Like most government agencies, the Defense Intelligent Agency’s (DIA) technology stack evolved over the years, becoming a confusing array of disparate systems, licenses, and frameworks, developed by even more contracting teams who had come and gone. Trying to understand how all the different applications, backend databases, message feeds, security constraints, etc. fit together required years of experience, and attracting talented and cleared polyglot engineers.
With the growing transition within the private sector to the large cloud providers (e.g. AWS, Microsoft Azure, etc.), ITC convinced DIA that it was time to evolve, and over the course of several years, we led efforts to leverage modern best practices and the cloud. We deployed an infrastructure automation framework (Salt Stack) to manage and configure server environments to circumvent differences in the development and production environments. We used Amazon Cloud Services where it made sense while avoiding using proprietary AWS APIs that would create lock-in to one specific cloud provider.
All services are now implemented with a single, well designed microservice framework that is battle tested in the private sector and openly supported by the community. Any developer who has experience with one project can easily jump to another one without the need for training. Common development libraries for orthogonal concerns such as auditing, logging, security, etc. are leveraged to avoid each team reinventing the wheel.
• Allowed new identical environments to be cloned on virtual cloud machines with little time or effort