Unified Communications Manager Cloud for Government (UCM) – Formerly Hosted Collaboration Solution for Government (HCS-G)

Iron Bow’s UCM (formerly HCS-G), powered by Cisco, is a FedRAMP Authorized cloud-based collaboration service built to help you improve communication capabilities, empower your mobile workforce, meet cloud-first mandates and maintain stringent security standards. Check out this video and see how we can help your agency overcome key IT and business challenges.

See what VDI can do for your agency.

The case for Virtual Desktop Infrastructure (VDI) has never been stronger. Agencies are looking for better approaches to securing and managing end-user devices. Check out this infographic and see what’s driving the interest in VDI solutions—and what concerns are slowing agencies down.

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Welcome to Iron Bow's TechSource, a blog about the issues facing the government and industry today and the technologies being adopted to help overcome them.

Programmability: 5 Parts of a Whole Lot of Efficiency

Ryan Wolfe, Programmability Architect, Iron Bow Technologies

September 29, 2020  |  Cyber Security  •  IT Modernization  •  Networking

In today’s culture of personalized solutions and immediate gratification, no piece of enterprise technology is perfect straight out of the box. Each workplace has its own unique processes, challenges and requirements.  How many times have you said or heard, “It’s great but…” or “I really wish it could also do…” Organizations heavily invest money and resources in the latest technology tools and innovations expecting them to show immediate return on investment in terms of efficiency but sometimes don’t have the time and resources to maximize the potential of that technology. That’s where programmability comes in.

According to PC Mag, programmability is the capability within hardware and software to change; to accept a new set of instructions that alter the device or network behavior. Programmability generally refers to program logic (business rules), but it also refers to designing the user interface which includes the choices of menus, buttons and dialogs. While it is related to and overlaps with a plethora of other ecosystem functions like networking, cloud and applications, when one talks about programmability, there are five main topics that are inexplicably involved. Automation, orchestration, application programming interfaces, containers and Kubernetes come up as integral parts of the whole. Let’s break those down to understand how you can use each of these within the programmability umbrella to the benefit of your organization.


Intuitively, automation is the ability to streamline repetitive tasks and enable machines to do what they do best: rote processes. This allows you and your team to concentrate on higher value work instead of time consuming processes that happen day in and day out. Automation efficiently saves precious time and resources so everyone can focus on the more complex, human-needed tasks.


Related but different from automation is orchestration. As stated by Red Hat, orchestration is the automated configuration, management and coordination of computer systems, applications and services. Orchestration helps IT to more easily manage complex tasks and workflows. It also helps you to streamline and optimize frequently occurring processes and workflows, which can support a DevOps approach and help your team deploy applications more quickly. Orchestration is the use of programming technology (software that has been configured — customized to each client) to manage these interconnections and interactions among workloads within your infrastructure.


Application programming interfaces, better known as APIs, are the instructional glue that holds disparate technologies together. To put it in even simpler terms, APIs allow applications to communicate with one another. Imagine being an agency IT manager and having the tools you need for mission success at your disposal. The only problem? They don’t integrate with each other to create a simple, efficient workflow. This issue isn’t uncommon for our clients. APIs create a channel that allows IT teams to have the creativity and flexibility to implement the best solutions and make sure they all work together in concert.


No, we’re not talking about the Tupperware in your kitchen cabinet. According to Docker (one of the most widely used container softwares known as runtime), a container is a standard unit of software that packages up code and all its dependencies so the application runs quickly and reliably from one computing environment to another. Containers allow a developer to package up an application with all of its parts and deploy it as one package.


Kubernetes, from the Greek word for helmsman or pilot, is an open source system for automating deployment, scaling and management of containerized applications. Kubernetes was originally designed by Google and gives people the ability to manage up to billions of containers at any given time. In a practical sense, Kubernetes enforces your intention of what you’re trying to accomplish with your applications and ensures that the current state matches the desired state by balancing and flowing resources between containers so that maximum efficiency is constantly being achieved automatically.


The bottom line benefit for each of these pieces in the programmability picture is efficiency.  Whether you choose to deploy these functions in-house or partner with a third party that has the years of expertise and experience, you can realize the freedom of time allocation with automation and orchestration, the speed of consolidation with containers and the mass productivity from Kubernetes.

Iron Bow’s programmability solutions include not only decades of experience on each of these functions but we also offer product-specific customization and multi-product integration.  We approach projects with both network engineering and software development expertise. Couple that with our product-specific knowledge and leading and emerging vendors, and our expert team can customize your technology investments to work optimally for you. For more information on how we can help you bring optimal efficiency to your organization, simply visit our website.

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