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[Simplified] Path to Migrating to the Cloud for Federal Agencies Using GSA’s Cloud SIN

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Federal agencies are adopting the cloud more and more for data storage and application storage. Gartner recently reported a $1 trillion shift in IT spending to the cloud in 2017 through to 2020, this is in spite of anticipated declines in other areas of IT expenditures. There are many causes for this anticipated area of spending:  the overall benefits of cloud storage include less maintenance, security, price and availability, and diversifying storage.

 

Evolver announced in November 2016 that we were accepted onto the Cloud Special Item Number (SIN) 132-40 through the GSA IT Schedule 70. Even before we had this SIN, we were busy supporting federal agencies’ moves to the cloud. This SIN offering is a more efficient way for agencies to purchase cloud services through Evolver.  [See our federal contract vehicles.]

 

The process to migrate to the cloud can be an overwhelming one to contemplate, so we developed a simplified list on how to migrate data or migrate applications to the cloud using the GSA Cloud SIN.

 

Many providers claim they migrate applications or data to the cloud, and while this may be true, Evolver offers the added benefit of being included on Cloud SIN, and with that the confidence and credibility as a verified provider, and the sheer simplified access to purchasing cloud services.

 

Government agencies are taking advantage of the Cloud SIN by combining it with the GSA Labor SIN 132-51 to gain even more efficiencies in having the same service provider.

Steps to Migrating Data and Applications to the Cloud for Federal Agencies (and Commercial Organizations, too)

1

Set up a test environment on the cloud

 

One major advantage of hosting on the cloud is that you can set up a test environment quickly.  Even better, Evolver can bring the test environment down when you do not need it, minimizing the cost of having that environment. This is especially helpful if you want to test moving a specific application or set of data to the cloud without moving everything initially.

2

Assess existing current infrastructure and environment

 

  • Determine what level of security is involved in moving the application or system
    • Does the agency have sensitive personal identifiable information (PII) associated with the application or system? If yes, then you must be very cautious about public cloud, as it impacts the level of security. The location of where the data is stored impacts the budget associated with kind of data.
  • How large are the applications?
  • How many users does the migration to the cloud effect?
  • Type of infrastructure they want to use – private/public/hybrid/government
    • Some agencies want to put data in private cloud, then create a hybrid cloud storage option to share computing power from multiple cloud service providers. In these instances, agencies use monitoring tools to know where your data lives.

3

Cloud readiness assessment

Prioritize what systems, data and applications to move to the cloud.

 

It’s not “all or nothing” when migrating to the cloud. Although some federal agencies will move everything at once (data, applications, even websites), others will determine which parts to move and space out the migration.

4

Evolver migrates client’s data or applications to the cloud

 

That’s where Evolver comes into play.  We are a GSA Cloud SIN service provider, and we can handle the migration to the cloud.  In fact, Evolver helps you understand the specific needs of each application and/ or environment that will be migrated and develops a technical approach and plan to mitigate or eliminate as many risks as possible. And because we are agnostic, we help you choose the provider that is best for you.

 

Create a production system

 

Now you are ready to go live – press go! Embrace all the hard work you have done vetting the cloud and now reap the many benefits of the dynamic, flexible cloud.

5

Set up disaster recovery/redundant environments

 

You can reduce the cost and burden of physical infrastructure and software needed for a remote disaster recovery site by having disaster recovery on the cloud. This enables you to only pay for disaster recovery resources when they are required, not all of the time. We can work in conjunction with you to determine recovery time and recovery points.

 

If you’re looking at this list above and feel like it is more detailed than you are prepared for, you may want to consider these as the main initial steps:

 

  1. Moving storage to cloud
  2. Moving applications to the cloud
  3. Moving disaster recovery to cloud
  4. Setting up redundant/high availability environments



Evolver has been serving the federal and commercial sectors for nearly two decades.

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