The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) has released its final cloud and data strategies and “establishes a new mindset or modernizing NOAA’s IT environment.”

The strategy seeks to mitigate risks and unintended consequences during the modernization, as well as establish the following:

  • A default architectural end-state for NOAA’s cloud services;
  • A unified approach for cloud migration;
  • Promoting a smart transition;
  • Business cases and best practices; and
  • Enable broad solution sharing.

“Traditionally, modernization initiatives have started with the legacy architecture, followed by an evaluation of architectural alternatives for meeting the requirements,” NOAA states. “The strategy requires a fundamentally different and opposite approach—one that starts with and presumes an end-state architecture (specifically, a multi-vendor, multi-tenant commercial cloud environment), followed by a requirements and business case analysis to determine the suitability of cloud for the requirements, and if suitable then determine the best permutation of this architecture (e.g., private, hybrid, public) for the requirements.”

NOAA outlined five different strategic goals for cloud, while also highlighting that it’s imperative that NOAA’s strategy be unified and collaborative in its approach. The goals include:

  1. Enable innovation through rapid adoption of cloud-based services.
  2. Drive Smart Cloud migration.
  3. Provide effective governance for cloud shared services.
  4. Ensure secure and broad access to cloud services.
  5. Empower a cloud-ready workforce.

“In the desired future state all NOAA IT services are hosted in a cloud, based on a deliberate decision process, which first considers application hosting in a brokered, multi-vendor, multi-cloud, multi-tenant FedRAMP certified commercial cloud computing environment, and chooses the migration target (multi-tenant, hybrid, private off-premise, etc.) based on cost-effectively meeting all mission requirements, including security, latency, workload variability, and the like,” NOAA said.

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Jordan Smith
Jordan Smith
Jordan Smith is a MeriTalk Senior Technology Reporter covering the intersection of government and technology.