Greenbelt, MD – March 2023
GAMA-1 is honored to be featured in AWS’ article go.awsaddressing our support for NOAA’s Digital Transformation and Cloud Strategy by accelerating public and 3rd party access to NOAA: National Oceanic & Atmospheric Administration’s weather, climate, and environmental products. We are also a proud Amazon Web Services (AWS) Advanced Tier Partner!
Between September 2021 and June 2022, GAMA-1 Cloud Subject Matter Experts (SMEs) designed and implemented a mature Amazon Web Services (AWS) cloud platform known as the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) Enterprise Platform as a Service (ePaaS). The NOAA ePaaS provides enterprise hosting and full life cycle development for the customers of the NOAA Office of the Chief Information Officer (OCIO) Service Delivery Division (SDD). A customer list that includes NOAA’s Line Offices responsible for critical environmental public safety and climate data intelligence management missions, such as the National Weather Service (NWS), National Environmental Satellite, Data, and Information Service (NESDIS), National Marine Fisheries Service (NMFS, National Ocean Service (NOS), Office of Marine & Aviation Operations (OMAO), and the Office of Oceanic & Atmospheric Research (OAR). Other NOAA EPaaS customers include the NOAA Staff and Corporate Services Offices, Information Technology Center (ITC), Web Operations Center (WOC), the Development Agency (EDA), and other agencies within the Department of Commerce.
GAMA-1 designed the NOAA ePaaS to provide a common and secure management framework to facilitate rapid customer onboarding and secured a formal Authorization to Operate (ATO) following the Federal Government’s rigorous process. In addition, the GAMA-1 cloud experts and executive leaders provided NOAA with a cost-effective management and transparent financial/chargeback model that lowers the barrier to cloud adoption and customer financial planning. The “build once – use many” model allows OCIO SDD to establish a common cloud framework.
NOAA EPaaS was delivered using Mobilize Delivery Kits (Operations, Landing Zone, & Security), providing implementation consistency and artifacts, runbooks, and workshops customized for NOAA OCIO SDD. “GAMA-1’s knowledge of NOAA’s current environment and applications, complemented by our experience and expertise in designing, implementing, and deploying NESDIS’ successful AWS pilot and operational enterprise cloud PaaS, enabled us to implement recommended solutions for this strategic initiative,” stated Dan Beall, Vice President of Operations.
As an AWS Advanced Tier Services Provider, GAMA-1 developed, deployed, and implemented the following ePaaS infrastructure and account management features:
- An AWS Control Tower customization solution to automate OCIO customer onboarding and baselining of AWS accounts using NIST 800-53 Rev 5 security and management framework.
- A Products Service Catalog to allow OCIO SDD customers to create and manage catalogs of IT services approved for use on AWS.
- A Pipeline as a Service framework allows customers to automate release pipelines for fast and reliable application and infrastructure updates.
- A Department of Defense (DoD) Security Technical Implementation Guide (STIG) compliant NOAA OCIO Operating System (OS) golden image.
- An AWS account integration with CloudCheckr and Cloud Access Security Broker (CASB).
- Secure connectivity using NOAA N-Wave Trusted Internet Connection (TIC).
Meeting an OCIO SDD ITC requirement, GAMA-1’s cloud experts developed an application migration discovery workbook template and defined and developed a migration pattern. GAMA-1 successfully migrated two NOAA critical applications using these techniques: the Foreign National Registration Service and the NOAA Staff Directory to the AWS NOAA ePaaS. A three-tiered architecture of the applications was optimized to leverage AWS cloud-native services like Amazon RDS for Oracle and Elastic Load Balancing, allowing GAMA-1 to migrate on-prem Oracle to Amazon RDS for Oracle.
Diwakar Puthalapat, GAMA-1’s NOAA ePaaS Chief Architect, commented, “Our team successfully leveraged AWS best-practice ‘Cost Optimization Pillar in AWS Well-Architected Framework.’ We also designed and deployed an Instance Scheduler solution to control resource costs by configuring start and stop schedules of EC2 and RDS instances.” Mr. Puthalapat added, “OCIO ePaaS was driven by best practices Configuration Management, Continuous Integration, Continuous Delivery & Deployment, Automated Testing, Infrastructure as Code, and Continuous Monitoring. These best practices allowed the NOAA OCIO to automate the release process, audit the changes, and deliver updates faster.”
Each of NOAA’s Line Offices has adopted the ePaaS AWS secure cloud platform and directly benefits from its enterprise features. The Office of Oceanic and Atmospheric Research (OAR), in particular, is on track to complete the onboarding of all 20+ AWS Accounts into the NOAA ePaaS platform by year-end. The onboarding process now takes a few hours instead of weeks/months, making this goal attainable for OAR.
The results speak for themselves! GAMA-1 took NOAA OCIO from zero automated processes to completing 40+ Landing Zone activities, 30+ security activities, and 15+ operational activities in less than six months. Our team also developed 25+ Landing Zone Runbooks, 20+ Security Runbooks, and 10+ Operations Runbooks. The NOAA ePaaS baseline set of controls accelerated the Authorization to Operate (ATO) process for the NOAA OAR Line Office, helping them with a crucial first step to attaining their goal of 100% adoption by year-end.
For more information regarding this AWS Cloud Project or other GAMA-1 cloud initiatives, contact our Vice President of Business Development, Gerald Stark, at [email protected].
About GAMA-1 Technologies – GAMA-1 is a highly-technical Certified Small Disadvantaged Business with a mature service delivery model. We combine industry and government standards with established GAMA-1 methodologies to develop, engineer, secure, implement, and maintain IT solutions and services. We refine our methods through continuous process improvement and hold International Organization of Standards (ISO) 9001 (Quality), ISO 20000 (ITSM), and ISO 27001 (Security) certifications. We train our staff on IT Infrastructure Library (ITIL) v4 and apply Capability Maturity Model Integration (CMMI) Services Level 3 processes. For more information, please visit our website at www.gama1tech.com.
To learn more about working for GAMA-1 Technologies, visit https://www.gama1tech.com/careers
Contact: Stan Coachman, Contracts Manager – 301-982-4262