cloud migration
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Industry partnership takes aim at obstacles agencies face in cloud migration

The task of migrating workloads to the cloud is expected to get easier for state and local government agencies under a deepening partnership between two big names in technology VMware and Amazon Web Services (AWS).

The partnership will streamline the ability for IT departments to move data and virtualized applications back and forth between the cloud and on-premises data centers. But it is also expected to address many of the most common obstacles state and local CIOs face in trying to move to the cloud, senior executives told StateScoop in a new podcast.

For most state and local government CIOs, the list of obstacles typically includes the complexity of their systems, security concerns and a lack of expertise among staff.

IT experts generally agree the future of enterprise IT involves moving towards a combination of on-premises and cloud computing environments known as a hybrid cloud environment.

Helping state and local agencies move to the cloud more quickly is a joint goal that both VMware and AWS share, explains Bruce Short, senior solutions architect from AWS.

While state and local leaders are starting to make progress in their adoption of cloud services, there is still more to be done, Short says in the podcast, which was underwritten by VMware, Carahsoft and Intel.

The complexity in the cloud space moving to hybrid cloud and potentially doing multi-platform from on-premise to off-premise has been difficult for IT leaders to manage, and in the past any change introduced risks and security concerns, he explains.

However, the new VMware-AWS partnership solution is built to mitigate those challenges.

Trevor Wagnitz, VMwares cloud sales specialist, shares how the solution integrates directly with VMware cloud on AWS so customers can quickly migrate workloads from their existing data centers. Organizations would be able to build across their own data centers, across their cloud data centers within VMC, [or even] leverage native AWS services.

And it creates an opportunity for IT leaders to rethink old problems in a new way and extend their data centers more rapidly, he says.

Wagnitz adds that the VMware-AWS partnership has achieved most of their required government compliance requirements, so they will be able to help customers overcome security and compliance obstacles they have faced in the past.

Addressing the fact that many organization lack staff with cloud expertise, Short explains that the companies created the service to be provisioned quickly within roughly 90 minutes which eliminates the need of a heavy lift tech refresh from customers. Additionally, those currently running VMware will still find all the current tools and management processes they run on-premises also accessible on the AWS cloud. With nothing new to learn or change, the service eliminates the need to retrain staff.

If state and local agencies are struggling to take advantage of hybrid cloud computing, Short and Wagnitz both recommend laying a solid foundation: Get a plan, set goals and make sure to get buy-in from senior leadership. But most of all, leverage industry partners to educate decision-makers about cloud and the cloud solutions that are available.

Learn more about other Innovation Heroes in government.

This podcast was produced by StateScoop for, and sponsored by, VMware, Intel and Carahsoft.