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Towards Open Cloud

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DQI Bureau
New Update

It is not just a buzzword throughout the IT industry-cloud computing has been a hot topic for enterprises across the nation. From the data center consolidation movement to the federal ‘cloud first' mandate and now with mobility and big data seeing an uptick in popularity, the government is shifting its discussion away from cloud being the destination to cloud as the enabler.

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Since the time e-governance has become popular, governments are trying to apply technology to deliver services to citizens and function effectively. While internet has changed the way government functions via various portals and websites, the most recent progress of bringing the government closer to people and how it functions in an efficient and manageable manner has taken importance more than ever. The goal is to make the nation's data resource open and accessible for all, from everywhere. While there is a building consensus that the cloud will become the mechanism for people to widely access data, to achieve that we need standardization around every aspect of the cloud and data interfaces.

In order to make government data available for a variety of applications, the many clouds used by each government entity must first be able to communicate with and access one another. The more standardization we have, the better government agencies will be able to integrate across clouds and collaborate.

Towards Open Standards

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Open standards in cloud computing not only provide integration and break down barriers between clouds and within government, but also drive workload portability and an end to vendor lock-in. As governments continue to embrace clouds of different sorts with multiple vendors, the need for data and application portability becomes more acute.

Public sector IT managers venturing into the cloud space should carefully consider the cloud solutions that they leverage for their applications. By leveraging a proprietary infrastructure, your apps may become dependent on the individual cloud service provider and may have sacrificed the flexibility of data and application portability. Essentially, open standards provide a common baseline allowing easy portability, avoiding vendor lock-in and potentially escalating costs.

To combat such proprietary approaches to cloud computing and to propel open standards, there's a growing movement behind the OpenStack Foundation and other groups committed to open cloud computing technologies. Born out of a government project, OpenStack has been a key player in founding the cloud open source movement, but private sector support is the key to maintaining the momentum. As a cross vendor consortium, OpenStack, and the commercial products built on it, ultimately make stronger and more innovative solutions as vendors donate back into the code base, establishing it as a growth platform for industry and government users alike.

In addition to the benefits of data and application portability, well-defined standards can also spur innovation. Just as mobile app open standards have spawned the development of hundreds of thousands of smartphone applications, common cloud standards will mean that governments are able to leverage a universal platform for innovation.

Cloud computing solutions built on open standards for the government using OpenStack will ultimately allow governments to focus on delivering value to the public without the burden of proprietary IT infrastructure, providing benefits for everyone by providing greater access to a wealth of government data and services. More and more, governments are recognizing that cloud will enable solutions that deliver better services to their constituents.

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