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Mason McDaniel, chief technology officer at the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives, discusses how their current cloud migration efforts are faring, and why they’re working better than before.

The Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives is currently migrating their systems to a cloud architecture. Mason McDaniel, chief technology officer at ATF, says that their latest effort is an all-or-nothing affair.

“We have a terrible history of trying to pull out an individual system in isolation and modernize it. All those interconnections you know about and don’t know about have really just caused those to fail, most of the time. We decided this time, we wanted to try to tackle a huge part of our infrastructure and pay off the technical debt that we’d accumulated over 10, 15, 20 years of not investing in our IT and get us up to a common modern technology baseline,” McDaniel said. “The only way we could really do that at scale efficiently enough and quickly enough to make a difference was we flipped it. We tackled the entire data tier of every application we had. Built out an AWS enterprise environment to host all ATF apps. We migrated all the data, development, test and production data and into Amazon Web Services and got our full security approval to operate.”

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