The United States Army Cyber School (USACYS) is charged with training and educating Soldiers to defend the interests of the United States and our allies at home and abroad via means grounded in computer science, electrical engineering, robotics, physics, and mathematics. Over the past 18 months, USACYS has used OpenStack to execute this critical mission for force readiness.
This presentation will focus on our journey from 3 borrowed servers connected to users via CAT6 cables running through a drop ceiling to a 2000-core cluster backed by a 4PB Ceph array that is 100% code-driven. We will also discuss our CI pipeline that integrates our Blackboard LMS, Heat, and our asciidoc-based curriculum-as-code repository into a student experience that is always up-to-date, relevant, and technically accurate while investing minimum man-hours for content curation. This DevOps-oriented approach, underpinned by OpenStack, allows our instructors to focus on teaching students and creating new content, not creating slide presentations and formatting word processor documents. This approach has yielded high benefits in courseware quality and student outcomes while saving millions of dollars in platform TCO expenses. The OpenStack solution has put USACYS years ahead of similar government education programs and on track to continue to embrace innovation and change for the benefit of national defense.