Red Hat Case Study
DoD's Data Exchange Service (DES)
DES is the DoD’s health information exchange connecting hundreds of disparate systems from the DoD, VA, and commercial health care providers, who act as both medical record consumers and suppliers. Running on Red Hat Enterprise Linux and Red Hat JBoss, DES runs 24x7x365 servicing millions of requests per day. DES constantly gets change requests to address data issues, onboard new health exchange partners, and add new datatypes and new capabilities. With the continual demands on DES, along with HIPAA compliance, DES needs a reliable means to rapidly deploy secure and tested software to production.
It is important for operations to match the cadence of development. To achieve this, we developed Ansible playbooks that automated formerly manual processes. Using Red Hat’s Ansible Tower DES is able to simultaneously deploy multiple versions, nightly or on demand, such as production support, current working version, and branches.
Some of the processes we automate for DES include: removing the previous application installation; installing the Java JVM and the application server; installing DES software into the application server; creating operating system (OS) users and groups; setting up the host OS firewall rules; changing the host OS file permissions and ownership; and running smoke tests to validate installs. Each night, the process cleans the OS and lays out the entire software stack and configurations necessary to run DES. These activities are automated through Ansible Tower, removing all human intervention after the master playbook is launched. At the end of the installation process, Ansible displays the changes it made to the targeted host systems, enabling auditing of the install.