So the council sized up a new delivery model for IT, envisioning a web-connected ecosystem primed for the quick-fire addition of new applications, shared services initiatives, and mobile-ready workplace tools.
The vision led them to CCL’s IaaS platform, which today runs and delivers the lion’s share of HBRC’s production systems, including rating, financial, document management systems, and databases.
“We didn’t want to spend another unnecessary cent on kit or an on-premise server room,” said Kahl Olsen, HBRC’s ICT manager. “What’s more, sinking capital into IT cripples the economics of many shared services initiatives and new technologies, including pay-as-you-go cloud solutions, simply because the cost of running your own IT remains relatively unchanged, even when you turn systems off.”
“Our operations guys have become cloud architects – the days of traditional systems engineering are largely over.”
- Kahl Olsen, ICT Manager, HBRC
CCL’s catalogue of infrastructure services offers unit prices for VMs and tiers of storage, allowing HBRC to calculate costs and identify opportunities for savings when it deactivates specific services, or shifts data to different tiers of storage.
With virtualised systems running in CCL’s Takanini data centre, HBRC has activated additional services, including CCL Backup as a Service, which automates daily incremental and full backups. Also on the continuity front, the council maintains dual WAN links between Takanini and its Napier office. And in the unlikely event a major disaster cuts both links, a 4G mobile gateway maintains connectivity.
“As we settle in we are tweaking services, shifting data to different storage tiers, and fine tuning other services,” said Olsen. “It’s also spurred a rethink about DR, because the traditional drivers associated with environmental failures, like air conditioning and generators, are no longer factors.”
The council is gearing up to replace its Citrix thin-client environment with virtual desktop platform CCL v-DaaS. And the final piece of its production environment, GIS, will move to the cloud once a distributed file system is in place.
“Operating a hybrid cloud is quite complex,” said Olsen. “One of our challenges was letting go and getting on with other work. We’ve moved from systems engineering to cloud architecture. So we’re just as busy, but on higher-value activity that delivers better services to the business.”
With council operating in the cloud and Olsen and his operations team focused on their new responsibilities as cloud architects, HBRC’s ICT is primed for the future: