Has the definition of ‘cloud’ added to the challenges?

Over the past 12 months, we’ve been tracking global change across the public sector. We traveled to the UK interviewing the technologies that are driving the change to understand the possibilities of the ‘cloud first’ policy and its future challenges, writes Russell Macdonald, HPE CTO of public and hybrid cloud.

A theme that has arisen from time to time is the diversity and confusion in the definition of the world and the understanding of the policy. In an interview for our documentary series, Consciously Hybrid, the cloud was used by techies and companies. The National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) has defined “cloud computing” as “a model for making the internet possible anywhere, easily, by requiring a shared pool of Configurable computing resources (such as networks, servers, storage, applications and services) that can be quickly provisioned and deployed with minimal management or interaction the service provider”.

NIST defines the ‘public domain’ as one of the four architecture models along with public cloud, hybrid cloud, private cloud. Although NIST is a US government definition it is specified by the UK Government in its first cloud policy. However, it does not set standards for the UK. Although the definition is set to include many options for cloud computing, the UK Government has defined the cloud as a public cloud which adds to the confusion in the term itself.

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The difference between the public cloud, the hyperscale cloud, the hybrid cloud, the private cloud, in some cases, has led to companies that find themselves between strategies, platforms, work models and financial means.

The first cloud policy was debated, reshaping the nature of the cloud from a technical option for each department to a pan-government policy. The cloud should be thought of as information, or as a way to end technology. Therefore, a technical plan should be based on the principles of placing the right workloads, in the right place, for the right reason. This may be on-premise, private, off-site, public and/or public.

Cloud Computing is a revolution in IT in general. Therefore, the focus will shift to ‘how’ the workloads are changing as part of the cloud architecture, rather than thinking about ‘where’ the workloads are moving. In the past decade, the answer to ‘the place’ has been the public cloud. This shift in thinking is critical to delivering the national government agenda moving forward.

With this in mind, we spoke to Paul Neville during his time as director of digital and ICT at the London Borough of Waltham Forest, to understand his view of the ‘cloud’ and the impact of the change. .

Paul’s explanation is similar to a cloud-first policy, seeing the public cloud as the answer to changing problems. With limited digital skills and budget, the borough is forced into a cycle of short-term value decisions rather than long-term outcomes, or the development of the borough and its digital strategy . This, combined with the increasing digital expectations of citizens, has come to mean that there is an urgent need to change to serve their needs and prepare for the future.

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Taking a creative hybrid approach

The borough has seen the open world as an important means to transform its legacy technology by first adopting and adapting its activities and applications. To reduce risk and maintain cost efficiency, the borough has invested a lot of time in learning to better understand cloud technologies and the value they can provide. Taking the time to understand what the cloud means to them allows them to upskill in-house in the same way that the corporate cloud defines it.

Paul explained: “To scale, we know we need to explore and invest in cloud technology. However, we understand that not all data and workloads are suitable for migration.

“Our data center in the building allows us to store any information in a place that works well and provide a replica data center for disaster recovery. , while guaranteeing that there is little or no problems with familiarity.

Technologists often think of cloud adoption as a predetermined, yes-or-no choice — whether cloud adoption is open or not. This has been continued by the cloud-first policy, which leads directly to the use of the public cloud. Apart from setting a broad path, the policy provides little guidance on how to get there, how to do legacy studies, edge cases and critical data. All of which our research shows are not, or may not be, suitable for public cloud environments.

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A solid public cloud narrative has reinforced the idea that the public cloud is ‘good’, leading people to believe that anything else is ‘bad’ or ‘the old way of doing things’.

The world’s lack of explanation for this. The public cloud is just one beginning of today’s indigenous technology and there are other options. A hybrid approach consciously recognizes the value of each option that brings a pragmatic and strategic approach.

We believe that it is time to consider a more creative approach to the cloud transition – to open up the opportunities and options offered by the cloud and a hybrid approach.

We continue to explore how the cloud is changing and share the different strategies and approaches that multiple technology platforms are taking. If you want to get involved and share your thoughts, get in touch and join the conversation with #ConsciouslyHybrid.

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