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Case Studies:US Military Branch Transitions IT Functions to Azure PaaS

The Challenge

Help a branch of the US armed services to transition its traditional IT capabilities to Azure cloud to add elastic computing, leverage cloud services, and employ automation to deploy, operate, and sustain adoption of Azure cloud.

The Solution

Use Microsoft Azure services to migrate existing Windows 2016 Servers running IIS and ASP.NET to Azure PaaS, and migrate SQL 2016 Servers to Azure PaaS, taking full advantage of the cloud while optimizing security and operations.

The Results

This US military branch is now more agile and elastic and can scale application performance as needed. They've reduced costs for staffing while improving security by minimizing gaps and risks.

A branch of the US military needed to modernize traditional IT capabilities. The objective was to streamline maintenance time and costs and reduce security risks while leveraging and scaling usage of cloud-native services. AIS supported the Georgia base of the 700,000-person branch in migrating their application’s Windows 2016 Servers to Azure Application Server and migrating the SQL 2016 Server instances to Azure SQL to realize the benefits of Azure PaaS.

Reduce maintenance time & costs

By rehosting their servers to Azure PaaS, the branch can take advantage of cloud-native services. Azure PaaS provides consistent management across Azure environments and automates scheduled tasks with runbooks to manage, schedule, and define jobs. This significantly cuts down on the System Administrator workload related to system maintenance.

Additionally, there are cost savings associated with the server, storage, and networking hardware that had been replaced by Azure. This includes the physical space, real estate, utilities, and labor and physical security associated with traditional data center operations.

Rather than fixed rates and space upfront, this branch has the ability to auto-scale cloud services and hosting as needed to right-size resources and control associated costs.

Improve performance & uptime

While cost-savings are a great outcome, performance and availability improvements are immediately realized by application users at the base. The transition from traditional data centers to Azure has improved application availability and resiliency. High-availability is baked into all of the Azure services, supported by Microsoft.

Unify solutions

There’s no longer the need to leverage third-party or internally created services with the use of SMTP (Simple Mail Transport Protocol) Email. The new platform provides email functionality out of the box, and Microsoft handles running this software in Azure.

We used Azure App Service Web App to replace the Web/ App Service, and Azure SQL Elastic Pool replaced databases to automate patching, logging, and backup, for a highly-available and auto-scaling solution. Azure Monitor (Log Analytics and Applications Insights) and Azure Storage, provide a single view, searchable, integrated solution to handle security and operations logging. Not only are the security and monitoring capabilities streamlined, but Azure also provides a unified view into collecting and analyzing this telemetry.

Just the beginning

By rehosting their SQL workloads on Azure and modernizing and refactoring servers to Azure PaaS, this US Military Branch has improved the performance and maintenance of their web apps, arming their unit with a scalable and future-forward cloud solution. Building upon the foundation created through this engagement, this team can continue their effort to modernize servers and workload and integrate data systems for greater operability, performance, and visualization to support mission needs.

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