MAXIMUS provides critical health and human services programs to a diverse array of communities. The Company’s IT infrastructure and operations weren’t scaling to meet their needs, and application deployment was a convoluted and time-consuming process. The team turned to F5 to help it migrate to AWS and automate its processes to free up its resources for other projects. With F5 on AWS, MAXIMUS has seen greater productivity and better resource allocation, including closing two data centers which were no longer needed. As MAXIMUS moves forward in its cloud journey, it will continue to look to F5 as a trusted partner.
For more than 40 years, MAXIMUS has played a critical role in helping governments achieve their goals by providing essential services to the most vulnerable citizens in the communities it serves. Rated one of America's 100 Most Trustworthy Companies, MAXIMUS manages innovative programs for its customers through flexible, scalable operations and automated systems that are tailored to the specific needs of each community.
The Company’s use of on-premises solutions was creating challenges around flexibility and scalability. It operated multiple data centers that required heavy participation and dependencies from multiple teams to make changes or deploy new applications.
“If the dev teams had a new application that required 10 back-end servers, the system engineers would have to build 10 systems for them,” said Shawn Adams, Senior Engineer, Enterprise Networking at MAXIMUS. “The network engineers would need to give them 10 permanent IPs, and build firewall rules for them; and then our engineers would provision a front-end SSL-offloading load balancer.”
This process created delays for the company’s dev teams and a large amount of work for other staff. “It’s essential to be able to deliver services with a minimum amount of staff overhead and a minimum of delay in results for other teams,” said Adams. “That’s what really drove us to seek out a cloud solution for application delivery.”
The MAXIMUS IT team reached out to F5 for insight into how they could make the best use of the cloud in achieving their goal of greater efficiency. Working with F5’s cloud specialists, the team chose to deploy F5 application and load balancing services on AWS. The team implemented BIG-IQ as a centralized point of control for all of its physical and virtual F5 devices.
BIG-IQ gave the team greater insights into application traffic to troubleshoot issues and enabled them to automate application deployments on AWS in ways they weren’t able to in the past.
“BIG-IQ simplifies management, helps ensure compliance, and gives us the tools we need to deliver our applications securely and effectively,” said Edgar Palamarchuk, Senior Network Engineer, Enterprise Networking at MAXIMUS.
Although MAXIMUS is still in the early stages of its cloud journey with F5 on AWS, the Company has already seen its cloud applications grow from just one or two in 2017 to more than 60 applications in 2018. The MAXIMUS IT team is continuing to collaborate with F5 on its cloud strategy, exploring everything from new enterprise licensing agreements to Ansible integrations.
“It’s an exciting time for our business and our IT team,” said Palamarchuk. “Our cloud solutions will only continue to improve the programs that we’re able to offer to our clients and the communities we serve.”
By automating with the F5 BIG-IP and BIG-IQ platforms, MAXIMUS has already seen significant benefits — including greater productivity, greater efficiency and an ability to streamline operations and infrastructure, enabling a greater focus on their customers and their core business.
Thanks to the automation solution provided by F5, AWS and Ansible, the MAXIMUS teams can turn around projects or application deployments in seconds and minutes, instead of days and weeks. The solution also provides self-service options to developers who can get their work done without having to rely on multiple teams for each deployment.
Now, they only call on network and system engineers if they need something custom-built or if they need help troubleshooting an issue. The F5 solution gives power back to the developers to do things faster and build features into their applications without having to rely on multiple IT resources.
One of the biggest benefits MAXIMUS has seen with the new cloud solution is the ability to access applications hosted on F5 controllers on AWS.
“Internal delivery teams can grab AWS cloud formation templates without our team setting up the device,” said Palamarchuk. “I just provide them with the license key, and that’s it—they have an F5 device up and running in seconds. Before, it would take at least three teams, and at least two days, to get that device up and running.”
Managing the MAXIMUS IT infrastructure and serving the needs of the application development teams required considerable time, energy and overhead. By moving to AWS, IT was able to consolidate its physical infrastructure and close two data centers. The shift to the cloud enabled the IT team to focus on its core business, creating higher value to the communities it serves.