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Platform One
16 Oct 2020
| By Chad Serino | Categories: Kubernetes

How The DOD Is Leveraging Kubernetes

How the DOD is leveraging Kubernetes

The United States Air Force is adopting open source solutions such as Kubernetes at a rapid pace while developing the DOD’s DevSecOps Initiative. This is an open-source platform that allows the Air Force and DOD to manage containerized workloads and services.

This article will look at how DOD and the Air Force are currently using Kubernetes to deliver advanced capabilities to war fighters.

How is the Air Force leveraging Kubernetes?

As you know, Kubernetes is a powerful orchestration platform that is suitable for global scale deployments. Introducing Kubernetes to their operations and business activities has brought several benefits to the Air Force and DOD, including the following:

  • It can be used for their on premises or cloud based applications
  • It allows the Air Force to overcome many of their challenges as they moved towards open development systems.
  • Kubernetes has allowed them to overcome waterfall methodology and fill gaps caused by skills shortages.
  • Code can be reused for different apps
  • Offers continuous integration (CI/CD)
  • Complex applications such as Multiple microservices can be deployed at the touch of a button. A single command is all it takes to carry out tasks quickly and easily.
  • The platform doesn’t need any downtime, as rolling updates and rollbacks are available.
  • Security stacks can be deployed as a side-car container. This allows developers to have complete visibility. They can use MFA enforcement, log data, and manage identity.
  • Automatic scaling
  • In the event of a software or system failure, the containers restart automatically.

What was included in the Air Forces stack? 

Working with systems such as a fighter jets open source makeover was slightly different, in the way that it ran then other classified systems. The Air Force needed to be protected from viruses and threats that were present on the internet.

To ensure that the containers were able to work effectively on the jets, the team created an entire stack, which included the following. They knew that a one size fits all approach wouldn’t work with the Air Force or meet DOD’s needs, so they created a customizable stack.

 Software Services

The stack also includes software services such as Platform One and a service mesh layer. These provide the Air Force with software enterprise services, as well as hardened containers. They are able to achieve continuous integration and delivery options.

The service mesh layer helps to make the whole system more secure and includes the correct architecture for microservices to be utilized. It provides training and a variety of on-boarding options and support with contracting. 

Application Layer

An application layer has been applied, which allows development teams to function more effectively. They can build modular software, hardened containers, and microservices that can be easily reused and used across teams.

Cloud One Interface

The stack includes a cloud one infrastructure layer. This is a common development that’s designed to be very stable and secure. It can be used throughout the test and production environments.

App designers and developers can use Microsoft Azure or Amazon Web Services (AWS) clouds. The cloud infrastructure also offers the Air Force effective tools that will help to reduce their software development costs.


DOD developers are able to adapt rapidly to changing situations and rise to new challenges. Using Kubernetes allows them to work as a team and utilize various technologies. They can make use of artificial intelligence and machine learning.

Kubernetes are currently being run in jets and is also used by the Air Force to increase security and power many of their business activities.