Updated: Feb 17, 2021
Today, the Federal government is rapidly switching to modernization in order to serve the citizens efficiently. In this digital era, it is wise that public sector agencies make their core objectives data-centric, as data is the key to achieving success today.
Modernizing the old-school, outdated on-premise systems to cloud systems must be the utmost priority for federal government IT leaders. For seamless data flow, the federal government needs to make sure their applications are modernized with CI/CD pipeline, are well-integrated across hybrid IT platforms, and employ best Anthos practices.
In this post, we are going to look at how federal government is adopting application modernization to enhance their public services:
Why does the Federal Government need Anthos?
Government agencies are evolving at an overwhelming speed, and they have to keep up with the new policies, laws, and compliance requirements rolled out frequently, along with growing citizen expectations.
In this digital age, citizens demand technology-driven, seamless public services. To provide this, the federal government needs to adopt new technologies that are agile and efficient to modernize their mission-critical legacy applications. This can be done through application modernization, viz. updating the legacy applications with latest practices.
Here are the practices that allow government agencies to transform digitally:
A scalable, modern, and flexible platform that can adapt to the growing citizen needs.
Open-scale architecture that allows seamless access to new technologies and processes without causing vendor lock-ins.
A platform that adapts to the modernization of legacy applications while also allowing future innovation.
To modernize legacy applications and manage confidential data, the federal government is switching to hybrid cloud solutions.
But Federal IT leaders might be struggling to cope with increasing amounts of data, data analytics, constricted budgets, and growing needs for public services. One way to tackle these challenges and offer enhanced public services to citizens is through adopting a modern application management platform such as Anthos.
Google Cloud’s Anthos is a new application management platform that delivers a seamless development and operations experience for your on-prem and cloud infrastructure.
Legacy Application Modernization using GKE and Istio
GKE and GKE On-Prem
Anthos cloud computing platform mainly depends on GKE and GKE On-Prem to manage all your Kubernetes applications in the environments you wish to deploy them. The GKE aims to leverage Kubernetes releases by allowing you to manage capabilities to create, scale, and update clusters.
With GKE, Google Cloud Platform will handle the control plane, while the federal IT manager can access the Kubernetes API server. GCP will be managing the node components in your application modernization projects using GKE. On the other hand, GKE On-Prem will be hosting your On-Prem virtualization environment.
With Kubernetes, you can seamlessly access the common orchestration layer to manage deployments, configurations, updates, and applications scaling.
‘Service mesh’ is nothing but a network of micro-services consisting of applications and their interactions.
As you keep on adding applications, the size and complexity of service mesh keep on increasing. This can make it challenging to manage and understand critical metrics. A service mesh is responsible for complex operations such as load balancing, metrics, monitoring, failure recovery, discovery, access control, A/B testing, end-to-end authentication, and so on.
With GCP’s Istio, you can get behavioral insights and greater operational control over your entire service mesh. Thus, Istio allows you to meet all the service mesh requirements to manage your microservice applications.
As federal government agencies switch to cloud platforms, IT developers need to look for solutions that allow portability and efficient management of large distributed deployments across multi-cloud and hybrid environments. That’s what Istio does!
Istio will considerably reduce the complexity of managing micro-services’ network, as it provides a central platform to connect, secure, and monitor micro-services across different environments.
With Istio, federal government will be able to:
Get insights and better control over traffic behavior with enhanced routing rules, failovers, retries, and fault injection.
Access configuration API and pluggable policy layer that includes rate limits, access control, and quotas.
Derive automatic logs, metrics, and insights of entire traffic within a cluster, including inbound and outbound.
Secure service-to-service communication within a cluster by using robust authentication practices.
Get automatic load balancing for TCP, HTTP, WebSocket, and gRPC traffic.
All in all, Istio will not only help you with observability and security but also offer excellent traffic management, platform support, integration, and customization tools.
Hybrid and Multi-cloud environments using Anthos for Application Modernization
Modernization of Workloads
Most significant advantage of hybrid and multi-cloud environments is that they allow government agencies to integrate existing on-prem deployments with modern cloud services such as AI and data analytics. This approach results in digital innovation that brings about efficiency, cost-effectiveness, and agility for government agencies.
However, federal agencies won’t truly unlock the power of hybrid and multi-cloud technology until they modernize their legacy applications. To transform their legacy application for hybrid cloud deployments, the federal government needs to use containers and micro-services.
Containers and microservices are rapidly evolving techniques that allow for portability and flexibility to move your workloads and data to different clouds. This allows agencies to deploy faster and seamlessly manage applications across hybrid and multi-cloud environments.
With Kubernetes, IT leaders can deploy an application’s specific components in one cloud environment, say On-Prem, and move other components to public or private clouds. These individual components will keep on running inside the containers in a multi-cloud or hybrid platform. This allows you to make upgrades or changes to different application components without worrying too much about downtime.
To conclude, Kubernetes is a flexible container platform that will allow agencies to manage their applications as micro-services. Government organizations can build or modernize apps anywhere and also add new features faster. Moreover, it also employs defense-in-depth security and guardrails strategies to ensure that sensitive data remains secure and that government agencies comply with the industry standard.
Legacy applications that run on proprietary application servers can result in slow release cycles, higher licensing costs, and vendor lock-ins. This cycle may hold back government agencies from chasing their business initiatives. And, most of these apps are written in Java.
With Anthos, you can modernize your Java applications for reduced dependency on proprietary servers, operational costs savings, and faster software delivery speed.
Anthos helps you modernize your existing legacy apps with containerized micro-services, VMs, and also allows integrations of modern tools for better policy management.
Thus, Anthos lets you deliver better citizen experiences while reducing operational costs and risks.
DevOps-Ready with Cloud Build
Kubernetes applications are enterprise-ready and can seamlessly integrate with DevOps practices to enhance organizations’ deployment workflows.
With Cloud Build, government agencies can define custom workflows to build, test, and deploy applications across multiple environments.
Cloud Build is a serverless CI/CD platform where you can quickly build your software across different programming languages such as Node.js, Java, Go, and so on.
Once you define custom workflows, you can deploy software across multiple environments, including Kubernetes, VMs, etc.
Despite being a serverless platform, Cloud Build performs an in-depth security scan for your entire CI/CD pipeline. Moreover, it lets you package source code into container or non-container artifacts.
Agencies can scale up or down as per the load, no need to pre-provision resources. You can pay for only that which you use.
It has custom build extensions to third-party apps so that agencies can tie their legacy tools into the build process.
It performs vulnerability scanning and automatically blocks deployment of vulnerable packages as per your configured DevSecOps policies.
Enhancing Public Services with Agile Applications
Moving to cloud and modernizing legacy applications can truly pave the way for complete innovation of public services.
Anthos is a robust application management platform that smartly accelerates your application modernization process. It remarkably improves the agility, platform governance, and operational efficiency of public services with its robust components such as GKE, GKE On-Prem, Istio, Cloud Build, and so on.
Agile applications modernized via Anthos can reduce complexity, operations costs, and hindrances that tend to accompany federal agencies’ legacy workflows. It will provide the federal government with a modern framework to ensure excellent consistency across their multi-cloud and hybrid future. With this approach, federal agencies will be able to offer modernized public services to citizens with exceptional user experience.