Preparing for the Gradual JEDI Revolution at DOD

Now that DOD’s huge JEDI contract has been awarded to Microsoft, DOD agencies should really start thinking about how they are going to use cloud…

Now that DOD’s huge JEDI contract has been awarded to Microsoft, DOD agencies should really start thinking about how they are going to use cloud resources in their day-to-day operations.

Big changes are on the way for DOD

Government agencies have a track record of strong resistance to the cloud, often because an officially certified, secure, blessed-from-above solution was lacking. All (or at least, most) of those objections should be dispelled by the JEDI RFP release letter from DOD CIO Dana Deasy, who calls the deployment of cloud technology “critical to national defense” and lays out a convincing logic for why that is the case.

Once the JEDI cloud is officially rolled out, a mandate from above to use it is likely to follow in short order. With bureaucratic obstacles to cloud at DOD being dismantled so quickly and systematically, many cloud-averse DOD agencies will soon be forced to ask: “What next?”

Move to cloud will not be instantaneous

The JEDI cloud is a revolutionary capability for DOD agencies, but revolutions can take different forms. The historical reluctance of DOD components to the cloud suggests that the process of adopting JEDI will be gradual and evolutionary rather than an overnight change. Thankfully, cloud adoption itself isn’t usually a black and white process – its very nature supports the demand-based, flexible adoption scenario which is most likely to play out in DOD.

The first JEDI cloud migrations in DOD are probably going to be limited extensions of on-prem assets and compute. This toe-in-the-water approach is a logical step for most agencies which aren’t yet ready to leap into cloud computing at scale.

Centralized DNS is a critical part of a successful migration

Optimizing DNS infrastructure is an essential step for the gradual cloud migrations which DOD is likely to pursue. Trying to manage DNS across on-prem and cloud instances without a centralized platform can be time-consuming and operationally cumbersome. Even more, decentralized DNS architectures like BIND and Microsoft do not support the automation-driven DNS provisioning that powers DevOps – one of the primary reasons for moving to the cloud in the first place.

Centralized DNS management will allow DOD agencies to manage their cloud resources as a seamless extension of their on-prem assets and compute, rather than treating the JEDI cloud as a separate DNS instance. This “single pane of glass” approach really is the ideal way to get comfortable with managing and migrating assets over two different environments.

Time is of the essence

With an average cloud migration period of eighteen months, DOD agencies are already within the timeframe where discussions about optimizing their network infrastructure should be underway. The pressure from above to take advantage of JEDI cloud resources is likely to be strong; agencies should have their networks prepped and ready so they can get started quickly.

BlueCat has a great deal of experience in optimizing network infrastructures for migrations to the cloud. With our strong government customer base, DOD ATOs in place, and availability in the relevant cloud regions, it really is time to take a look at BlueCat as the “low hanging fruit” of a successful cloud migration.

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