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 SafeGov.org 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.

Microsoft Beefs Up Azure Virtual Machine Cloud Backups

Pedro Hernandez, eWeek,  Tuesday, August 25, 2015

Microsoft has upgraded its Azure infrastructure-as-a-service (IaaS) virtual machine backup service, providing enterprises with more headroom as they implement their cloud-based data protection programs, the company announced. "The new set of features includes support for virtual machine backup with more data disks, long-term retention and more," said Trinadh Kotturu, a program manager in Microsoft's Cloud and Enterprise group. "These features strengthen Azure Backup's ability to back up Azure IaaS virtual machines in a simple and reliable way." The service now supports virtual machines (VMs) that span "16 data disks in addition to the OS disk," he noted. Customers also can expect more predictable backup times as a result of the new enhancements and optimizations.

Five Reasons for Leaving Your Data Where It Is

Markus Rex, Datanami,  Tuesday, August 25, 2015

As cloud adoption continues its meteoric ascent, the number of access points to enterprise data also increases. And while keeping data on premise is no guarantee of security, it does drastically reduce the number of access points. But the case for keeping data on premise goes far beyond a common sense security and risk mitigation play that tells us the fewer servers our data runs through, the safer it is.

DISA’s best practices for cloud migration

Mark Pomerleau, GCN,  Saturday, August 22, 2015

The Defense Information Systems Agency recently released “Best Practices Guide for Department of Defense Cloud Mission Owners” for those planning to migrate existing systems from physical environments to the cloud. The guide follows the release of three other documents in July regarding cloud computing security requirements.

Making Police Body Cams Work on a Mass Scale (Industry Perspective)

Jeff Gould by Jeff Gould, SafeGov.org
Monday, August 17, 2015

The purpose of body-worn cameras is not to fill petabytes and exabytes of disk space in football-field-size data centers. The goal is to improve interactions between the police and the public they serve. To justify its cost, law enforcement agencies must be able to filter through footage quickly and effectively. They need to review it for investigative, training and disciplinary purposes. They need to share it with fellow agencies, prosecutors and defense lawyers. Last but not least, they need to be able to disclose it – at least selectively – to the public and the media. All this will have to happen while guaranteeing chains of custody, ensuring that only authorized users have access, and protecting the privacy of citizens and officers. The fundamental problem that police departments gathering large amounts of video face is that the daily tasks they need to perform with this video are labor-intensive. Searching through thousands of hours of video, transcribing and indexing what is said in them, blurring the faces of citizens or officers to protect their privacy – these tasks are impossible to perform at scale without assistance from powerful automation tools.

Optimizing the Hybrid Cloud for State and Local Government

Krista Germano, NetApp Community,  Tuesday, August 11, 2015

Today’s state and local government agencies must deliver new and innovative public services with smaller budgets, scarce resources and shrinking workforces. To accomplish this, many are turning to cloud computing for its cost efficiencies, flexibility and reduced deployment time. After all, the cloud promises to help government agencies get more work done without the need for high-priced infrastructure or hard-to-find IT talent. But not all cloud computing models are created equal. Private cloud services can be costly to manage, and often require larger upfront capital expenditures. On the other hand, public cloud services can contribute to vendor lock-in, making it difficult for agencies to take advantage of new features or pricing promotions offered by competing cloud service providers.

How to secure a private cloud for health care data

Mahesh Kalva and Andrew Underhill, GCN,  Wednesday, August 05, 2015

Health care IT departments are building private cloud networks and functioning as brokers, offering a private option, but also allowing business managers to choose a range of commodity and hybrid models through the providers with which the internal IT groups already work. When initiating use of a private cloud in health care, a few key steps vital to success include performing ample research, developing a solid risk management policy and ensuring that the ends justify the means from a business perspective.

Government CIOs fret over apps reliability in the cloud

Kenneth Corbin, CIO,  Monday, August 03, 2015

Government CIOs are struggling to meet rising expectations among consumers for what level of service a website should deliver, and 70 percent of the respondents in Akamai's survey said that a consistent user experience is an "unmet need."

Are You Selling Trust and Transparency In Your Cloud Approach?

Michael Brown, MSP Mentor,  Wednesday, July 08, 2015

One critical component of building trust is transparency. Merely claiming your services are secure and reliable isn’t enough. Transparency gives customers information about not just what you can promise, but also how you’re going to fulfill that promise. How can you achieve transparency? How can you tailor your cloud approach to build trust? Proactively answer some questions about your services. When it comes to data, security, and availability, you should be ready to answer such questions as...

18F builds agile contract for agile development

Aaron Boyd, Federal Times,  Thursday, June 25, 2015

Solicitations close June 26 for 18F's agile delivery services blanket purchase agreement (BPA), which, when finished, will enable agencies to buy services for agile development projects in an agile way. The Agile BPA being piloted at 18F — a division of the General Services Administration created to help agencies with software development — will include some 20 vendors with a proven ability to facilitate rapid code development and deploy functional software through an iterative approach.

U.S. Government Adopts Agile IT for Cloud Apps

David Deans, B2C,  Tuesday, June 16, 2015

The rapid adoption of digital business transformation processes and the ongoing deployment of open hybrid cloud platforms are enabling the achievement of software development bold goals. That said, a new market study by MeriTalk reveals that approximately two-thirds of American federal government IT leaders say DevOps adoption will help agencies shift into the cloud computing fast lane.