A large defense industrial base government contractor is making strides in adopting Microsoft Azure, leveraging the power of the AIS Cloud Delivery Framework (CDF). When AIS was approached in 2020 to assist the organization with its Azure adoption, they were already well down the Amazon Web Services (AWS) path. However, there were certain services in Azure that they valued and wanted to leverage. The company’s IT department was also transforming its project management approach from traditional waterfall to Agile SAFE methodology. AIS had to find the balance of integration with multiple internal teams and a rival cloud vendor as well as integration with cloud standards that had already been established. This blog will detail the CDF framework, value proposition, and some of the details of the landing zone implementation at this company.

About the AIS Cloud Delivery Framework

The AIS Cloud Delivery Framework, a robust strategy blueprint, is pivotal in providing a structured approach that accelerates the delivery of cloud platforms and solutions. This methodology has been evolving since 2017 as we began to help organizations, including Government agencies, understand the complexities of adopting the cloud, bringing standardization, structure, and accelerators to the table. Since the launch of Microsoft’s Cloud Adoption Framework in 2019, we’ve aligned our approach and layered on years of AIS delivery experience from past projects and lessons learned. This strategic combination of guidance, best practices, and tools aids in driving desired business and mission outcomes during cloud adoption. It ensures an organized and efficient transition, minimizing risks and optimizing cloud investments.

The AIS CDF brings immense value to the table. Its major strength lies in its ability to accelerate delivery, providing a clear road map, eliminating guesswork, and ensuring that the cloud adoption process is faster, smoother, and more streamlined. With the CDF, consistency is a key advantage. It establishes a standard set of best practices, ensuring that all cloud adoption processes are consistent and reliable. The CDF draws heavily on real-world experiences. It incorporates learnings from various scenarios to make the cloud adoption process more pragmatic and less theoretical. This dynamic approach constantly brings experience back into the CDF, making it a living framework that evolves and improves over time.

The CDF in Action for a Large Defense Contractor

For this particular defense contractor, the primary objective in 2020 was to establish an Azure landing zone. A landing zone provides a secure and compliant foundation for Azure workloads, enabling a smooth deployment. We leveraged the CDF to help guide the team and provide a measured, thoughtful, and experienced approach. This included identity, resource hierarchy, compliance, governance, core network, and monitoring to call out a few design areas. Designing the core networking as part of the landing zone is crucial and Azure Virtual WAN was picked over the traditional VNET hub and spoke. VWAN simplifies network connectivity, providing an efficient, unified, and scalable network infrastructure. Monitoring is another crucial aspect of cloud adoption. The company was already leveraging Splunk as its core monitoring tool, so it was a no-brainer to configure their Azure environment to forward log and event information to Splunk.

The integration of the AIS Cloud Delivery Framework has accelerated this large defense industrial base government contractor Azure adoption journey, providing consistent delivery, drawing upon real-world experience, and incorporating lessons learned. Since our initial delivery using the AIS CDF, we have done 100s of landing zone deliveries and brought new knowledge and lessons learned back. If your company is looking to start its cloud adoption journey or could use a landing zone assessment, please reach out to AIS!