The Canadian Cloud Difference

BrandPost By Pete Bartolik
Mar 03, 2022
Cloud ManagementGovernment ITIT Leadership

A Secure Approach to Source and Deploy Cloud Technologies for the Federal Government

Credit: Filograph/istock

Government agencies in Canada can address digital service delivery objectives while adhering to regulatory requirements with ThinkOn and VMware.

In the wake of the pandemic and the broad-based adoption of digital services by businesses and consumers, there is a critical need to provide accessible, nationwide digital delivery of services to every corner of Canada.

This is where cloud platforms can help. They provide organisations with the agility to implement fully functional programs faster than is typically possible with on-premises IT infrastructure solutions. The right platform can also help manage public, private, and hybrid cloud solutions to ensure security, scalability, cost controls, and more.

At the same time, cloud services providers should have the expertise to help Canadian government agencies address the needs of the country’s citizens and businesses, including requirements for data privacy and sovereignty considerations.

Canada has a government-wide, cloud-first strategy in which cloud services are identified and evaluated as the principal delivery option when making IT investments. ThinkOn is an approved cloud service provider (CSP) under the Shared Services Canada Framework Agreement for Secure Workload. It is uniquely positioned to address government agencies’ requirements for data privacy, security, hybrid cloud, modernization, and more.

Privacy and security

With the mandate to serve the needs of every citizen across Canada’s vast geography, government agencies place great importance on protecting citizens’ privacy. Cloud services must meet high standards for data and privacy protection.

At the same time, data protection measures must balance transparency with security. Canadian government agencies must disclose to citizens information about which data is kept, where it is located, and how it is used.

To address these issues, the ThinkOn cloud provides end-to-end protection that follows security measures outlined by Canada’s public sector security experts, as well as major cybersecurity standards. ThinkOn’s infrastructure is regularly reviewed against internal compliance controls and regularly audited by third parties. For example, ThinkOn’s accredited SOC 2 Type 2 compliance validates that its information security measures align with best practices for reporting and control.

Another concern is data sovereignty and transparency. Major cloud providers are global, which can be a risky proposition for government agencies that must adhere to data sovereignty regulations that restrict the transfer of data outside of the country’s borders. Working with a Canadian service ensures that data sovereignty, traceability, and supply chain management are in full compliance with Canadian regulations.

Private and hybrid cloud solutions

That said, public cloud is not appropriate for every use case. Government agencies that work with highly sensitive data may need to keep that information in a secure and controlled on-premises environment. However, they still want the flexibility and automation features of a public cloud.

ThinkOn’s private and hybrid cloud services combine single-tenant control with enhanced security and compliance assurances on dedicated infrastructure. Customers get the benefits of cloud-like scalability and usage-based pricing, while maintaining their investments in existing infrastructure.

Allocation of compute, network and storage resources can be customized and scaled on demand. For example, ThinkOn’s partnership with VMware ensures smooth migration of virtualized workloads as well as flexibility in shifting workloads between on-premises and cloud infrastructure.

Customers can selectively migrate applications and data to the public cloud on their own schedule because ThinkOn’s private and public cloud infrastructure is fully compatible.

Migration and modernization

Application modernization initiatives must be able to shift, adapt, and rebuild legacy applications to take advantage of cloud-native features — such as the portability provided by software containers, and the scalability and extensibility through application program interface integration.

ThinkOn’s team of modernization experts not only assist in migrating applications to cloud platforms, but also enable government teams to take on the process internally at their own pace.

The VMware difference

These flexibility and compatibility capabilities are supported by ThinkOn’s use of VMware technology, which supports over 90% of public sector workloads. As a preferred global VMware CSP, ThinkOn delivers seamless migrations of virtualized workloads with full data security both in transit and at rest.

A cloud platform based on VMware cloud infrastructure solves complex migration and operations problems without the need for retooling or retraining. Management tools are familiar to any administrator with VMware experience, and government agencies can leverage existing investments in infrastructure and skills while modernizing at their own pace.

Customers can also take advantage of by ThinkOn, a digital marketplace that delivers enterprise-ready cloud infrastructure, data services, and business applications to Canadian government entities and public-sector organisations. Customers can access these enhanced features to extend the functionality of their applications and future-proof their investments.

The VMware Sovereign Cloud difference

In October 2021, VMware unveiled its Sovereign Cloud initiative and named ThinkOn as a Canadian Sovereign Cloud partner. VMware selected a small group of in-country leaders worldwide who are well-respected, homegrown cloud providers recognized at the highest level for delivering services in a completely sovereign way for their in-country workloads. The Sovereign Cloud initiative helps customers engage with trusted national cloud service providers to meet geo-specific requirements around data sovereignty and jurisdictional control, access and integrity, security and compliance, independence and mobility, analytics and innovation.

For more information on ThinkOn cloud solutions, please visit here.