A Public Service Organization’s Journey to the Hybrid Cloud

This public health services organization supports people in need. To manage all the different services, the organization maintained two on-premises datacenters and utilizes their own in-house developed apps for their information and counseling centers and off-site visits for example. Because of this digitalization strategy, the load on the datacenters increased and a hardware refresh was necessary

“Our offerings include care and support services, assistance for the disabled, assistance forthe homeless, debt counseling as well as home nursing and care for senior citizens” explained the CIO, “we ensure the efficient use of funds in thehealth and social sectors and guarantee high quality social services, so we needed a reliable and secure solution” he continued. “To see what strategies we could pursue, we checked with our partners at comdivision.”

Tobias Paschek, comdivision's lead architect for this customer, knows the challenges they faced because he’s done quite a bit of work for them in the past. He suggested a cloudworkshop, where he worked with their admins to come up with the best solution:

The Challenge

The capacity in the on-premises data-centers became scarce, “so we needed the flexibility in the infrastructure to quickly scale up if needed” Paschek said“as usual, the IT-admins had a full-time job ‘keeping the lights on’, manually moving workloads to avoid servers running out of capacity, so we had to see where we can simplify things for them.” He said. “Step 1: standardize the infrastructure in order to simplify the update and patching procedures. Step 2:  we needed to reduce the workload for the admins, while enabling the developers to utilize Kubernetes in the future” Paschek explained, “actually, I sensed a bit of a disconnect between the infrastructure people and the application developers. Partly I felt that this disconnect was because of the fact that the organization is using a lot of external partner organizations for different tasks, the app developers were contractors as well.”

The CIO added:“the provisioning of resources for these developers became a full-time job at some point for one of our VI Admins, so we discussed self-service options for the development teams”.

The Solution

Tobias Paschek suggested to go with a hybrid cloud solution: “we split up the workload between a new on-premises datacenter based on VMware Cloud Foundation with Tanzu and VMware Cloud on AWS off-prem. The workloads for the administrative officers stayed on-premises while the workloads for the offsite counseling offices and mobile teams will run on VMware Cloud on AWS”.

In order to simplify and standardize the on-premises infrastructure, some of the old hardware nodes were used to set up a new VMware Cloud Foundation management cluster in the new on-premises data center and the new hardware was used as workload clusters.

To ensure compliance with regulations and security, NSX-T was implemented so that the network could dynamically adjust to the application demand and VMware vRealizeOperations Cloud was used for monitoring SLAs.

The Results

“VMware Cloud on AWS provided the most flexibility with minimum work required for theVI-Admins” explained Paschek “we configured the VMware Cloud on AWS infrastructure with Elastic vSAN and Elastic DRS, so that if capacity was needed quickly, the system would automatically scale up the storage capacity on the cluster and would even add a new host, if capacity was maxed out” Paschek continued



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