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The US Army Cyber Center of Excellence is one of the key defense domains along with land, sea and air, and has the important task of training army soldiers in cyber technologies. The school takes the standards provided by the U.S. Cyber Command and the U.S. Army as key inputs for formulating learning outcomes. The school follows an agile process for creating, updating and delivering training content spanning documents, scripts, system resources provisioning (target systems, attacker nodes and defending nodes [VMs/containers]), using an automated revision control approach or “training-as-code”. As the school’s east-west network traffic needs have been growing progressively, the pfSense-based solution had become a bottleneck in terms of performance, scale and agility needs.

The school wanted not only to overcome the bottlenecks in terms of current needs, but also to “future provision” the capacity for next few years to streamline the infrastructure procurement approval process. The Cyber Center of Excellence chose a solution since it fit the school’s networking needs in terms of being open source, high performance, scalable, capable of running on commodity hardware, programmable and cost efficient.