The AIS Talent team is participating in many exciting technical community and education events this Spring in the Washington, D.C. and Indianapolis areas. Please come join us to network and build relationships with your fellow technical professionals, plus learn about the awesome career opportunities available here at AIS!

April 5th – 6th

The Ivy Tech Competition at Ivy Tech Community College

Held at the Indianapolis campus of the largest IT tech college in the country, this event will challenge 300 IT students across eight different tech competitions! (Check out the competition summaries here.)  The event also includes a 50-employer job fair. AIS is a Silver Sponsor and will be participating as a job fair exhibitor on Thursday April 5th, and Tom O’Connell will be attending the IT competition on Friday April 6th. Come show us what you’ve got!

April 7th

NOVA CodeCamp

A free event for Developers, by Developers! We’ve been participating in NOVA CodeCamp in Reston, VA for over 10 years and are proud to be a Platinum Sponsor for 2018! Our own Shiv Kumar will be presenting on “Programming with Intent,” and our wonderful Talent team will conduct a repeat session of their popular “Ask the Recruiter” session during lunch. We’re expecting between 100 – 200 Developer attendees this year, so RSVP today!

April 14th – 16th

Indy.code()

Indy.Code() is a three-day software development conference in downtown Indianapolis. With over 100 breakout sessions and hands-on workshops covering all aspects of software development, Indy.Code() is a must-attend event for any serious software professional. AIS is a Gold Sponsor and members of our Talent team will be attending and manning our sponsorship booth to network with prospective candidates. Space is limited and registration closes on April 9th, so register now!

April 21st

Global Azure Bootcamp (Reston, VA)

This month, on April 21st, Azure user communities from around the world will come together for the sixth great Global Azure Bootcamp event! Each user group will organize their own one-day deep dive class on Azure. The result is thousands of people learning about Azure and joining together online under the social hashtag #GlobalAzure! (Check out a full map of locations here.) AIS is participating in the Reston, VA event as a sponsor and once again, our Talent team will be manning our booth to network with prospective candidates. The event is currently sold out but be sure to get yourself on the waitlist here.

We hope to see you at one (or more!) of these great events this Spring. Be sure to check out our Careers page as well to see a full list of the many, MANY great job and career opportunities available here at AIS. 

We’ve all heard the phrase, “Anything that can go wrong, will go wrong”…otherwise known as Murphy’s Law. I couldn’t find a better phrase to describe a recent problem we encountered at AIS Managed Services.

I’ve been a part of the Managed Services practice at AIS for quite some time now. As part of this practice, we provide proactive and reactive support to various clients. Internally, we support the AIS Internet site and the AIS Blog, as well as multiple enterprise-level commercial and federal customers. This blog post covers the challenges of availability monitoring, related to a downtime incident right here on the AIS Blog. Read More…

Our own Senior Infrastructure Engineer Daniel Suenkel recently hosted a Breakfast and Learn to share his knowledge and passion for Azure OMS with his AIS colleagues. Continuing with his theme, he explained why Azure OMS truly is the “One Tool to Rule Them All!”

In addition to the material that he provided in his previous blog (Azure OMS: One Tool To Rule Them All), he provided a deeper dive into what Azure OMS is and exactlywhat is offered in each service. Continue reading to find out why Azure OMS continues to be the “One Tool To Rule Them All”… Read More…

The Tragedy Assistance Program for Survivors (TAPS) offers free, 24/7 compassionate care and support to anyone grieving the loss of a military loved one. Since 1994, TAPS has assisted more than 75,000 surviving families, casualty officers and caregivers. AIS has been proudly supporting this wonderful organization for a number of years.

Last week AIS was a sponsor at the TAPS 10th annual Honor Guard Gala in Washington, D.C. This event helps raise critical funding for TAPS programs throughout the year. We had a number of employees attend, and Wade Allen and Brett Goldsmith provided the following photos for anyone who missed it.

If you’d like to support the mission of TAPS, visit their website for more events, volunteer opportunities and financial donations.

 

 

Drupal Lift and Shift to AzureThrough our enterprise collaboration and productivity services, we help many organizations create new experiences with intranets and portals to increase productivity and streamline collaboration while cutting operating costs. We have Drupal lift and shift experience where we migrate existing portals to the cloud as well as the ability to architect a custom solution from the ground up if needed.

The Background

Our client, a large financial investment firm, provides financial services and handles multi-billion-dollar assets. The organization had multiple websites running Drupal with a third-party vendor. The vendor provided a custom setup that was riddled with issues such as slow response times, excessive downtime, and high operating costs. As a Microsoft Gold Certified Partner with such experience, AIS was engaged to perform a Drupal lift and shift operation for the websites along with a CI/CD setup across multiple environments.

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Requirement Gathering

As soon as AIS started the requirement gathering, it was clear that we were going to migrate the websites and databases to a PaaS-based model. Microsoft Azure was deemed the best choice given the plethora of options available for websites. The customer also already had an Enterprise Agreement with Microsoft Azure, making it the perfect fit.

The client had several modifications which required explicit use of Apache Webserver, along with Drush, PHP 7.1 and they needed room for future modifications. People working with Drupal should be quite familiar with that—Drush is often known as the “Swiss Army Knife” for Drupal.

Selecting the Perfect Azure Offerings

Initially, we came up with the following options:

  1. Create Virtual Machines Hosting Web Servers & Databases
  2. Modify the modules requiring Apache and then host the websites on Windows/IIS based Web Apps
  3. Azure Web App for Containers

Option 1 meant that we had to set up the entire infrastructure from scratch. Setting up the infrastructure from scratch wasn’t an issue, but the overhead of maintenance and costs afterward made us look for other alternatives.

Option 2 required quite some rework, and our previous experience taught us that Drush has hiccups when running on Windows-based hosts.

Option 3 was the best choice because it allowed us to write a custom Docker image with Apache, PHP 7.1, Drush and give the room for future modifications. It was the perfect balance of customization, maintenance overhead and costs. We also got added benefits like:

  1. Automated backups handled by Azure
  2. Continuous Deployment handled by the magic of Kudu
  3. Detailed metrics like Response time, number of requests etc. (Who doesn’t love detailed metrics??)
  4. Auto-scaling and more!

The Immediate Benefits of the Drupal Lift and Shift

This is the section which should most interest all of you readers. After moving the sites over to Azure, we immediately noticed a huge drop in…

  1. Time to deploy to various environments
  2. Response time. The response time came down to ~350 milliseconds from almost 1 second and above.
  3. The site was overall much faster…and the best part was that the client’s earlier infrastructure had four cores but this new set up only had two cores and 3.5GB of RAM.

Over the period of almost 20 days, the container served almost 4.6 million requests without breaking a sweat, as you can see from the below graph of CPU/RAM usage:

Figure 1 Mind you, this App Service plan runs another website!

Check Out Our Successes

Read the full story, Investment services firm migrates websites to cloud to save money, improve reliability or check out our library of featured success stories! If you’re interested in what AIS can do for you, contact us today and tell us about the challenges you’re facing. There’s an excellent chance we can help.

As part of our ongoing commitment to provide superior-level service to our customers and partners, AIS successfully continued our ISO certifications. Our certifications include ISO 9001, which relates to Quality Management, and ISO 27001, which relates to Information Security.

AIS senior management sees these certifications as an opportunity to provide value to our customers through the use of the globally-recognized processes and procedures required for a Quality Management System and to drive better quality and consistency in our service delivery. The processes and procedures required for an Information Security Management System will improve our threat protection posture — a high priority these days, given the omnipresent risk of hacks and other security breeches.

Through these efforts, AIS will benefit from the continual improvement of these processes, better performance and enhanced customer satisfaction for our customers, and improve our competitive position across all sectors of our business.

 

 

ICON & GOLD Teaming Up To Explore Earth’s Interface to SpaceFor years, Federal agencies have struggled to drive efficiencies while addressing the growing volume and increasing size of geospatial data. Legacy stove-pipe connectivity and desktop thick-clients have prevented traditional production environments from achieving the potential of a modern cloud-based architecture. Coupled with responsive web-based components, the cloud offers a seamless framework to automate tasks such as data ingestion, pre-processing and product generation. AIS is proud to be helping our users migrate into these next-generation production environments.

Our Federal team is currently involved with multiple projects that foster the adoption of cloud-based tasking, ingestion, processing and visualization using open-source web technologies. We foster an approach to migrating data processing algorithms from research groups across the Intelligence Community into production environments such as AWS Commercial Cloud Services (C2S).

For instance, the open-sourced NGA Scale framework allows users to customize heavy data processing schedules and tasks, while leveraging and managing a large number of cluster nodes used to process each job.

Right…. So what does that mean, exactly? Read More…

The Microsoft Government Tech Summit – a free, technical learning event for IT professionals and developers – is coming to Washington D.C., March 5-6, 2018! This two-day event will be packed with technical content, and this year Microsoft is showcasing Azure Government and Microsoft 365 for US Government.

Our Cloud Application Development Director, Brent Wodicka, is presenting this year on “A PaaS-First Approach to DoD Mission Apps” on March 5th at 1 p.m.  He will be co-presenting with Microsoft’s Derek Strausbaugh, and showcasing how Azure simplifies and re-imagines legacy mission applications. Registration is now open, and we’re hoping you can join us!

As the expectations of citizens increase, the need for technology innovation in government intensifies. Learn how cloud innovation can help meet the needs of the nation. Whether you’re interested in learning about security approaches or attracting and retaining talent with a more flexible and modern workstyle, Microsoft Government Tech Summit can help you evolve your skills and deepen your expertise to lead your agency through digital transformation.

What to expect:

  • Connect with experts from Microsoft and the community, and learn how to get the most from the cloud. Ask your toughest questions, learn best practices, and share strategies.
  • Choose from a variety of learning opportunities to deepen your cloud expertise, from keynotes and breakout sessions, to hands-on labs and a hackathon.
  • Customize your learning – whether you’re already cloud-savvy or just getting started – Microsoft Government Tech Summit has something for everyone.
  • Discover the latest trends, tools, and product roadmaps at more than 60 sessions covering a range of topics, including over 40 sessions focused on the needs of government agencies.

The cloud is changing expectations – and transforming the way we live and work. Join us at the Microsoft Government Tech Summit and learn how Microsoft’s cloud platform can help you lead your agency through digital transformation – and make the cloud part of your mission success.

REGISTER NOW

Last night’s AzureGov Meetup was an exceptionally fantastic one! The team challenged the Azure Government DC user community to create and share 12-minute demos to showcase cool tech that can help accelerate your cloud implementation.

We received a terrific response to the challenge and it resulted in a rock-star lineup of speakers, demos and an inside scoop on what’s moving the needle in government technology today. The presenters included:

  • Patrick Curran, Director, Federal Group, Planet Technologies
  • Mark Joscelyne, Head of Technical Operations, Public Sector, Frame
  • Deepak Mallya, Chief Cloud Architect, Cloudwave, Inc.
  • John Osborne, Principal OpenShift Solutions Architect, Red Hat
  • Steve Michelotti, Lead Dev Evangelist, Microsoft Azure Government

You can watch ALL the demos here at the archived livestream. (It’s available for a limited time, so check it out today!) Read More…