Q & A How Government Can Achieve Cloud Gains, While Keeping Sensitive Data Protected

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1 Q & A How Government Can Achieve Cloud Gains, While Keeping Sensitive Data Protected Understanding How Hybrid Cloud Enables Cloud Efficiencies and Reduces Data Security Risks

2 Q: What concerns do public sector organizations face in migrating systems to the cloud? In addition to juggling tight budgets and multiple priorities, government institutions face security requirements that often lead them to question whether it s possible to attain the necessary level of protection and control over data stored in a public cloud service. It can be a difficult sell for them to see how the same level of management and protection may be achieved in a cloud environment as they currently have with on-premises data management systems. In addition, these organizations recognize that any migration from on-premises systems to the cloud will introduce new challenges, including the added complexity of administering two separate data management systems. Q: Describe the pros and cons of using cloud services for sensitive/classified data? The pros of moving data to the cloud are that organizations of all types and sizes are finding greater agility, flexibility, and scalability, along with the opportunity to reduce CapEx and also IT costs by only paying for resources consumed. Cloud services can help government organizations eliminate lengthy procurement cycles, increase agency responsiveness to new and emerging business requirements and deliver the on-demand storage and compute capacity as needed. The cons center primarily on the level of protection and management afforded to data stored in public cloud environments. Due to stringent federal oversight requirements placed on government organizations to protect classified, personal or sensitive information from loss or breaches, many agencies remain extremely cautious about committing their data to public storage. They feel safer with the existing technologies in their on-premises data centers. Q: What alternatives are available to address their concerns about cloud data storage? A hybrid cloud solution allows organizations to take advantage of the scalability and cost-effectiveness of cloud resources while maintaining the existing level of data protection and management they have in their on-premises data center. The data remains in their private cloud, in their existing data management system and utilizes the compute resources in the public cloud. However, if the private cloud is the organization s on-premises data center, this can present an issue. Latency occurs because of the distance between the on-premises data center and the cloud computing resources, and this impacts application performance and user productivity. An alternative hybrid cloud approach is to store the data on private storage at a colocation facility located in very close proximity to the pubic cloud compute resources and connected over a high speed, low latency link. This addresses performance issues, as well as concerns about data security and management. Q: What solutions are available? Blue River Information Technology provides a hybrid cloud solution called Mallard for NetApp & (Amazon Web Services). Mallard comprises NetApp Private Storage for technology and managed, professional and engineering services from Blue River. With NetApp Private Storage, NetApp systems are hosted at an Equinix colocation facility that is situated in close proximity to an center and connected by Direct Connect, a high speed, low latency link. Equinix has a worldwide network of such facilities. Data is replicated from the on-premises NetApp systems to those at Equinix and EC2 cloud compute resources are leveraged to run the applications accessing data in an agency s private storage. The solution combines data management technology recognized for its advanced data protection and management, with on-demand cloud compute resources. This provides the benefits of cloud computing, while keeping data safe. By opting for Blue River s managed service NetApp-as-a-Service, organizations gain the added

3 benefit of not needing to source their own NetApp systems, but utilize those deployed by Blue River at Equinix. As with public cloud storage, capacity is available on-demand, and charged according to usage. The NetApp Private Storage solution utilizes the same data management system used by customers worldwide in on-premises data centers. NetApp tools used in on-premise data centers also manage the private storage data. The same level of protection and security is maintained with the private data, as in the on-premises center. Applications running in both and on-premises can access the data in the private storage system. Data in the private storage can be replicated to low cost S3 or Glacier storage for long term archiving, eliminating the need for tape based systems. NetApp s SnapMirror, SnapManager, SnapVault and FlexClone all work between the two environments. SnapMirror is a data replication technology that is streamlined for disaster recovery and data distribution. It is extremely storage-efficient. SnapMirror uses block-level updates to reduce network bandwidth and time requirements. SnapManager is a suite of tools that allow applications and storage to intelligently coordinate activities to make backup fast and space efficient, speed the restore process, and simplify common data management tasks. SnapVault provides disk-to-disk backup and recovery software that leverages block-level incremental replication and NetApp Snapshot copies for reliable, low-overhead disk-to-disk (D2D) backup. FlexClone creates exact, virtual copies of data volumes, files and LUNs without compromising performance or demanding additional storage space. Q: How is a private storage solution implemented? The following graphic illustrates the architecture for the Mallard for NetApp and solution. NetApp Private Storage for Amazon Web Services () On-premises Data Center VPN Compute Instances Storage SnapMirror SnapVault Direct Connect Equinix Coloca on Facility G2G FlexClone As shown above, NetApp systems are located in the on-premises data center, and the Equinix colocation facility. The private storage communicates with the Amazon EC2 compute resources via Direct Connect. NetApp s

4 SnapMirror and SnapVault work between the on-premises data center and the off-premises storage at Equinix for replication. Q: How can Mallard for NetApp and be used in government agencies today? 1. In Lieu of a Physical Disaster Recovery Site -- NetApp storage is deployed in the on-premises data center and at the Equinix colocation facility. SnapMirror constantly replicates data to the private storage. The applications are loaded into EC2 reserved instances awaiting activation when needed. When a disaster occurs, the EC2 compute resources are provisioned to run the applications that access data in the private storage. This approach can be an economically and logistically advantageous alternative to conventional, physical DR sites. 2. For Long Term Archival Storage, in Lieu of Tape -- Data in the NetApp systems in the on-premises data center is replicated and versioned using SnapMirror and SnapVault to private storage at Equinix. This data is then transferred using Direct Connect to low cost, immediately expandable Amazon storage. This offers a lower cost, more practical solution to tape-based archiving. 3. As a Test/Dev Environment -- A test/dev environment is set up with Amazon EC2 instances provisioned for the development version of the application accessing test data, which has been cloned to NetApp private storage from the live system in the on-premises data center. When testing is satisfactorily concluded, the EC2 instances are de-provisioned. This offers a fast, low cost approach to development and testing, eliminating the need to procure and deploy equipment in-house, which once testing is completed, becomes redundant. 4. As an Off-Premises Data Center -- For organizations that want to move to cloud services and no longer maintain on-premises data centers, the data can be migrated to private storage and the applications to. The on-premises data center can then be turned off. Q: What services does Blue River offer? Blue River has developed a portfolio of Mallard services, which includes managed, professional, and engineering services. 1. Blue River has deployed NetApp storage at Equinix locations for its managed services. This storage can be used by organizations in lieu of sourcing and deploying their own storage instances at Equinix. This service is on-demand and billed monthly, based on usage. Managed services include: Backup-as-a-Service Archive-as-a-Service NetApp-as-a-Service 2. Professional services are available for everything from determining an organization s cloud requirements, to recommending the best cloud approach, to deployment and ongoing administration as required. 3. Engineering services are offered for integration, customization and development. Q: What sets Blue River IT apart as a partner for government cloud services? Blue River s mission is to provide cloud and on-premises data center solutions that deliver the quality of service, performance, continuity of operations and security that customers require, along with scalability and flexibility to meet their evolving business requirements. We are a technology and services solutions provider, not just a technology reseller. Our expertise and experience in both traditional on-premise and cloud IT infrastructures bring enormous benefit to organizations weighing the merits of utilizing cloud services. Unlike companies that provide only cloud services, we understand the existing

5 infrastructure and can advise what applications and services should, and should not be moved to cloud, and how they should be migrated, integrated and optimized. Our managed services have enabled many organizations to lower their IT costs, redirect IT staff to other mission critical tasks, rather than requiring them to work just to keep the lights on. Our managed services give organizations the ability to be more responsive to changing operational requirements. Blue River offers technologies and IT expertise our government customers have come to rely on leveraging decades of extensive professional and engineering services to create managed services that address government s most pressing needs. Our team can effectively translate complex public sector demands into cost effective, operationally efficient cloud solutions that enable agencies to optimize IT investments and keep data safe. For more information: - Call us on or us at - Visit us at - View the Mallard for NetApp and video

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