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Department of Conservation chooses AWS over IaaS for data centre migration

Department of Conservation chooses AWS over IaaS for data centre migration

Business continuity issues addressed as DOC claims a successful AWS migration.

New Zealand's Department of Conservation has opted for AWS under the all of government IaaS panel agreement.

New Zealand's Department of Conservation has opted for AWS under the all of government IaaS panel agreement.

Credit: Dreamstime

Faced with aging servers in an outsourced data centre, the Department of Conservation has opted to shift its computing requirements to Amazon Web Services (AWS).

"The failure of one or more servers posed a critical business risk," DOC told Reseller News last week.

Half of the the servers in DOC’s data centre, hosted by Revera, were considered at their end of life and no longer supported in September 2016 and the rest in January 2017.

As the government required all digital services to be consumed as-a-service, DOC assessed both AWS, supplied through the all of government cloud framework agreement and Infrastructure-as-a-Service (IaaS) supplied through an IaaS agreement with Datacom, Revera and IBM.

Data storage had already been shifted to Revera under IaaS in 2015.

The availability of AWS under the agreement was announced last May at the AWS Summit in Auckland.

As part of DOC's annual review by Parliament, CFO and deputy director general corporate services Christeen Mackenzie explained that the project was not over budget because the figures earlier provided were incorrect.

"I do want to apologise to the committee: the initial estimated budget figure of $1.5 million was actually a figure going back several years," she said. "The actual estimated budget figure relevant to the project was something like $3.5 million."

In 2014, the project was originally assessed as a “lift and shift” exercise, and a "very speculative estimate" of costs of $1.5 million was put into the department's capital intentions for that year.

The subsequent business case, prepared in 2016, provided a project estimate of $3 million, however, and the project was approved and proceeded based on that.

Detailed design revealed that upgrading an SAP Finance and Plant Maintenance application and replacing the SAP Mobile Application, Work Manager, with a new HTML5 based mobile app, MyPM, would provide a better outcome.

A change request was made for this and the additional work approved and funded as part of the infrastructure project.

During the project another six minor change requests were made for additional services and a review and design of the ITMS services to manage the new data centre. The final budget for additional work was $1.2 million, leading to the final estimated cost of $4.2 million.

"The actual project itself is in its closing stages now," Mackenzie told the committee. "We have actually migrated a large number of our applications onto AWS in the cloud, and it’s actually proving to be very successful."


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