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Open source gives agencies long-term cloud flexibility

The extensive ecosystem of open source partners and applications can be a boon to federal agencies trying to boost their multicloud modernization efforts.

Christine Cox, regional vice president federal sales for SUSE, says that agencies that work with the global open source development community are able to accelerate service delivery and overcome many of the common barriers to cloud modernization.

“Within the open source community, there remains a strong focus in helping enterprises adapt to cloud computing and improve mission delivery, productivity and security,” says  Cox. Developing applications using open source tools can also help federal agencies future-proof digital services, by avoiding vendor lock-in, enhance their enterprise security and even support their high-performance computing requirements.

Cox discusses these and other observations about the power of open source in a new FedScoop podcast, underwritten by SUSE Federal.

Why open source is relevant to large agencies

Cox cites how agencies are working to solve complex orchestration challenges to run applications and sensitive data across multiple cloud environments. A big discussion topic for them, she says, is the interoperability of their own agencies’ IT systems and the need to share information in real time across multicloud environments.

“It’s imperative that [the open source community] help agencies understand how they can share and act on data insights,” says Cox. “Open source technologies like Kubernetes and cloud native technologies enable a broad array of applications because they serve as a reliable connecting mechanism for a myriad of open source innovations — from supporting various types of infrastructures and adding AI/ML capabilities, to making developers’ lives simpler and business applications more streamlined.”

Ultimately, open source projects will help lower costs and improve business efficiencies, she says, by replacing legacy solutions that are increasingly costly to maintain. Up-to-date open source solutions also create a more positive outcome for the end-users at all agencies — be they the warfighter or taxpayers.

How open source helps cloud migration

Unfortunately, archaic procurement practices based on vendor lock-in don’t allow for effective modernization projects, says Cox, which is why implementing open source code can help agencies adapt a tool to their current needs.

“One of the great benefits about SUSE, and open source, is that we offer expanded support, so that regardless of what you’re currently running in your environment, we can be vendor-agnostic,” she says.

In order to take greater advantage of open source enterprise solutions, agency leaders should practice a phased approach to projects, with the help of trusted partners who can guide them in their cloud computing efforts.

Cox says that if leaders look at cloud computing efforts from the lens of “simplify, accelerate and modernize,” they can break into their migration to hybrid-cloud or multicloud environments in manageable chunks and in a way that eliminates wasteful spending.

Listen to the podcast for the full conversation on open source solutions to build a more flexible cloud strategy. You can hear more coverage of “IT Modernization in Government” on our FedScoop radio channels on Apple Podcasts, Spotify, Google Play, Stitcher and TuneIn. 

This podcast was produced by FedScoop and underwritten by SUSE Federal.

Christine Cox has been involved in commercial and public sector business development for more than two decades, including work for Dell EMC, CA Technologies, Avaya and Oracle prior to joining SUSE.