Federal agencies are increasingly moving to cloud computing environments, but as cloud service options have become more diverse, the General Services Administration (GSA) is stepping up its efforts to help agencies with developing informed strategies to understand, anticipate, rationalize, and optimize major cloud architecture decisions.


As part of that effort, GSA has developed guidelines to ensure agencies can evaluate cloud computing environments that best meet their missions.


According to Skip Jentsch, cloud products manager for the Federal Acquisition Service at GSA, the goal is to ensure that agencies have the most relevant information on different cloud architectures and to compare the advantages and disadvantages of each.


“The decision to adopt a multi-cloud or hybrid cloud solution significantly impacts cost effectiveness, manageability, performance, reliability, security and privacy, and the IT workforce. Agencies should be aware of the relative benefits and tradeoffs of each,” Jentsch said during a virtual summit organized by the Advanced Technology Academic Research Center (ATARC) on July 19. 


With the increased adoption of the cloud, agencies are figuring out costs, benefits, and risks associated with those platform migration. But Jentsch explained that “a one-size-fits-all solution isn’t appropriate for the varying IT environments across the Federal community.”


“[These] guides bring together the most relevant information on different cloud architectures, compare the advantages and disadvantages of each, and walk agencies through important considerations about different available cloud solutions,” Jentsch said.


Some of the guides Jentsch highlighted include the Cloud Strategy Guide which helps agencies with developing strategies for successful cloud adoption and the Containerization Readiness Guide, which helps agencies make informed and intelligent decisions on adopting container technologies.


“With these guidelines, agencies will likely arrive at additional considerations to determine which cloud solution is more appropriate for their needs and how to accomplish their mission,” he said. “It aims to point agencies in the right direction, according to their specific IT needs.”

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Lisbeth Perez
Lisbeth Perez
Lisbeth Perez is a MeriTalk Senior Technology Reporter covering the intersection of government and technology.