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Making the transition from on-premises data centers to the public cloud brings up a number of concerns, but the major change in the way computing is done may be the biggest hurdle for IT.
As the U.S. defense agencies learned from their cloud transition projects, however, the rewards far outweigh the risks.
The agencies were led to cloud computing via budget constraints: Government IT needed ways to save money while remaining efficient. The road to the cloud has not been a smooth one.
Cloud computing was a big change that took some time getting used to for the U.S. Army, which has more than 750 servers in its data centers, each uniquely configured to run differently, said George Callaghan, CEO of BizHelper, a Herndon, Va.-based IT strategies firm specializing in U.S. government agencies.
"We know how to go to war; we know how to build weapons. But we don't know how to [build] our IT," he said during a session at the Red Hat Summit here this week.