When D2iQ was called in to provide a replacement Kubernetes platform, NCI Information Systems’ artificial intelligence (AI) initiatives needed support. The existing platform NCI had deployed was stalling, making it challenging to run AI solutions that required a highly available Kubernetes environment.
Looking for a more stable solution, NCI reached out to D2iQ. To the delight of NCI CTO Allen Badeau, the D2iQ system was up and running in days, performed well, and a stable and more manageable Kubernetes environment enabled NCI to continue moving full speed ahead with its AI platform.
NCI Information Systems began as a traditional provider of IT services before emerging as the leader in AI and machine learning (ML) solutions for government clients. Allen Badeau spearheaded this transformation by instilling a “lead by example” model with NCI setting up its own Innovation Lab to develop and test AI/ML solutions in areas like cybersecurity before rolling out stable and reliable solutions to its government clients. This “customer-zero” approach enabled NCI to be the proving ground and showcase for the industry-leading AI technologies it developed.
Badeau had spent years in the government and commercial space. He understood that it could be challenging for government clients to implement new platform technologies because of the legacy systems and software that were already in place, and having to account for how you could move data in and out of these existing environments.
To build top-of-the-line AI/ML solutions that could overcome these difficulties, NCI would need a strong foundational platform, akin to those that commercial organizations had been implementing for years. A Kubernetes platform was deemed the best solution to meet the needs of different government environments, which meant that a Kubernetes vendor was needed to partner with, one that could support their long-term goals.
First Step A Pitfall
The first vendor NCI chose had several challenges including system stability. Despite engaging the vendor’s support and services, and devoting countless hours to ineffective fixes, NCI could not provide the ML/AI services for which the system was intended.
The NCI team felt they could work around performance issues, but because NCI’s AI solutions required continuous availability, the instability issues had to be improved.
Badeau and his team decided they had no choice but to find an alternative Kubernetes platform, so they began searching for a replacement solution that would work as desired for their internal AI projects and their clients. NCI chose D2iQ based on DKP’s reputation for ease of use and solid performance.
“In our first attempt, it was so hard to run Kubernetes, and that was definitely not the case with D2iQ. We have had only a pleasant experience with D2iQ.”
Allen Badeau, CTO at NCI Information Systems, Inc.
Partnering with D2iQ on AI/ML Innovation
When the NCI team reached out to D2iQ, they did not know what to expect. However, within the first couple of weeks of setup with D2iQ, they were up and running with complete stability and improved performance.
Once the NCI Innovation Lab was able to test and produce their AI/ML solutions internally, they were ready to work with government clients to alleviate the challenges they were experiencing.
The main consideration for NCI when working with different government clients is each clients’ unique requirements. Many of them still have on-premise deployments with strict network and security access constraints. With D2iQ, NCI has been able to deliver a solution to meet the demands of each situation. The seamless approach that NCI has gained with D2iQ’s Kubernetes platform has given them an edge in packaging solutions that enables their clients to access their solutions faster.
- “If you want commercial best practices in government services, you need a commercial company that can facilitate the entire process instead of relying on the way things were done in the past.” – Allen Badeau, CTO
- When working alongside D2iQ’s professional services team, NCI was able to have their questions answered and gain an immediate comfort level for getting Kubernetes up and running. Within the first 10 minutes of setup, they were able to deploy their applications. For Allen Badeau, the peace of mind gained from eliminating downtime was key to NCI’s mission of creating innovative AI solutions.
- Moving forward, NCI plans to partner with D2iQ long-term on projects that will be able to bring AI/ML to the federal government services space, and to cooperate in solving problems they can address together.