Category Archives: Cloud

Quiz: How does your Disaster Recovery plan score?

How many layers are there to your disaster recovery plan? Each layer should add more security as well as the ability to quickly recover from data loss.

If you answered zero or one, you should consider updating your DR plan to include additional recovery options.

Ideally, you’ll want to score a 4 or above to feel secure. Scoring anything less than 4 layers means you are placing your data at serious risk. I’ll go into more detail on how to score your business later in this article. But first, let’s look at WHY you need additional layers for your DR planning.

Many businesses neglect disaster recovery and treat it as an after-thought. I can tell you first hand that data will be lost, hard drives die, servers will be hacked, and careless (or malicious) employees can ruin your data.

Second, many business owners think that because their servers, email, and websites are hosted in the cloud that they are “safe”.

Although many cloud platforms may be more power redundant, storage redundant, and include more processing power – your data is not 100% “safe”. Keep in mind, not all cloud providers are created equal. Click here to see a comparison chart of the top cloud providers.

Simply, when disaster strikes – disaster won’t care whether you host in the cloud or on an old DL380 in your office basement.

If you aren’t sure of your DR plan, I suggest you have a frank discussion with your IT manager.

The goal is zero data loss and to be operational quickly should any disaster occur.

Ideally, you’ll want to be operational in minutes… not days or weeks. Remaining online is money and reputation when you depend on the Internet for revenue.

That’s why it is more important than ever to institute a DR (Disaster Recovery) plan that exists in several layers.

One backup (one layer) is NOT ENOUGH.

There are many types of catastrophe’s that currently exist, such as:

  • Acts of nature
  • Power outages
  • Hardware failure
  • Network outages
  • Hacking
  • Malicious employees

Imagine for a moment if you suddenly lost your…

  • Customer account and payment information
  • Customer history of invoices, purchases, and communications
  • Emails (sent and received)
  • Marketing emails
  • Website and website data
  • Leads for your sales team

For many, this would be devastating. No cost could be placed on this amount of data loss. In fact, it may even lead to your closure.

So what does a Layered DR plan look like?

Layer 1: Same Server Backup
This allows for quick recovery for web pages should someone accidentally delete an item. However, should the hard drive(s) die, all data would be lost. This is really only to be used to replace individual files that were corrupted or edited.

Layer 2: Local Backup
This is a backup the resides in your local office. This ensures you have a physical copy within your grasp at all times. I recommend doing a monthly backup like this.

Layer 3: Off-Server Backup (same data center)
If you have large amounts of data, you will want to have a backup closer to the server. This could be physically in the same data center or geographic region. This is good, although you should add Layer 4 to your DR plan.

Layer 4: Off-Server Backup (geographically diverse)
This backup layer is removed from the geographic region entirely. For example, you host your data in Seattle. You would then setup a backup node in Virginia or vice versa. This gives you thousands of miles of separation, but yields more data security. You can also recover if one data center is knocked offline for an extended amount of time in a new location.

=> Click Here to Configure a Geographically Diverse Backup Location

Layer 5: Third Party ‘Vault’ Storage
This means a physical copy housed in a vault with security guards. This is the ultimate in data protection, but does not lend itself to speedy data recovery. Further, this is cost prohibitive to many small and medium sized businesses.

Of course, you can add even more layers to your DR mix. However, the ones listed above should be more than enough.

How did you score?

0 -1 layer(s): Your business is at serious risk. It is suggested you add
2 – 3 layers: You will be only be able to recover if the DC has replacement hardware and the facility itself is still online. As data was not hosted outside the facility.
4+ layers: You are in good shape, you will be able to recover from most disasters either in the same DC you are located in or a new facility altogether.

If you scored lower than a 4, here’s what we recommend:

=> Click Here to Configure a Additional Backup Solutions

Add a geographically diverse location to your DR plan. A geographically different location will bring you peace of mind knowing your data is secure in the case of any local DC outages or regional issues.

In fact, Superb.net is one of the most affordable providers in this market. When you factor in the reliability of SSD drives used on our ThunderCloud platform – your data has never been more safe. SSD’s also deliver the highest performance available for read/write at 6Gbps… that’s double the speed of conventional SATA drives!

=> Click Here to Configure a Additional Backup Solutions

When your site is offline, you want immediate and FAST access to your backups. Superb delivers blazing fast upload and download speeds with our ThunderCloud configurations and enough storage for most applications. Our network has been rated #1 for the last ten years!

Better yet, your ThunderCloud instance is always available with automatic failover. This means you can access your data at any time. This is crucial if you are suffering an outage.

Superb Internet provides geographically diverse, blazing fast, and redundant solutions that are a must for creating peace of mind for your data storage needs.

=> Click Here to Configure a Additional Backup Solutions

In fact, you can chat with an expert today who will help you build out your very own Disaster Recovery plan with all the layers that are right for your business.

Why don’t you chat with a Disaster Recovery expert now?

Report: Hybrid Cloud Set for Absurd Growth Moving Forward

Growth

 

Hybrid cloud is growing enormously, according to a new analysis. Let’s look at what exactly a hybrid cloud is, typical uses, and the research that shows it skyrocketing.

  • What Exactly is a Hybrid cCloud?
  • Typical Uses of this Cloud Type
  • Explosion of the Hybrid Approach
  • Understanding the Hybrid Cloud Market
  • Where is this Model Growing Fastest?

What Exactly is a Hybrid Cloud?

A hybrid cloud is an integration of a private cloud established in a business’s own data center with a public cloud run through a hosting provider’s data center. This strategy allows the company to shift tasks between the two environments based on price and computing requirements. Essentially, it creates a more adaptive infrastructure. An enterprise might want to use the private cloud for highly sensitive or mission-critical data, while it uses the public cloud for R&D projects, for instance.

Typical Uses of this Cloud Type

A hybrid of public and private is often used by companies that are working within various verticals. It is also common for companies with workloads that see huge shifts in activity, explains Stephen J. Bigelow in TechTarget. “For example, a transactional order entry system that experiences significant demand spikes around the holiday season is a good hybrid cloud candidate,” he says. “The application could run in private cloud, but use cloud bursting to access additional computing resources from a public cloud when computing demands spike.”

Related: Of course, companies want to make sure that their hybrid cloud incorporates a strong public component. At Superb Internet, we use distributed rather than centralized storage for no bottlenecks and ultra-fast reads and writes, and InfiniBand for dozens of times lower latency than the theoretical minimum of 10 Gigabit Ethernet. Get guaranteed cloud hosting.

Explosion of the Hybrid Approach

Astronomical growth of public and private cloud deployments has, in turn, accelerated the adoption of the hybrid model. In fact, more than 81% of enterprises say that they will have a hybrid system implemented by 2017, while half of large enterprises will have adopted the IT strategy by 2018. Globally, the market is forecast to expand at a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 34.3% between 2016 and 2022, when it will reach $241.13 billion.

The increasing popularity of hybrid cloud both among SMBs and within powerful business segments is fueling its general ascent. Over 30% of the vertical market share is within manufacturing, while 11% of it is within telecommunications and IT. Regardless of all this growth, Infoholic Research notes that this version of cloud should still be considered in the early phase of adoption.

The companies and enterprises that are implementing these clouds are able to keep whatever systems private as needed but also benefit from the pay-per-use price structure of public cloud. “In addition to that,” notes Infoholic Research, “the hybrid cloud provides a significant opportunity for cost savings by shutting down unused workloads and by helping to select lower-cost clouds based on [requirements].”

Understanding the Hybrid Cloud Mmarket

The hybrid market can be understood by looking at it from four different angles: regions, solutions, service models, and verticals. An application that is served through a hybrid cloud allows for strict control over how workloads are deployed with regard to support in different locations (as with a company that has its infrastructure in the United States and its developers in Europe).

Looking at the solutions piece, it includes management systems, network integration, and app architecture. “The application architecture model helps to enhance business value and at the same time reduces the risks involved in the transitional process,” says Infoholic. “It further helps to reduce operational cost in the long run by automating different deployment models.”

In terms of verticals, as indicated above, the largest are manufacturing and telecom/IT. Those two industries alone will account for $8.97 billion in hybrid growth in 2016, says Infoholic.

Why is manufacturing adopting hybrid cloud so aggressively? It allows them to make their operations more efficient, cut their expenses, and get broad accessibility while at the same time meeting the security requirements they need for different systems. Telecom and IT like hybrid because they want real-time automation for better productivity and cost-reduction, while being able to work remotely and collaboratively through a seamlessly connected virtual office.

“Organizations are also adopting hybrid cloud management tools and tools that supports process automation, innovation and help in reducing complexity,” says Infoholic, “while maintaining and automating governance and compliance policies.”

The revenue for hybrid management systems is projected to increase from $10.78 billion to $24.18 billion between 2016 and 2019. The market for these systems will have quadrupled in just six years, by 2022.

Where is this Model Growing Fastest?

The top three regions worldwide for hybrid cloud are as follows, in order: North America, Western Europe, and Asia-Pacific.

The adoption in North America should triple between 2016 and 2019, says Infoholic. Asia-Pacific is also growing at an incredible clip in this category, with 70% of businesses there planning to adopt hybrid by 2018.

Multi-Cloud: Arguments on Each Side & Successful Adoption

Multi-Cloud

Many businesses are now deploying multi-cloud environments. Let’s look at what this approach is, pros and cons, and basic rules for adoption.

  • What is Multi-Cloud?
  • Popularity of this Approach
  • Arguments for Multi-Cloud
  • The Downsides
  • Management of Multi-Cloud
  • On the Horizon & Standards

What is Multi-Cloud?

Multi-cloud is a term that has been used for years in discussion of cloud services, but – much like the cloud itself – the concept has been a little vague. How does the notion of multiple clouds work within the context of public, private, and hybrid cloud categories, for instance?

According to most experts, multi-cloud involves blending together numerous cloud-based systems from various vendors to diversify a company’s infrastructure or services. The idea is to reduce the threat of proprietary lock-in and allow the business greater agility, while taking advantage of the benefits and physical locations offered by different providers.

Specifically, a “multi-cloud strategy is the concomitant use of two or more cloud services to minimize the risk of widespread data loss or downtime due to a localized component failure in a cloud computing environment,” according to TechTarget.

Popularity of this Approach

A November 2014 poll of nearly 700 IT executives, conducted by Dimensional Research, revealed that three-quarters of companies (77%) were in the planning stages of a multi-cloud strategy. That statistic is a little shocking since cloud itself didn’t become a common business approach until the last few years. It also suggests that multi-cloud is a tactic that is accepted across a broad spectrum of verticals.

There are actually advantages and disadvantages to this approach.

Arguments for Multi-Cloud

People who adopt multi-cloud do so for the following reasons:

  • Bolster their geo-presence and disaster recovery position
  • Enable them access to specific features of various vendors as desired
  • Give them the public cloud advantages of affordability and incredible scalability
  • Provide the option of private cloud for systems that have especially sensitive data, compliance concerns, or are built more traditionally.

Basically, the notion of diversification to mitigate risk, as seen with the common stock-market strategy, is used in cloud with multi-cloud. Using various different infrastructures, this argument goes, makes you generally more reliable, and you are able to get the budgetary benefits of cloud while not suffering from lock-in with a specific cloud solution provider (CSP).

Multi-cloud disaster recovery is an effort to optimize resilience. If one cloud goes down, the other remains up, and business continuity is maintained. Multi-cloud additionally gives companies access to data centers in different locations around the country and worldwide. Sending traffic to data centers based on their proximity to clients is helpful so that you can keep latency low.

The Downsides

One obvious issue when you go with a number of different providers rather than just one is that isn’t as easy to manage, explains Tony Connor in Cloud Tech. “[While] this is not necessarily an immediate problem, if not monitored and controlled properly, operational issues start stacking up at a rapid speed,” he says, “leading to difficulty maintaining access control, bug patches and security updates.”

Plus, the lack of standardization from one cloud to another can make it challenging to figure out how costs compare from one company’s plan to another’s.

Related: Another basic problem with multi-cloud is that you are trying to improve your reliability; but you want to make sure that any cloud you use meets strict requirements in the way that it’s engineered. At Superb Internet, for instance, our cloud features distributed rather than centralized storage so that even multiple node failures don’t impact performance, and InfiniBand rather than 10 Gigabit Ethernet for always-zero packet loss and practically no jitter. See our plans.

Management of Multi-Cloud

It can be tricky to manage multi-cloud without a strong internal IT staff. It can also take the focus of your IT personnel away from working on new features and providing tech support.

For these reasons, some companies partner with third-parties that help with management of multi-cloud. Using these services allows them to make sure everything is running smoothly in one central location.

Multi-cloud environments can be managed by hosting companies, for instance, which means that there is 24/7 support in case any issues arise.

On the Horizon & Standards

Despite the importance of carefully vetting all the clouds you use to make sure you aren’t wasting your money with some, the fact is that this approach is increasingly popular. Remember the above mention that 77% of IT decision-markers said in 2014 that they planned to set up multi-cloud at their business. In 2015, another poll by the IT market analysis firm IDC revealed that 86% of enterprises were headed toward implementing it by 2017.

The desire for diversity is understandable. However, properly integrating various cloud services can be challenging. Furthermore, you don’t want the quality of your solutions to suffer in the effort to have numerous systems in play. Make sure that whatever clouds you choose adhere to strong standards, such as SSAE 16 SOC-1 Type II, ISO 9001:2008, and ISO 27001:2013.

Cloud Computing: Could it Save a Child’s Life (Part 2 of 2)

Heartbeat

<<< Go to Part 1

  • Power of Cloud in Medicine (cont.)
  • Project to Save Kids’ Lives with Cloud

Power of cloud in medicine (cont.)

Implementing the cloud is becoming increasingly popular in the pharmaceutical industry. According to James Staten of Forrester, almost all drug firms are using cloud – at least for research and development. The most obvious primary driver for that, he says, is its cost-effectiveness.

Additionally, though, using the cloud makes it much easier for everyone on a team to work in concert, with all drafts saved in real-time. Sage Bionetworks President Dr. Stephen Friend points out that it’s not just coworkers and affiliates who want to collaborate with their data and concepts actually, but competitors.

That’s because there is a shared concern with cutting costs as much as possible. When everyone decides to throw their information into one pot, it means all companies are able to reduce the financial vulnerability associated with these densely rigorous projects.

It isn’t just drug and other medical companies that are being aided by this technological revolution; it’s helping patients. For instance, Pathwork Diagnostics is a healthcare outfit that is storing a massive amount of cancer biopsy data on cloud servers, notes Staten, which means faster diagnosis and a higher chance of survival.

When tissue comes in from a physician who is unsure of the specific type of cancer, “they can put that single sample into their database on the cloud,” he says, “and, within less than a day, come back with a high-probability diagnosis of what kind of cancer that tissue sample is.”

Getting the kind of cancer pinpointed immediately means that the clinic can shift rapidly into the best possible treatment.

RELATED: In order for any idea to be implemented in the cloud to its full potential, it’s important to remember that it’s not really “the cloud” but “the clouds.” Especially if lives are on the line, you want to make sure your cloud infrastructure is built using the most advanced equipment and techniques. At Superb Internet, we use distributed (i.e. not centralized) storage to avoid any single point of failure for optimal reliability; and InfiniBand (i.e. not 10 Gigabit Ethernet) so that no packets are ever lost, guaranteed. See our cloud plans.

Project to Save Kids’ Lives with Cloud

These three statistics on the vulnerability of young kids around the world really are quite shocking:

  1. More than 6 million kids aged 4 or below die every year from causes that could be prevented, according to UNICEF;
  2. Almost 20,000 boys and girls in that low age bracket die daily of diseases that could be avoided.
  3. The majority of poor, non-industrialized countries have approximately 1 doctor per 1,000 people, compared to 3-6 doctors per thousand in an average “first-world” nation such as the US or UK.

For anyone with compassion, these numbers are heart-breaking even if they seem overwhelming. Doctors will often dedicate pro-bono time to finding solutions for this incredible and ongoing humanitarian crisis.

One such project is OPENPediatrics, explains Manzoor Farid in Thoughts on Cloud. This project is a platform that uses the cloud “to deliver education and information across a global community of medical practitioners who treat critically ill children,” he says. “It is sponsored by Boston Children’s Hospital in collaboration with the World Federation of Pediatric Intensive and Critical Care Societies.”

There is a broader issue that this project and others like it are able to address: leveling the playing field in terms of the amount of knowledge doctors can access worldwide. Just like with the drug companies, everyone is able to benefit from information being easily accessible in the same place.

To better understand what things look like in action, here are four specific components of this particular system designed to help children survive potentially life-threatening illnesses:

  1. A social app that allows doctors to contribute and comment on opinions and findings
  2. Articles and other content on pediatric specialties to more broadly spread that expertise
  3. How-to videos of sophisticated therapeutic methods
  4. Treatment simulators so that doctors can rehearse and practice the process of treatment digitally before carrying it out in real life.

The image of cloud is fluffy and light, but virtual projects like this one are anything but, notes Traci Wolbrink, MD, associate program director for OPENPediatrics. “All around the world there are children who are critically ill,” she says, “and unless you provide the right care at the right time in the right way, these children will die.”

When we talk about technology, it’s easy to get caught up on the intricacies of the back end – to think of it in terms of machines and wires and coding. As indicated by this example, cloud computing is a perfect fit to bring together experts from different fields, and integrate their ideas and information. That way a gap in knowledge doesn’t mean an infant or toddler is unable to survive just because the doctors in their vicinity don’t have access to the most powerful and up-to-date information.

Cloud Computing: Could It Save a Child’s Life? (Part 1 of 2)

Heartbeat

Cloud is often discussed in terms of its basic selling points for business: how much more efficient and productive it can make an organization. However, cloud computing is having a profound influence beyond business, on our way of life. In fact, this technology can save lives. Let’s look at its use in healthcare and how one children’s hospital is leveraging it.

  • Technology that Could be a Life-Saver
  • Power of Cloud in Medicine

 Technology that Could be a Life-Saver

Why is the technology of cloud computing so exciting? On a broad level, it’s great that businesses are better able to scale, use big data efficiently, and affordably access a highly secure and reliable infrastructure.

The cloud is based on a time-sharing model of computing that was popular decades ago, when people didn’t have their own computers. Now companies are increasingly realizing that the same model is preferable to conventional dedicated computing. What firms are able to achieve with the cloud is to share resources across many disparate businesses. That ends up saving money for everyone through economies of scale, notes cloud computing author David Linthicum. “The value of time share and the core value of cloud computing are pretty much the same,” he says, “only the resources these days are much better and more cost effective.”

However, the way in which cloud is really exciting is as something that can really alter our lives. It’s interesting to consider how the speed and agility of cloud could change the world. It’s powerful to realize it could possibly save a child’s life.

The cloud allows for more rapid development, better insights on your data, and more easily integrated access by multiple users (internal and potentially external to an organization). Furthermore, it also makes it possible for doctors and other researchers to set aside the challenge of establishing an infrastructure and simply get to work looking for stronger understandings of disease and new, better treatments.

Let’s look at the cloud in action: its implementation at Seattle Children’s Hospital.

Power of Cloud in Medicine

The incredible size and speed of cloud are making it simpler and more affordable for research teams to zero in on new treatments and pharmaceutical medications.

Assessing datasets that would previously have taken years and millions in funding now can be done almost immediately, via the elasticity of cloud (its ability to scale with you to meet your changing demand). “Companies can rent massive computer resources by the hour, and the cost is relatively little,” notes NPR. “The ability to analyze vast amounts of data in this way is changing lots of industries — including health care.”

Dr. Michael Cunningham, who heads the craniofacial center at the Seattle Children’s Hospital, works with infants whose skulls solidified too early. When that happens, a disease called craniosynostosis, the shape of the head becomes unusual and pressure within the skull is amplified. Pressure within the skull threatens the health of the brain.

Researchers had previously posited that craniosynostosis results from a problem in bone cells’ ability to talk with each other. However, Cunningham wanted to dig deeper on the cellular level. By running sophisticated analytic algorithms in the cloud, Cunningham and his colleagues were better able to pinpoint the qualities of cells that were common among these patients.

That was a major leap forward for the field. It’s essentially the first clue in terms of finding the root cause of this tragic condition, says Cunningham.

Knowing the cause in turn allows researchers to develop stronger treatments.

“Aided by cloud computing, researchers crunched, analyzed and sequenced massive amounts of information — something Cunningham could not have done on his own,” explains NPR, summarizing why the cloud is so popular. “It would have been far too expensive and taken too long.”

RELATED: Keep in mind that not all cloud computing is created the same. At Superb Internet, our cloud architecture is built using distributed rather than centralized storage, and InfiniBand rather than 10 Gigabit Ethernet. These two strategies give us no single point of failure and guaranteed always-zero packet loss. See our cloud plans.

Using an infrastructure-as-a-service provider to immediately access virtual cloud servers and adaptively get the resources they need at any given time, drug companies are able to operate as cost-effectively as possible.

That’s important to pharmaceutical firms because drug discovery is a huge building block of their industry. Single projects will sometimes require running an algorithm on tens of millions of different chemical compounds.

The reason cloud is so successful for these types of situations is similar to many other business scenarios. People want to be able to instantly access a massive influx of raw computer power, without setting up machines – almost like they are tapping into the IT grid. Of course people want to avoid worrying about purchasing equipment, storing it, cooling it, and providing its power. That’s a headache.

A typical project running through all that chemical information to gather insights lasts two or three hours and is not cost-prohibitive. In fact, the cost of cloud computing is one of its other main selling points. Referring to one chemical data project that ran through 21 million compounds, NPR notes that “if the company had tried to do this in-house, it would have had to spend millions on computers, and the job might have taken years to complete.”

 

>>> Go to Part 2

Arizona Goes Aggressively Cloud-First with State Computing

Arizona

A bill that the Arizona governor is expected to sign in the next few days will make transitioning to cloud systems a major state priority.

  • Cloud First in Federal IT
  • Arizona May Head for the Cloud
  • Business speed

Arizona has decided to prioritize cloud computing. Without getting into the politics, let’s look at how “Cloud First” has been a prominent notion in government for years. Then we’ll review the particular case of Arizona.

Cloud First in Federal IT

In 2010, the United States government, through the Office of Management and Budget, released 25 directives to improve the management of federal IT. One of the most important points was a new position that required a “cloud first” policy toward any computing adoption. Vivek Kundra, the federal CIO, included the policy toward cloud along with other ideas to streamline government technology in an address on December 9.

The gains the government could see from cloud are massive, said Kundra. For instance, he mentioned that agencies would be able to provision services immediately and sometimes could cut costs in half.

RELATED: It’s true that cloud has generally strong attributes, but it’s important to choose the right cloud provider – since there is significant variation. At Superb Internet, our cloud hosting plans go beyond the competition with distributed rather than centralized storage (for no single point of failure) and InfiniBand rather than 10 GigE (for tens of times lower latency).  

As for the federal government, some agencies had already started the cloud transition when the “cloud first” policy was announced. The General Service Administration had Web-based email in place that was patterned after Gmail, according to Government Technology. “The GSA is the first federal agency to make the Internet switch, and its decision follows the Office of Management and Budget’s declaration last month that the government is now operating under a ‘cloud-first’ policy,” reported the Washington Post, “meaning agencies must give priority to Web-based applications and services.”

There were several items on Kundra’s list that were specific requirements.  The chief technologist of each agency had to pick out three of its systems that it would be switching from traditional to cloud computing. One of those systems had to be moved to cloud within a year, while you could take up to 18 months to migrate the remaining two.

Now keep in mind, that policy was released in 2010. Still, though, many government systems at the federal level are still on their legacy equipment. That’s true with many state IT services as well. In Arizona, that’s about to change (if this bill is signed by the governor as expected).

Arizona May Head for the Cloud

The legislature in Arizona passed State Bill 1434 (SB 1434). It is currently sitting on Governor Doug Ducey’s desk. The bill mandates that state offices would switch everything over to cloud. In essence, it’s very similar to Kundra’s rules, as described in StateTech.

“The department shall adopt a policy that establishes a two-year hardware, platform and software refresh evaluation cycle for budget units,” the bill reads, “that requires each budget unit to evaluate and progressively migrate the budget unit’s information technology assets to use a commercial cloud computing model or cloud model as defined by the National Institute of Standards and Technology.”

Furthermore, says the bill, cloud systems should be evaluated every time any agency is getting ready to deploy a new system.

It’s a strong move to require that agencies basically explain themselves on any systems that aren’t in the cloud every two years, says Ricky Ribeiro of StateTech. The decisiveness of this action, assuming its signed, would effectively put Arizona in a leading position in terms of cloud adoption.

Business Speed

This law is very committed to cloud obviously. Why? According to the state’s CIO, Morgan Reed, Arizona is trying to become as adaptive and efficient as businesses are. Reed notes that companies have been taking advantage of cloud services to access environments that we trust and use every day. “Government needs the same benefits that the cloud provides to the private sector,” he says. “agility, scalability and reliability, as well as an operational expense model that allows us to only pay for what we are using every month.”

Notably, Reed came to government from the private sector. He was the head of infrastructure at Expedia prior to becoming the Arizona CIO.  He has been promoting cloud adoption in part because he has seen the positive impact it had at his previous employer.

Both companies and governments switch to cloud because it’s affordable, fast, and improves productivity. Those positives allow the government to center itself on providing services rather than managing infrastructure, notes Reed.

“IT is woven into the business processes of the state,” he says, “so including cloud in our IT strategy will free the state to focus on our core competencies of managing applications and delivering services.” He thinks the total cost of ownership of systems will be reduced and that it will be easier to quickly meet the needs of the public. Plus, it will make it easier for people to work together, he says, and for different agencies to be able to more easily access shared datasets.

Regardless of your perspective on this particular bill, the situation in Arizona is one example of a “cloud first” policy moving forward at the state level.