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.



At the AIS Portals & Collaboration practice, we help many organizations create new experiences with portals to increase their productivity and growth. We also have lift and shift experience where we migrate the existing portals to the cloud—or even architect a custom solution from the ground up, if required.

The Background

The client in this case was an organization that provides financial services to multiple clients and handled multi-billion-dollar assets. This organization had multiple websites running Drupal with a third-party vendor. The vendor provided a custom setup but it was riddled with various issues like slow response, excessive downtime, etc. AIS was engaged to perform a lift & shift operation for their Drupal websites along with a CI/CD setup across multiple environments.

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 after initial discussions. Microsoft Azure was deemed the best choice given the plethora of options available for websites, and the customer already had an Enterprise Agreement with Microsoft Azure.

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 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 setup the entire infrastructure from scratch. Setting up the infrastructure from scratch wasn’t an issue, but the overhead of maintenance and costs afterwards 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 lots more!

The Immediate Benefits!

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 (and shiny!) setup 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!

Stay tuned for future blog posts regarding migrating Drupal to Azure experiences and the interesting challenges! Till then, cheerio!

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.


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…

About this time last month, Microsoft announced that its Azure Government cloud platform received Authority to Operate (ATO) designations from both the U.S. Air Force and the U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE). The Air Force gave Azure Government the Defense Department‘s Impact Level 4 ATO, while ICE issued a FedRAMP High ATO.

In other words, that DoD Impact Level 4 ATO confirms that Azure Government complies with security standards required to host “controlled unclassified data for development, test and production environments within CCE.” The Air Force has already started to build a cloud infrastructure through the ATO and a shared application platform and hosting environment.

The FedRAMP High ATO authorizes Azure Government to handle ICE’s most sensitive unclassified data, including data that supports the agency’s core functions and protects against loss of life. The agency is currently implementing transformative technologies for homeland security and public safety, and the High ATO designation for Azure will allow them to innovate even faster.

This is great news for both the agencies and for Azure Government. We’ve helped large federal agencies make the move to the cloud using Azure tools, and while these migrations are always quite complex, we’ve actually streamlined the process down to five crucial steps: Compliance, envisioning, onboarding, deployment, and sustainment. 

AIS’ five-step DoD Cloud Adoption Framework is built on lessons we’ve learned from countless successful commercial and DoD secure cloud migrations and results in an expedited yet fully compliant process. We’re looking forward to helping many more agencies head to the cloud as a trusted Microsoft (and government) partner.

We’re fascinated by the possibilities of Artificial Intelligence and the truly transformative opportunities it offers our customers. We’ve been digging deep into machine learning, computer vision and other AI capabilities for quite some time now, and believe they will grow into a significant part of our business. We’re not alone: IDC predicts 75 percent of developer teams will include cognitive and AI functionality in one or more applications this year.

To assist companies looking to build an AI-focused practice, Microsoft recently released the AI Practice Development Playbook with guidance and resources around developing an AI strategy, gaining the required skills, plus how to market and sell these cutting-edge offerings. AIS is proud to be a contributing expert and co-author of the Playbook, along with our fellow Microsoft partners and other leading AI data scientists.

Get your copy of the AI Playbook right here. We’d love to hear what you think of it!