It’s 2017 and it’s official: Government agencies want to move to the cloud. But they are often unprepared for the transition, or stuck in the middle of a confusing process. So this week, AIS and Microsoft kicked off the new year with a terrific AzureGov Meetup full of valuable information, training resources and demos on exactly where and how to start a successful government cloud journey.

The full line-up of cloud experts includied David Simsik, Cloud Practice Manager at AcceleraDan Patrick, Chief Cloud Strategist at OpsgilityBrian Harrison, Cloud Solution Architect at Microsoft, and AIS’ own Vishwas Lele, who presented a demo of the AIS Service Catalog offering, which is specifically designed to ease cloud adoption for government agencies.

See below for some photos of this (packed!) event and a video of Vishwas’ Service Offering presentation. For future DC AzureGov Meetup dates and details, go here. We hope to see you next time!

(Check out our Cloud Adoption Framework for more on how AIS can take you step-by-step through the Cloud Journey here.)

powerappsIt all started with an email from a customer: They wanted an event app for an upcoming regional sales summit. The requirements fit the mold of a typical event app (session schedule and downloadable documents, photo sharing, surveys, sync with Outlook, etc.), but there was one small problem. The app needed to be done in less than a week.

Fortunately, we knew exactly what tools to use and how to put them to work for our client.

Read the rest of the story, and find out exactly how we got the job done, over at the Microsoft PowerApps Blog.

In this video blog, AIS’ CTO Vishwas Lele walks us through provisioning a Docker Swarm cluster using the Azure Container Service (ACS). Docker Swarm is a native clustering technology for Docker containers, which allows a pool of underlying Docker Hosts to appear as a single virtual Docker host. Containers can then be provisioned through the standard Docker API. The Azure Container service takes care of provisioning the underlying Docker host virtual machines, installing the required software (Docker plus  Docker host), and configuring the cluster. Once the cluster is provisioned, Vishwas demonstrates connecting to the master node to spin up containers on the cluster which hosts an ASP.NET application.

You might also like: 

The Seamless Hybrid Cloud

Enterprise #DevOps: A Service Catalog Driven Approach

Windows Azure Planning: Moving an Application into Production


azure-api-managementAIS’ CTO and noted Azure expert Vishwas Lele has a brand new course available at Pluralsight: Microsoft Azure API Management Essentials.

Application Programming Interfaces (APIs) are increasingly considered “engines of growth” and are already fundamentally changing the way organizations do business. In this three-part course, you’ll learn about how the Azure API Management service can ensure that your current and future APIs reach their fullest potential.

First, you’ll learn why you should use API Management, and how to manage your API with the Azure service. Next, you’ll learn how to protect your API with rate limits, plus how to add caching to improve API performance. Then, you’ll learn about policies in API Management and C#-based Policy Expressions. Finally, you’ll learn about security in API Management.

By the end of this course, you’ll have a solid understanding of Azure API Management, its key capabilities, and how to host and secure your API (both internal and external). Get started right now!

Bridging the Divide With DevOps

DevOpsDevOps is the latest catchphrase that everyone claims to be doing.

Gartner recommends that “leaders wishing to create a significant, lasting impact on IT performance should look to move beyond the Bimodal paradigm in the space of months rather than years.” Leading and executing on this cultural change is very challenging in enterprise IT. The urgency is to ensure your line-of-business teams remain engaged with enterprise IT, rather than deepening the divide between infrastructure operations and application development teams. In today’s rich marketplace for cloud-based solutions including infrastructure, platform, and software as services, application teams and line-of-business customers have options beyond traditional enterprise IT operations for hosting their solutions. Read More…

Cloud ComputingA few weeks ago, AIS’ Solutions Architect, Jason McNutt and Managing Director, Larry
Katzman spoke with Federal Tech Talk’s John Gilroy on Federal News Radio for a discussion around federal agencies moving to the cloud and to answer the question of “what happens once you get there?”

Listen to the interview.

John Gilroy states that “This is a critical question ask in the brave new world of the cloud. No human can conceivably be able to understand all the dependencies and updates that are needed for a complex cloud migration. This ability to manage the system is just as important once it is live. Jason McNutt talks about the capability of automation to be able to manage today’s complex systems.”

Federal Tech Talk looks at the world of high technology in the federal government. Host John Gilroy of The Oakmont Group speaks the language of federal CISOs, CIOs and CTOs, and gets into the specifics for government IT systems integrators. John covers the latest government initiatives and technology news for the federal IT manager and government contractor. Follow John on Twitter @raygilrar and hear more from Federal Talk Talk on federalnewsradio.com

Listen to the interview.

Design ThinkingTogether with Applied Information Sciences (AIS), the University of Virginia and George Washington University, Design Thinking DC (DT:DC) has launched the Summer of Design, a facilitated design thinking experience in which a diverse group of participants apply the principles of Design Thinking to real problems faced by organizations in our local community.

Why Design Thinking?
Design Thinking combines diverse fields, such as engineering, public policy, architecture, and economics to solve really complicated problems. It provides a framework that teams use to craft innovative solutions. Design Thinking DC (DT:DC) is an action-oriented community of innovative change makers who come together to share knowledge, experiences and find ways to leverage the substantial benefits of these techniques.

→ Learn more about Design Thinking DC (DT:DC) Read More…

Internet of Things, IOT

The short answer is yes. Not only can it save your organization money, but it can do so while also delivering more functionality and freedom. AIS recently worked with a large machine-tooling company that had a machine optimization software solution they wanted to re-platform in a lower-cost, more scalable and flexible way.

Their machine optimization system reports real-time and historical data on how cutting tools and machines are performing, and recommends improvement opportunities. However, it was built using traditional software development techniques and doesn’t take advantage of any platform-as-a-service (PaaS) capabilities and benefits.

They asked us to create a proof-of-concept (POC) solution utilizing Azure IoT and Analytics PaaS services. This POC would be used to prove that an Azure IoT and Analytics PaaS services-based solution could provide derived data results within +/- 10% of their current software solution and experimental results, as well as address a number of existing technical limitations and outstanding business needs.

Click here to read how we overcame this challenge.

AIS is proud to announce the selection of Steve Suing, Practice Manager for our Durham, NC office, for the Employer Support of the Guard and Reserve (ESGR) Patriot Award.

ESGR, a Department of Defense office, was established in 1972 to promote cooperation and understanding between Reserve Component Service members and their civilian employers and to assist in the resolution of conflicts arising from an employee’s military commitment. The Patriot Award reflects the efforts made to support Citizen Warriors through a wide-range of measures including flexible schedules, time off prior to and after deployment, caring for families and granting leaves of absence if needed.

This award was presented in recognition of Mr. Suing’s support of Colonel Stephan Iacovelli who has worked with AIS since 2013. Colonel Iacovelli enlisted in the Army in 1984 and was commissioned as an Engineer in 1989. He has served in various leadership and staff positions over his 32-year career and is currently the Commanding Officer of an Initial Entry Training Brigade stationed at Ft. Jackson, SC. Read More…