VA touts success transferring massive, mission-critical programs to enterprise cloud

Written by

Billy Mitchell

Typically, cloud newcomers are suggested to take migration gradual and begin small. However the Division of Veterans Affairs has seen success in doing the alternative.

After launching the Enterprise Cloud Administration Workplace in 2018, the VA determined early on to maneuver considered one of its most important programs over to the business cloud to comprehend the advantages as quickly as attainable, David Catanoso, head of that workplace, stated Wednesday on the 2019 Amazon Internet Providers re:Invent convention in Las Vegas.

“Most individuals, once you begin your cloud migration journey, will inform you to start out small, acquire expertise,” Catanoso stated. “We took a totally completely different strategy transferring considered one of our greatest, most important programs to the cloud very early.”

That system is the Veterans Advantages Administration System, which operates 24/7 and manages greater than 800 million veterans benefits-related paperwork. Catanoso stated the system “was beginning to see efficiency and reliability points in its legacy internet hosting atmosphere, and never solely that, however it was additionally working out of house so as to add storage units to retailer all these paperwork.”

The VA couldn’t afford to attend to start out small and be taught, he stated. The problem, although, was “how will we transfer a system that advanced with out disrupting service to our veterans and the customers that use it?”

Catanoso credit AWS companies like S3 (Easy Storage Service), Snowball and EC2 (Elastic Cloud Compute) for the fast transfer away from its proprietary programs. “And we did all that in 8 months,” he stated. VA’s enterprise cloud is a hybrid atmosphere with Microsoft Azure companies and its personal non-public enclaves as effectively.

The end result was VA advantages personnel have been in a position to trim obtain speeds of huge paperwork to lower than a minute, whereas it was greater than triple that. “That simply gave an enormous efficiency enhance to these of us which are working every single day and downloading paperwork” and processing advantages, Catanoso stated. “So it was an enormous win. And never solely did we get higher efficiency, we obtained all the fee advantages of being within the cloud, the reliability, the catastrophe restoration. It’s been a very enormous success story for us.”

Now VA is seeking to transfer increasingly of its functions over to this cloud atmosphere. The division to date has moved 60 functions to its enterprise cloud to function greater than 3,000 digital machines and retailer and handle 6 petabytes of knowledge.

Since transferring VBMS to the cloud, VA has moved different high-profile programs there as effectively, together with its new MISSION Act instruments, “which allow veterans to get well being care not solely from the VA however from out in the neighborhood,” Catanoso stated, and the division’s legacy digital well being report, the Veterans Info Programs and Expertise Structure, which it’s going to function till totally migrated to a extra trendy well being system over the subsequent decade.

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