Next Gen Platform (NGP) and PyPE Transition Project

November 21, 2022

The Next Generation Platform (NGP) project was commissioned by the Business and Administrative IT Leadership Council (BAITLC) in September, 2021 to deliver a modern development platform to replace the existing PyPE platform.   The project launched in October, 2021 culminating on October 31, 2022 with the launch of the UT Container Management Platform (UT CMP) service.  Batch capability on UT CMP is underway to be delivered for developer use by March 8, 2023.

The UT CMP service initially is being utilized for customers migrating PyPE applications. After the initial onboarding for PyPE customers, additional departments will be invited to use the UT CMP service to deploy Python-based applications. In the future, additional languages will be supported, including PHP- and Java-based applications, and a cloud-based service will be created to augment the on-premise service.

In preparation for the launch of UT CMP and retiring PyPE in March 2024, the PyPE-DEM Transitions Team is reaching out to departments and developers to identify projects that:

  1. can be deleted because the project is inactive or no longer needed
  2. will be migrated to another system, including to UT CMP
  3. are already moved to another system, e.g., DEM, but need to have routing maintained and updated before PyPE is retired
  4. need to be retired with PyPE (will not migrate but must remain in PyPE until its retirement)

Departments also will need to confirm their assignment into a transition group time slot for migrating their projects; the transition groups were tentatively assigned based on PyPE-data analysis and from responses to last December’s survey.

Background

The NGP project was launched to provide the equivalent functionality of PyPE in a modern, secure, reliable technology, with an initial focus on an on-premise Kubernetes-based platform (Rancher) called UT Container Management Platform (CMP). Several PyPE applications were previously piloted with Rancher, and the focus of the development team is to deliver an enterprise system, along with tools, documentation and training to support a transition effort that will be needed to convert the ~400 PyPE and DEM applications to the new platform.

While the urgency of PyPE replacement necessitates an initial focus on a Kubernetes-based platform (Rancher), the BAITLC roadmap also calls for an AWS-based platform to be developed, resulting in two complementary platforms to serve the diverse needs of campus IT.  

Goals

The initial release of the NGP is being developed with the following goals in mind: 

  • Deliver a production minimum viable product that demonstrates desired outcomes such as but not limited to the following:
  • Separation of duties
  • Proper monitoring and logging 
  • Security
  • Reliability 
  • Developer productivity
  • Transparency and understanding of costs of all types (platforms, resourcing, etc.)
  • Understanding how the new platform(s) may help attract and retain resources better
  • Demonstrate how federation (i.e., multi-tenancy) can work
  • Demonstrate how IT shops of all sizes and types can be served.

Timeline

The UT CMP project was completed on October 31, 2022, with the launch of the ITS UT CMP service.   Development teams are now on-boarding to the new platform to migrate their PyPE projects.   Batch capability will be delivered by March 8, 2023.

CMP plan with milestones

Benefits

The PyPE platform will reach end-of-life in March 2024. Transitioning to the UT CMP will eliminate the investment needed to upgrade Django and OS on the PyPE platform destined for retirement.

Additionally, the UT CMP will provide PyPE customers, as well as the UT development community, a modern application development service with improved security.