The Benefits of Cloud, The Control of On-Premises

Cyxtera Technologies • September 13, 2022 • 3 minute read

Hybrid IT, Colocation, Federal in Data Centers

In the wake of the White House’s Executive Order on Improving the Nation’s Cybersecurity, federal IT leaders have found themselves at a crossroads, knowing they need the speed and scale offered by the public cloud, but also, that the cloud may not be the best option for all applications and workloads. As a result, when Cyxtera and Govloop surveyed federal agencies to better understand their infrastructure strategy, they learned most had adopted a hybrid approach. While 91% of federal respondents were storing some or all of their systems and solutions in the cloud, 56% of respondents continued to keep at least some sensitive and mission-critical data on premises.

But agencies have another choice beyond on-prem and public/private/hybrid cloud operations. When on-premises operations become impractical and cloud costs become unsustainable, agencies may want to consider on-demand single-tenant infrastructure, such as Cyxtera’s Enterprise Bare Metal (EBM). EBM combines the best of both worlds and allows agencies to meet the requirements of the Cloud Smart policy without the added burden of managing their own data centers. It also provides the scalability and cost-efficiency that federal agencies require while sidestepping the security challenges presented by the cloud and the need to match IT agency skill sets.

Cloud benefits don’t always add up

Over the past decade, the push to the cloud has become so strong that in some cases it may eclipse the concept of selecting the infrastructure that best meets an agency’s needs. Government agencies, understandably, want to get out of the business of managing data centers and instead focus on delivering the services they are tapped to provide. However, this does not mean they want to be moving all of their data to the cloud, irrespective of need or fit.

The cloud isn’t always the best possible option. Consider the following:

  • Running applications in early-stage development in the cloud makes sense, but as their requirements for compute and storage grow, it can be more efficient to run on dedicated, bare-metal servers.
  • Some cloud vendors require agencies to stay within a certain scalability range with hefty fees if exceeded.
  • Agencies can end up paying for things they don’t need, such as unnecessary bulk storage or cloud storage of local files.
  • If an agency decides to switch cloud providers, there can be significant data egress fees.

Cloud advantages without the cloud

On-demand access to single-tenant infrastructure offers the security of dedicated hardware, the flexibility of a subscription-based pricing model, and the scalability of programmatic provisioning of compute, storage, and network connections. Such services can provide what agencies are looking for, including:

  • Flexible bandwidth that can be scaled up as needed
  • Remote access with low-latency connections
  • Instant computing power via automated provisioning
  • Lower total cost of ownership than offered by the public cloud
  • Custom-configured servers, matching the processor, random access memory (RAM), storage, graphics processing unit (GPU) and network hardware to an agency’s workloads
  • Total control over the data and the entire stack, as opposed to giving that control to a cloud provider

Enterprise Bare Metal benefits

The benefits of on-demand single-tenant infrastructure can best be seen through the lens of outcomes. How well does it help your agency perform its mission? Can you deliver the necessary services securely, while keeping costs under control? Is it allowing you to meet the Cloud Smart directive while still providing the control you require?

Cyxtera is uniquely positioned to meet the infrastructure and interconnection needs of the Federal government. Our Federal Platform has been designated as FedRamp Ready at the High Impact Level, allowing federal agencies to deploy secure private infrastructure in Cyxtera’s data centers with the speed and flexibility of cloud. Our Federal Platform:

  • supports federal "Cloud Smart" policy mandates
  • Is tuned for digital transformation and IT optimization initiatives
  • offers cloud-like deployment of HCI infrastructure supports virtualization and containerization projects
  • ensures highest levels of security and controls

IT leaders know that some workloads require more control than the cloud can offer. And, that paying a premium for the agility of the cloud may not always be the smartest choice when speed and scale are available at a far lower cost. In today’s computing environment, agencies need to rethink how they comply with cloud policy mandates while being mindful of cost. On-demand single-tenant infrastructure, such as Cyxtera’s Bare Metal offering, means agencies have access to a secure, efficient solution with predictable, manageable costs. It’s a win-win.

Views and opinions expressed in our blog posts are those of the employees who made them and do not necessarily reflect the views of the Company. A reader should not unduly rely on any statements made therein.

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