAN short of buying expensive new bandwidth.

Management issues for hybrid environments center mainly on governance. Who's responsible for security? Data management? Performance parameters? Negotiating and monitoring SLAs?

And the more all of this technical and business management can be automated, the better.

A new class of management and technical performance tools has emerged specifically tailored to managing those hybrid environments. Red Hat offers a suite of them. And NIST has launched three working groups specifically aimed at solving hybrid cloud issues - one for portability and interoperability, one for service characteristics, and one for managing cloud complexity.

In short, the hybrid cloud is coming - now you can deal with it.

Moderator

Tom Temin, Federal News Radio

Tom Temin is the host of Federal Drive weekdays from 6-9 a.m. on Federal News Radio 1500AM. Tom Temin has 30 years experience in journalism, mostly in technology markets. He was a long-serving editor-in-chief of Government Computer News and Washington Technology magazines, both of which were regular winners of national reporting awards. Before joining Federal News Radio, Tom wrote (and continues to write) a column on government IT and acquisition topics. He was a regular guest on Federal News Radio before joining the team.

Panelists

Gerard Chelak Director, Technical Services Division, Office of Citizen Services and Innovative Technologies U.S. General Services Administration

Gerard Chelak is the Director of the Technical Services Division in the Office of Citizen Services and Innovative Technologies U.S. General Services Administration. In that capacity, he has the responsibility for overseeing a technical group that provides infrastructure, web hosting, and application support for www.USA.Gov,www.GobiernoUSA.gov and other eGov websites in GSA's Office of Citizens Services and Innovative Technologies. His technical team led as early adapters of cloud computing, migrating usa.gov and a portfolio of over twenty other websites to an infrastructure as a service model reducing operating expense and speeding delivery of service. He also led the technical development of BusinessUSA and served as Deputy Operations Manager for recovery.gov from the website's inception through to steady-state operations.

Eric Simmon, Systems Expert for the NIST Cloud Computing Program

Eric Simmon is a systems expert in the Electronic Information Group (EIG) at the National Institute of Standards of Technology. He graduated magna cum laude from Worcester, Polytechnic Institute (Worcester, MA) with an electrical engineering degree in 1989. That same year he joined the National Institute of Standards and Technology to work on precision measurements for high voltage and high current. In 2003 he joined the EIG working on using systems modeling to improve the standards development process.

He is presently leading the NIST cloud computing SLA effort and is project editor for the ISO/IEC 19086 "Service Level Agreement (SLA) framework and terminology" draft standard. In addition to cloud computing Mr. Simmon is leading the NIST effort in cyber-physical cloud computing and is co-chair for the NIST cyber-physical systems use case sub-group.

Gunnar Hellekson, Chief Strategist for Red Hat's US Public Sector group

Gunnar Hellekson is the Chief Strategist for Red Hat's US Public Sector group, where he works with systems integrators and government agencies to encourage the use of open source software in government. He is a founder of Open Source for America, one of Federal Computer Week's Fed 100 for 2010, and was voted one of the FedScoop 50 for industry leadership. He is an active member of the Military Open Source working group, the SIIA Software Division Board, the Board of Directors for the Public Sector Innovation Group, the Open Technology Fund Advisory Council, New America's California Civic Innovation Project Advisory Council, and the CivicCommons Board of Advisors. He is especially interested in cross-domain security, edge innovation, and interagency collaboration through the open source model. He is also co-host of the Dave and Gunnar Show.