Multicloud Wins the Federal Government Cloud Wars

Mission requirements for private, low-latency network, cloud and partner ecosystem interconnection are advancing agency IT and digital modernization

Jon Lin
Multicloud Wins the Federal Government Cloud Wars

The Department of Defense (DoD) recently changed the course of their cloud strategy, shifting away from a $10 billion, single-cloud Joint Enterprise Defense Infrastructure (JEDI) contract, and adopting a multicloud strategy instead. This move to align DoD digital initiatives such as the Joint Warfighter Cloud Capability (JWCC) and the Joint All-Domain Command and Control (JADC2) created a way forward for the DoD and other agencies with similar IT agendas to leverage new technology.

Government agencies and their mission partners can learn a great deal from the digital transformation war stories from the private sector and take advantage of the innovations that have been developed by businesses such as Equinix. A hybrid multicloud architecture represents a solid path to engaging in a rapidly changing infrastructure landscape and allows government agencies to manage legacy data-intensive processes while simultaneously embracing new “born-in-the-cloud” data frameworks.

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Why an interconnected, hybrid multicloud strategy is critical for DoD JWCC and JADC2 mission success:

  • Hybrid multicloud is a foundational stepping stone toward a modern IT infrastructure.
    A leap from a legacy physical infrastructure to a fully virtual infrastructure can be complex, and in some cases, impractical. For organizations that need enhanced protection for their data or are working to meet data residency regulations, a single private cloud may be the only option. However, a hybrid multicloud solution can represent the best of both worlds, keeping on-premises IT adjacent to private clouds while providing direct and secure access to public clouds for greater performance, security and cost-efficiency (lowers cloud data egress charges). A hybrid multicloud infrastructure will allow DoD to introduce virtual capabilities and scale as needed, where it is most critical, while maintaining full control over security and governance.
  • Private, software-defined interconnection accelerates digital transformation.
    Interconnecting various mission IT components is vital to integrating dispersed government IT operations and missions across hybrid digital infrastructures. A privately interconnected hybrid multicloud environment — that does not cross the internet —uses high-speed, low-latency software-defined networking to deliver faster, more secure access to a large number of cloud, SaaS, edge services (network, compute, storage, etc.) and mission ecosystem partners. In addition, where internet connectivity is required, direct peering from one ISP/network partner to another speeds internet traffic more reliably, securely and cost-effectively to meet government agencies’ IT and digital modernization objectives.
  • Diversity and redundancy provide resiliency and peace of mind.
    Relying on one network or one cloud service provider can pose a risk to mission resilience. If a failure happens to just one cloud during a defense operation, lives could be lost. A multicloud/multinetwork environment allows government organizations to diversify across different cloud and network service providers, eliminating the risk of knocking out mission-critical operations.

Equinix accelerates IT modernization by building and interconnecting hybrid digital infrastructure

True modernization will require government agencies to go beyond hybrid multicloud architectures. To optimize missions, a global hybrid digital infrastructure and interconnection platform is necessary, where network, cloud and as-a-Service providers, defense contractors, and hardware and software providers can collaborate as a holistic ecosystem to advance secure digital capabilities. Agencies can also take advantage of lock-step integration between hybrid digital infrastructure and vital technologies such as artificial intelligence, real-time analytics and cybersecurity, as well as more cost-effective, OPEX-based edge services, including network-as-a-service (NaaS), bare metal-as-a-services (BMaaS) and precision timing, which synchronizes all systems and services so that critical operations work together perfectly.

Equinix Government Solutions are built on Platform Equinix™ and are designed to meet the global requirements for hybrid digital infrastructure and multicloud architectures that address the special concerns of government agencies. As the preeminent global digital infrastructure company, we offer data center, interconnection and edge services that accelerate transformation and success for the most critical missions. At Equinix, government agencies and mission partners leverage the following digital components that drive the ongoing transformation of legacy systems:

  • Digital Core: Connecting physical and virtual infrastructure and partners in all the right places
  • Digital Ecosystems: Enabling secure access and communications with all the right digital and industry partners — regionally, nationally and globally
  • Digital Edge: Providing agencies with all the right possibilities to leverage emerging technology and edge services

Here is how government agencies and their mission partners can leverage the digital core, ecosystem and edge capabilities on Platform Equinix:

  • Place your core and edge hybrid digital infrastructure where it matters most to your mission — in a sustainable fortress
    As the largest colocation company in the world, our more than 230 strategically located, vendor-neutral data centers around the globe meet the highest standards of physical security, reliability, certification and sustainability. We also provide the highest concentration of points of presence (PoPs) around the world (63+ metros) to place and protect critical IT infrastructure close to local mission resources, partners, and network, cloud and SaaS services — from the core to the edge. Our data centers are secure by design and services include zero-trust security, antivirus and managed firewall services, managed IDS/ISP, DDOS monitoring, vulnerability scanning and more. Equinix is a recognized sustainability leader and was the first data center company to commit to supplying 100% clean and renewable energy — in 2019 we achieved over 90% renewable energy use. The EPA just ranked us 6th on the National Top 100 List of the largest green power users from the Green Power Partnership (GPP) , and we have pledged to become carbon neutral by 2030.
  • Leverage a wealth of interconnection options for secure, high-speed access to partner ecosystems
    Equinix connects over 10,000 organizations globally directly to their customers and partners at the largest digital exchanges in the world through Equinix Fabric™ private, software-defined interconnection. Direct and secure access also extends out to critical mission partner government IT ecosystems and the AI Data Marketplace at Equinix. Our physical and virtual interconnection services and expansive network ecosystem powers high-speed, low latency connectivity across the globe, reducing the time to provision connectivity for remote missions from weeks to minutes.
  • Access scalable, cost-effective edge services to expand and scale mission-critical hybrid digital infrastructure on demand
    On-demand network, compute/storage and precision time services enable government agencies to deploy vital components for their missions on our global platform as an alternative to the costly and time-consuming process of purchasing, connecting and managing physical infrastructure.

    • Network Edge allows government partners to deploy and connect virtual network devices from leading vendors at the edge in minutes, with no additional hardware requirements — this included secure access to clouds via Equinix Fabric.
    • Equinix Metal™ is an interconnected, automated BMaaS that cost-effectively scales compute and storage capacity on-demand. Direct access to cloud providers via Equinix Fabric enables cross-platform application development using Kubernetes services.
    • Equinix Precision Time delivers global, precise and secure Time-as-a-Service application for distributed enterprise systems through Equinix Fabric.On-demand network, compute/storage and precision time services enable government agencies to deploy vital components for their missions on our global platform as an alternative to the costly and time-consuming process of purchasing, connecting and managing physical infrastructure.

All of these Equinix solutions provide open application programming interfaces (APIs) so agencies can tailor their deployments to best meet their mission objectives.

Ready to learn more about how multicloud and an interconnected hybrid digital infrastructure can help your government agency? Read our white paper on SDN-Enabled Network as a Service for Government Agencies.

Or schedule a Digital Edge Strategy Briefing to plan your hybrid digital infrastructure deployment.

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Jon Lin Executive Vice President and General Manager, Data Center Services
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