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Case Study: Government Research Company Migrates to FedRAMP-Compliant AWS Environment in 60 Days

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In 2016, the research company began working on a large project that required high-performance analytics computing to process a very large dataset. The infrastructure needed to be FedRAMP compliant. Although the company maintains its own FedRAMP-compliant datacenters, the project had a tight deadline and their usual 3-month timeline for purchasing, configuring, and testing custom hardware was not an option.

The company chose Amazon Web Services (AWS) due to AWS’s extensive experience working with government organizations and vendors and its robust big data offerings. However, their staff lacked expertise on the AWS platform and the project’s deadline was less than sixty days away, so they could not build their AWS environment alone. They chose Logicworks to design, deploy, manage, and optimize their cloud environment while maintaining internal security policies and FedRAMP standards. As a result, the research company delivered the project on-time and on-budget, and plans to migrate more workloads to the AWS cloud.

Challenges:

  • Aggressive deadline, >60 days to production
  • Big data analytics applications require custom configurations and high-performance compute and storage
  • FedRAMP compliance requirement
  • Internal systems teams lack expertise on the AWS platform

Why AWS + Logicworks?

  • Scalable Compute, Low Cost of Change: The AWS cloud allows the research company to onboard new projects rapidly and cost-effectively, without the burden of purchasing and configuring hardware for their own datacenter.
  • Big Data in AWS: No other cloud provider offers more robust data processing tools than AWS. Logicworks helps the company make the best use of AWS for their big data analytics applications.
  • Continuous Compliance: The AWS East and West regions are certified for FISMA / FedRAMP ATO. Logicworks helps the research company maintain continuous compliance in AWS through advanced tooling and automation.
  • Certified Expertise: Skilled cloud engineering talent with compliance experience is extremely difficult to find. Instead, the company could rely on Logicworks’ certified AWS expertise and 20+ years of experience servicing healthcare and governmental agencies, reducing the risk of migration and management.
  • Repeatable Results: Since Logicworks built the research company’s AWS environment using AWS CloudFormation, Puppet, and other infrastructure as code tools, their entire environment can be duplicated or easily modified and rebuilt for another project. This significantly reduces the cost of future project onboarding.

Results

As a result of choosing Logicworks and AWS, the research company successfully launched their FedRAMP-compliant analytics project on AWS in under 60 days. The speed and success of this project demonstrates the value of outsourcing physical datacenter compliance to AWS and then layering on an experienced AWS management partner for architecture, monitoring, and maintenance. The project also highlights the benefits of the continuous compliance model, where configuration management and AWS native tools enforce server and OS configurations, alerting Logicworks’ 24x7x365 NOC or automatically correcting misconfigured resources. Due to the success of the project, the research company now plans to gradually shut down their on-premise datacenter and go all-in on AWS.

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