“Initially, we went with Platform and Infrastructure as a Service, because I had a data center here that I really needed to get out of,” says Roat. The agency has since embraced Software as a Service as well, bringing it closer to cloud-only.
The first cloud migration simply moved on-premises applications to their online counterparts. For example, the agency had quite a few Microsoft SharePoint servers, so they transitioned data to SharePoint Online. They also tapped Microsoft Azure and Microsoft Office 365 as well as Box and other cloud-based apps.
Right away, SBA saw more stability in the primary data center for those applications that remained there — and once they got rid of old equipment, migrated applications and turned servers off, the air handlers recovered as well.
CBP Gets More Stability with the Cloud
U.S. Customs and Border Protection began its trip to the cloud to keep travelers’ journeys uninterrupted by technology downtime.
CBP’s Trusted Traveler programs are all accessible through a customer-facing application on its website. Travelers use the app to apply for PreCheck, Global Entry and other programs that ease the way through boarding and customs.
Trusted Traveler was launched in the cloud in October 2017 with a process that differed from previous launches of on-premises applications, says Tom Mills, chief systems engineer in CBP’s Office of Information and Technology.
In the past, making even a single change to an on-premises application could mean a site outage between one and six hours long. That doesn’t apply to cloud-hosted apps, he says. The agency uses a virtualized compute environment, including Microsoft Azure and IBM, that gives it more flexibility.
“We were never down when we launched Trusted Traveler,” he says. “When Trusted Traveler was first rolled out, we were making many changes a day. We were not able to do that in our old traditional data center.”
Having IT infrastructure in the cloud also helps prevent unplanned outages; building in protection is simpler than having to add it after the fact.