A Decade of Cloud: Time to Change Your Default Settings?


On-Premise to On-Demand: The Last Decade in Data Storage

The enterprise data storage marketplace is transforming fast. Before 2007 and the birth of the cloud computing market we are witnessing today, the on-premise model hosted in large local data centers dominated enterprise storage. Key marketplace players EMC (before the Dell acquisition), NetApp, IBM, HP (before they became HPE) and Hitachi managed information technology resources (compute, storage, and network). They tightly controlled their data in facilities they managed. Data security, legal and regulatory concerns, for the most part, were very localized. The data itself was highly structured (i.e., Relational Databases and SQL) in support of serially executed mostly static business processes. This structured approach worked because consumer segments in most industries were homogeneous, segregated and relatively static. Companies also felt relatively safe in their industry vertical due to the high financial and operational barriers prospective new competitive entrants would face.

In 2006, Amazon Web Services launched the first generation of cloud-based storage. Although cloud compute service and application management were the primary reason for migrating to the cloud, the rapid growth of unstructured data (social media, Hadoop, big data analytics) significantly heightened the importance of cloud-based storage. Rapidly changing business processes that increased the need to target smaller consumer segments (localization, online retail) also contributed to rapid data growth and breadth. Over time Google, Microsoft, Rackspace and other cloud storage vendors entered the market.

Today: Commoditized Storage

Now, as we enter 2018, the next generation of cloud storage is entering the market. Massive transition to cloud computing has commoditized storage. Industry observers expect storage to become an IT utility. Increased data volumes and the sourcing of unstructured data (crowdsourcing, social media analytics) have elevated the importance of previously benign enterprise storage technology decisions. Many business processes are now expected to be dynamically executed in a parallel fashion (agile business, social media customer service). Blended consumer segments and the need to target and satisfy individual consumers are common. There are also significant changes on the data security front.

Decade of Cloud
Think before blindly accepting the standard cloud storage offering
Faced with these rapid changes, organizations entering the cloud must think before blindly accepting the standard cloud storage offering. Since most don’t possess the resources to constantly monitor and keep up with the rapidly changing cloud computing market, they are now rapidly turning to cloud service broker teams, like Engility’s Cloud ASCEND, to help them navigate the field.

Designed specifically to address mission needs of government agencies and highly regulated industries, the Cloud ASCEND team knows how to help these agencies realize the full benefit cloud computing has to offer. They do this by researching, collecting and visualizing the data needed by senior decision makers and IT leaders. Typical questions faced by the team include:

  • What are the advantages of using cloud computing?
  • What can be outsourced to the cloud?
  • How do we ensure optimal mission performance?
  • Are our systems secure at all classification levels?
  • Are we enabling enterprise transformation and cross-agency collaboration?
  • How can we get the best ROI?
  • How do we recover in case of emergency?
If your team is looking to leverage cloud storage or any cloud service to meet mission goals, this approach can help by:

  • Analyzing existing systems for suitability for cloud migration
  • Designing scalable, secure and resilient cloud and hybrid enterprise architectures
  • Supporting the migration of mission processes to the cloud in a way that ensures mission performance, continuity and the expected ROI.
For more information visit https://www.engility.com/services/cloud-ascend/ or send an email to .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address) for more information.

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Posted by Kevin Jackson

I am an Engility Tech Fellow and serve as the director for cloud services. I provide my subject matter expertise to the exploration and development of enterprise strategies that leverage cloud computing to improve business and mission accomplishment. Through my work at Engility, I have assisted a number of government customers develop enterprise systems engineering, mission-enabling architectures and value-based solutions for the national security and public safety markets.