Summary

This discusses how existing on-premise enterprise oracle applications can be moved to Microsoft Azure Government Cloud, in an IaaS (Infrastructure as a Service) model. It is intended for software architects and developers who design and build services for the Cloud.

TechTrend migrated and manages Azure Cloud services for USDA – ARS. TechTrend services include hosting of multiple environments on both Azure Government and Azure Commercial Clouds. The Azure Platform is the only technology positioned as a leader across Gartner’s Magic Quadrants for Cloud Infrastructure as a Service, Application Platform as a Service, and Cloud Storage Services.

Contents

Oracle Web Application (ON-PREMISE)

Microsoft Azure Government Platform

Case Study – Migrating USDA – ARS Applications to Microsoft Azure Government Cloud

Migration Consideration and Methodology

Conclusion

Oracle Web Application (ON-PREMISE)

Overview – Microsoft Azure Government platform

Microsoft Azure Government delivers a cloud platform built upon the foundational principles of security, privacy & control, compliance, and transparency. Public Sector entities receive a physically isolated instance of Microsoft Azure that employs world-class security and compliance services critical to U.S. government for all systems and applications built on its architecture. These services include FedRAMP and DoD compliance certifications, CJIS state-level agreements, the ability to issue HIPAA Business Associate Agreements, and support for IRS 1075. Operated by screened U.S. persons, Azure Government supports multiple hybrid scenarios for building and deploying solutions on-premises or in the cloud. Public Sector entities can also take advantage of the instant scalability and guaranteed uptime of a hyper-scale cloud service.

Azure Government includes the core components of Infrastructure-as-a-Service (IaaS), Platform-as-a-Service (PaaS), and Software-as-a-Service (SaaS). This includes infrastructure, network, storage, data management, identity management, and many other services.

Case study – Migrating USDA – ARS Applications to Microsoft Azure

The Agricultural Research Service (ARS) has multiple applications to support on the Oracle platform.  The Enterprise Application Services Branch (EASB) of the Chief Information Officer develops and supports all Agency-wide software applications developed to support the ARS mission.  These applications are part of the Agricultural Research Information System (ARIS) which support the business areas of the Office of National Programs (ONP), Facilities Division (FD), Acquisition and Property Division (APD), Budget and Program Management Staff (BPMS), Office of Technology Transfer (OTT), Extramural Agreements Division (EAD), Human Resources Division (HRD) and the Financial Management Division (FMD).

For the ARS test and development environments, TechTrend provided architectural design services to migrate the existing environments into the Azure Government cloud. TechTrend leveraged Azure Site Recovery to create an environment snapshot and lift and virtualize the existing environment into the cloud. TechTrend also provided advisory support services through their managed service offering to roadmap the modernization of legacy Oracle systems to 12C while maintaining legacy application support in the Azure Cloud.

Lastly, TechTrend developed robust business intelligence and cloud utilization portals to enable real-time monitoring and performance evaluation of the provided Azure cloud environments. This management tool and portal currently allows authorized users to spin up and scale down their deployed environment at will to provide unparalleled cost efficiency and on-demand performance.

Migration Consideration and Methodology

Several things should be considered while moving an application to Microsoft Azure. Major points that need to be addressed are:

  • Application compatibility – analyze if the application is architecturally fit for Microsoft Azure before moving.
  • External / internal dependencies – check if there are any external application dependencies and need to analyze and if those are accessible through Azure.
  • Application class – verify how the application is classified in the business. Business critical and LOB applications demand high availability.
  • Application integration – check whether candidate application is integrated with other on premise applications and shared services.
  • Database compatibility – analyze whether the existing database is best fit to migrate to Azure.
  • Application maintenance / management – identify how the logs are maintained and where they are stored.
  • Scalability / elasticity – identify whether the application design supports scalability as Azure supports it.
  • Compliance requirements – check if there are enterprise compliance and regulations that govern whether the data can be moved / stored outside the enterprise’s control.
  • Cost – verify whether moving the application is cost-effective for the enterprise.
  • Security – clarify whether the same level of security can be provided after migrating to Microsoft Azure in terms of: Data security Authentication Authorizations.

Conclusion

TechTrend successfully migrated and currently manages Azure Government Cloud for the ARIS production and test environments. The improved environment offers physical and network isolation from non-U.S. government deployments and requires specialized personnel screening. TechTrend’s cloud offering also addresses the USDA’s regulatory and compliance requirements such as FedRAMP, FISMA, ITAR, CJIS, HIPAA and DoD Impact Levels 1-5.

The strategy, consideration and methodology discussed in this case study provides guidance to enterprises looking to migrate their on-premise applications to the Microsoft Azure Cloud.