Cloud monitoring for the warfighter advantage with Paul Puckett

“Cloud integration is a total Army effort that requires new education, new standards, and more precise communication from military and industry agencies.”

Paul Puckett, Director of the Enterprise Cloud Management Agency (ECMA)
Paul Puckett, Director of the Enterprise Cloud Management Agency (ECMA)

Cloud integration and application performance monitoring at the federal level is in full force. On a recent SIGNAL webinar, guest Paul Puckett, Director of the Enterprise Cloud Management Agency (ECMA), shared the Army has created 178 integrated online systems in the last 10 years, 46 of which were established since 2020. During this webinar, Mr. Puckett and Steve Mazzuca, Director DoD Programs at Dynatrace, discussed Mr. Puckett’s role in this large-scale, multi-cloud transformation. Mr. Puckett identified three ECMA programs that provide an advantage for the warfighter:

  • Managing the mission in the cloud
  • Software factories
  • Multi-cloud adoption

Managing the mission with cloud monitoring

“Cloud integration is a total Army effort that requires new education, new standards, and more precise communication from both military and industry agencies,” Mr. Puckett says.

Migrating to cloud-based operations from a traditional on-premises networked system also requires artificial intelligence and end-to-end observability of the full software stack. The EMCA recently implemented a new monitoring approval process, which breaks down details such as how a system functions, how information is being shared, and the overall software capabilities.

Some key server infrastructure cloud-migration opportunities the ECMA is currently pursuing include Enterprise Resource Planning, and Warfighter Information Network -Tactical. Mr. Mazzuca explains how Dynatrace’s AI-assisted end-to-end observability and cloud monitoring capabilities are central to accomplishing ambitious missions such as these.

Software factories: integrating AI to standardize cloud monitoring

The ECMA Software Modernization Working Group is standardizing application performance through monitoring. This group is focused on integrating artificial intelligence into various agencies across the military, which includes documentation and providing teams with tools and services. Software factories, where software is developed and debugged, play a pivotal role in defining components of software success.

One of those components for success is solving what Mr. Puckett calls “The People Problem.” This refers to the practice of providing soldiers with an understanding of the infrastructure, rather than asking them to simply monitor green lights. The ECMA has created “cloud teams” to aid in the application monitoring process. These teams have a sustainable understanding of the software capabilities and enable rapid feedback from soldiers. By providing more in-depth knowledge about the application, the ECMA has adopted not only the cloud technology, but an on-the-ground team of people who can assist with any issue that may arise.

Multi-cloud adoption

Cloud integration has grown nearly 25% in the last 15 months, in large part due to the ECMA’s successful approach. Mr. Puckett describes the hands-on, early application design process as being “more open, designed from day one to be sharable.”

ECMA’s recent boost in status from an Office to an Agency enables Mr. Puckett and his team to, as he puts it, to “fill in the gaps right now as we move to cloud,” which allows them to build fault tolerance into the transition to minimize downtime without slowing the migration process. This preparedness has enabled a hands-on approach to tackling application issues that previously might have acted as roadblocks.

To learn more about how the Army EMCA is evolving mission monitoring using cloud-based shared services, view the SIGNAL Webinar The Warfighter Advantage: Shaping Cloud Apps through Operational Monitoring.