Advancing Satellite Software Development: A Cloud-Native, Scalable Approach

By Todd Lizambri, Vice President of Software Engineering

Software development, satellite communications, and the bold move to a scalable, cloud-native future. Let's discuss!


In an era where speed and resiliency are critical to mission success, the universal appeal of cloud-native software lies in its ability to cater to changing demands. Both the military and commercial domains have shown a growing interest in embracing this kind of software development – enhancing the capabilities of satellite communication systems and provisioning.

This posting delves into the array of shared advantages and defining characteristics that come with a cloud-native, scalable approach to software development.

  Defining Cloud-Native

Cloud-native, at its core, represents the software approach of seamlessly building, deploying, and managing modern applications within the landscape of cloud computing. In the context of cloud-native applications, the word “native” describes less about where the application comes from and more about what components are used to build and deploy it.

The cloud-native architecture combines software components such as small, self-contained services known as microservices. Each microservice focuses on a specific area of concern, supporting changes to applications and reducing the risk of impacting service delivery. This approach enables satellite communication systems to efficiently handle massive data streams, deliver real-time information, and adapt to evolving technology trends.

Containers are also a key component, and the smallest compute unit in a cloud-native application. They are compact, self-contained software bundles that wrap an application along with everything it needs to run, and offer a flexible approach for packaging, launching, and managing microservices. Containers are instrumental in enhancing the agility and scalability of SATCOM systems, all the while making sure resources are put to efficient use. This leads me perfectly to my next point.

Agile & Scalable Services

The adoption of cloud-native architecture enhances the deployment of SATCOM systems into key defense environments – allowing for the creation of software that is agile and adaptable. Critical attributes for military operations where the landscape can change rapidly.

At Network Innovations U.S. Government, our efforts have shown that we can scale cloud-native architectures securely and achieve developer velocity through self-service microservices. Our clients require systems that can effectively handle their varying demands, providing the necessary connectivity and data exchange capabilities in a reliable and responsive manner. Designing applications as a series of microservices leveraging container technologies ensures components can be quickly adapted and scaled.

In this context, scalability is equally crucial for commercial applications. In the business world, the ability to efficiently scale software resources up or down in response to fluctuating demand is essential for cost optimization and maintaining a competitive edge.

DevSecOps As a Service

Cloud-native development brings along agile practices like DevOps. The term “DevSecOps”, short for development, security, and operations, refers to the integration of security practices at every stage of the software development lifecycle.

Ensuring the security of connectivity channels will always be necessary, and not just in mission-critical scenarios. When it comes to ERP (Enterprise Resource Planning) applications, the principles of DevSecOps become just as important. Ensuring the security of systems that handle financial information, customer data, and proprietary business processes is essential to maintain business continuity. The management and control of networks and devices is equally important. The provisioning, control, and monitoring of key infrastructure is a crucial part of achieving operational success – for the everyday commercial application or warfighter.

At Network Innovations U.S. Government, we endeavor to build a fully managed, automated system that’s well protected against threats. Our security practices are implemented from the beginning of the development process and span the whole delivery pipeline.

Rapid Deployment

Software development for DoD programs and satellites demands continual innovation. All of the above practices and technologies contribute to the rapid delivery of services to our military customers:

  • DevSecOps practices, for example, have proved to be an effective way of making open-sourced technologies work in a highly regulated and structured government environment.
  • Containers and microservices enable rapid deployment of updates, fixes, and new features. This means that improvements and critical updates can be delivered quickly to soldiers in the field, enhancing their network capabilities and security.
  • Cloud-native architectures help optimize resource utilization, making the most of available compute infrastructure. This efficiency ensures that services are delivered without unnecessary resource bottlenecks, which is crucial for consistent service delivery of mission-critical applications.

Achieving a cloud-native future involves embracing a software development approach that prioritizes modularity, scalability, and agility. In essence, it represents a shift towards a more responsive digital infrastructure capable of meeting the requirements of modern environments.

Whether you're a Satellite Operator, Managed Service Provider, or any enterprise with mission-critical application needs, you want to experience the full potential of your solutions, capitalize on all available features, and see the advantages of information dominance. Our mission is to be your partner in ensuring resilient and highly available applications, moving toward a cloud-native future.


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