Case Studies

Case Study: Deploying Mission-Critical Cloud Services

  • Victoria Robinson
  • May 21, 2023
African man and asian woman having paperwork at office

Challenge/Scope

Our Department of Homeland Security (DHS) client relies on an Analytic Support System as their primary information gathering service for tracking vessels and managing maritime intelligence across multiple security domains. However, the on-premise hosted Analytic Support System faced challenges in obtaining an Authority to Operate (ATO) and required significant solutioning to ensure security needs were met. The Department of Homeland Security (DHS) mandated that a cloud-based system with an ATO be operational by September 1st, 2021, as the legacy system was set to be terminated. A shutdown of the system would have severe impacts on all aspects of our customer’s operations.

Approach/Solution

Highlight worked in Agile teams to securely deploy the first version of the cloud-based Analytic Support System by the critical deadline. The team focused on delivering the majority of existing capabilities and modernization features, prioritizing critical features necessary for daily agency operations. Highlight kept the user community informed about available features, productivity impacts, and the roadmap for achieving full completion of legacy features and new capabilities. The modernized system obtained an ATO, enhancing security and compliance and ensuring uninterrupted operations for the customer.

The modernized Analytic Support System leveraged AWS-managed services such as EC2 instances, RDS, S3, and Kinesis, deployed across multiple Availability Zones for enhanced reliability. Highlight’s team developed new tools and enhancements using the Agile Scrum SDLC, performed comprehensive testing, and provided full lifecycle support from development through deployment.

Highlight’s Operations and Maintenance (O&M) team provided comprehensive support, including access management, Tier 1 user support, outage management, testing, patching, and database administration. The team maintained a 24/7 on-call schedule to respond to and resolve any outages or system degradation. They also worked closely with the development team, led by subcontractor Krozak, to ensure seamless integration and implementation of code changes across the NIPR and SIPR environments.

Capabilities

  • Program Management 
  • PMO Support
  • O&M Personnel Management 
  • System Development
  • Database Administration 
  • Web Services
  • UI/UX
  • Cloud Services
  • Tier 1 Help Desk

Results/Outcomes

The modernized Analytic Support System empowered the customer with enhanced maritime intelligence capabilities, supporting vessel tracking, event logging, and case management across multiple security domains. Highlight’s documentation team played a crucial role in creating user guides, technical manuals, and training materials, facilitating user adoption and system proficiency. Highlight successfully modernized the Analytic Support System, enabling the customer to continue their critical operations with enhanced efficiency, security, and reliability.