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The Top 5 Federal Government Use Cases for Mirantis Container Solutions


Each year, the U.S. government invests more and more of its multi-billion dollar IT budget in cloud computing technologies. Federal agencies want to better serve the American people by harnessing many of the same benefits of cloud computing enjoyed by the private sector, like greater productivity, improved efficiency, and cost savings. Here at Mirantis, we have extensive expertise working directly with federal agencies and federal contractors to provide enterprise-grade cloud native solutions with the requisite security compliance, including FIPS 140-2, DISA STIG, and FedRAMP. 

In this blog, we will go over the most common use cases for Mirantis container deployments for the U.S. government. We’ll also detail the top reasons why federal agencies choose Mirantis container solutions, and provide a summary of how one of our largest federal customers, a Defense Agency Cybersecurity Office, is using Mirantis container solutions to increase developer productivity.

What are the top government use cases for Mirantis container solutions?

Many federal deployments of Mirantis container solutions are classified, but for the deployments that we do have information about, below are the most common use cases that we serve.

  • Increasing Defense Capabilities - Today, having the right software functionalities can mean the difference between life and death for soldiers on the battlefield. Cyber warfare has also become a common form of aggression between nation states. Fostering software innovation is critical to delivering new military capabilities and becoming more adaptable than adversaries. DoD software factories use Mirantis Kubernetes Engine, Mirantis Secure Registry, Mirantis Container Runtime, and Lens both to modernize existing proven applications for use in container and cloud environments and to rapidly develop and deliver new mission-critical applications. Many of these applications require support for agency-specific FedRAMP environments, hybrid cloud and on-premises data center environments, or secure air gap environments to protect against cyberattacks.

  • Modernizing Business Operations - All branches of the U.S. government are actively modernizing legacy in-house applications or migrating to cloud native commercial off-the-shelf software to better manage day-to-day business operations. Federal agencies are currently using Mirantis Kubernetes Engine, Mirantis Secure Registry, Mirantis Container Runtime, and Lens to securely deploy, manage, and monitor a variety of modernized business tools, such as financial databases, collaboration sites, and secure communication platforms.

    One of the key advantages of working with Mirantis is our Application Modernization Service, which combines our cloud native expertise with the automated Mirantis Application Migration and Modernization Platform to quickly assess, rationalize, and transform legacy applications at scale. It’s an effective solution for accelerating the modernization and migration of applications to highly secure, FedRAMP authorized air gap clouds.

  • Field Mapping - Several federal agencies are using Mirantis Container Runtime with geospatial field mapping applications, such as Esri ArcGIS, to create, analyze, and visualize field data related to natural resources, climate, demographics, infrastructure, and other topics. The field data is used for scientific research, resource management, inspections, and other purposes. Using containers makes it easier to deploy isolated environments for data collection and analysis at scale.

  • Real-Time Tracking - Defending national security requires vigilance to both quickly detect and respond to potential threats and to securely manage core infrastructure and resources. Different branches of the U.S. government are using Mirantis Kubernetes Engine, Mirantis Secure Registry, and Mirantis Container Runtime to securely build and deliver applications that continuously track potential risks or monitor critical physical or digital assets in real time.

  • Artificial Intelligence/Machine Learning - Every branch of the U.S. government generates a tremendous amount of data, and many federal agencies are leveraging artificial intelligence and machine learning to deliver insights to improve the quality of public services, protect sensitive data, and reduce fraud. Some federal agencies are using Mirantis Kubernetes Engine, which supports NVIDIA GPUs for rapid, high-precision computation, to deploy AI/ML and big data workloads. 

Why do federal agencies choose Mirantis container solutions?

Why do federal agencies choose Mirantis container solutions?

Federal agencies choose Mirantis for their container needs primarily for the following reasons: 

  • Security Compliance - Our adherence to important security compliance standards, including FIPS 140-2 and DISA STIG, is the main reason why many federal agencies choose Mirantis container solutions. The Mirantis professional services team can also help achieve FedRAMP authorization for solutions that integrate our products. For example, Mirantis helped customer Netskope successfully prepare its NewEdge security network infrastructure for FedRAMP authorization.

  • Faster Authorization to Operate (ATO) - Many federal IT systems require an ATO before they can process government data. Getting an ATO typically entails following a security framework like the NIST Risk Management Framework, which “integrates security, privacy, and cyber supply chain risk management activities into the system development lifecycle.” Many federal agencies and their contractors choose Mirantis container solutions so they can get ATO faster for deployment by leveraging an automated CI/CD pipeline to manage the testing and deployment process. Obtaining an ATO is a big part of the federal software delivery process, and without the right tooling, it can be a huge bottleneck, especially for application modernization or other software upgrades.

  • Advanced Operational Tooling - From public safety to defense to healthcare, the federal government runs many applications that cannot have any outages. Most federal customers find enormous value in the operational tooling we provide, such as automated health checks and early anomaly detection and notification, which enable authorized SysOps teams to proactively address potential problems and reduce time to resolution for incidents that do occur. Our tools provide both early notification and recommended mitigation actions to keep production systems operating at peak performance. Dozens of federal agencies also use Lens to efficiently manage, monitor and troubleshoot their Kubernetes clusters. Together, these tools provide the production reliability mission-critical teams need to accomplish their goals. 

  • Enterprise Support and Managed Services - The advanced operational tooling included with Mirantis container solutions enables federal contractors to provide valuable enterprise support and managed services to government agencies. Many federal agencies are just starting their journey into containers and need expert enterprise-grade support to help ensure the resilience and security of their deployments. Other agencies prefer using a fully-managed container platform so that developers can focus on building applications, rather than managing the underlying infrastructure. Managed services also offset the challenge of talent scarcity that many federal agencies struggle with. 

  • Trusted Partner with No Vendor Lock-in - Federal agencies and their contractors often need a trusted partner that they can work closely with to integrate their preferred technologies. The Mirantis professional services team works closely with many of our federal customers to add further capabilities to our container platforms as needed, such as specialized networking, security, or AIOps tools. Our public sector team has specialized knowledge and experience to help get a project moving, accelerate software development, containerization, and infrastructure deployment, and rapidly bring a project to completion. Additionally, our flexible technology approach with no lock-in appeals to federal agencies that are deploying hybrid clouds, so that diverse infrastructure choices can be supported.

  • Ease of Use - Mirantis is the only container solutions provider to support both Kubernetes and Swarm orchestration. While Kubernetes is the leading container orchestrator in both the public and private sectors, many federal agencies like having the option of Swarm orchestration due to its simplicity.

How is a Defense Agency Cybersecurity Office using Mirantis container solutions?

Developers at a Defense Agency Cybersecurity Office were using Kubernetes on OpenShift to manage containers, but it made continuous software delivery difficult and expensive. Managing custom OpenShift environments was eating up too much of developers’ time. The team turned to Mirantis to create a secure, managed container platform that leverages Mirantis Kubernetes Engine to provide Containers-as-a-Service. 

Combining the Mirantis Containers-as-a-Service for Government platform with managed services, the developers can now focus 80% of their time on building applications, instead of being mired in the daily grind of infrastructure operations. Having a consistent container layer underneath applications reduces the complexity of validating apps for Authorization to Operate. And with Mirantis’ dual orchestrator support, developers have the flexibility to use Swarm instead of Kubernetes where appropriate.

Read the full case study here.

Learn more about Government IT solutions from Mirantis.

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