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Stratolaunch Systems Corporation: Defense Cloud Build Out at Mach Speed

Stratolaunch Systems Corporation: Building a Defense Cloud Build Out at Mach Speed  

Challenge 

Stratolaunch Systems Corporation is a space transportation venture launched in 2011 by Microsoft co-founder Paul G. Allen. The company’s goal is to make space launch more reliable, affordable, and accessible. 

In April 2017, an affiliate company, Allen’s Vulcan Aerospace formally separated from Vulcan, Inc. and was merged into Stratolaunch Systems Corporation. The combined company needed to separate its systems from Vulcan for regulatory compliance reasons. This meant creating an entirely new IT infrastructure robust and secure enough to comply with the strictest security standards enforced for U.S. defense contractors — all  in an extremely short time frame. 

Stratolaunch chose EXP Technical to tackle this daunting task. 

Solution 

The EXP team, led by Pat Cooke and Jordan Lee, quickly established the requirements for the business transition and created a detailed plan to meet the tight separation deadlines. The business-critical functions were prioritized for availability on day one after the transition, with less critical systems layered in rapidly afterwards. And all of this had to be designed and implemented with National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) SP800-171 standards and International Traffic in Arms Regulations (ITAR) compliance in mind. 

The solution included: 

  1. A secure network including firewalls, switching, wireless, and remote access. 
  2. Business productivity applications, primarily Microsoft Office 365 Government Community Cloud, High, which was then brand new. . 
  3. Local server infrastructure to provide directory, network, and file sharing services including Windows Servers, Active Directory, Azure AD Sync, File Storage, and more. 
  4. Security solutions including multifactor authentication, wireless network access control, endpoint security, endpoint encryption, and more. 
  5. A secure Extranet for contractors and partners. 
  6. A multisite backup and disaster recovery solution. 
  7. An IT roadmap to help scale the infrastructure as the business grew. 
  8. A fully outsourced IT department designed to scale quickly to match Stratolaunch’s business needs.  

EXP’s Services Included: 

    • IT strategy and planning  
    • Project planning and management 
    • Vendor and procurement management 
  • Cloud and data migrations 
    • Infrastructure buildout 
  • Support and helpdesk services 

Results 

Stratolaunch separated from Vulcan at Mach speed with minimal downtime and disruption of operations and without employing any full time IT staff. 

Stratolaunch continues to rely on EXP Technical to provide outsourced IT services for IT management strategy, support, and security for various projects including their mission control center in Mojave, CA where they are currently building the world’s largest airplane. 

Client Feedback 

“We couldn’t have made the transition from Vulcan without EXP’s tireless and professional efforts. We continue to rely on their expertise and timely support to this day.” 

Brian Morse, Senior Vice President, Operations