05 October 2017
Wolverhampton City Council is said to have one of the public sector’s most advanced cloud-based IT systems after working with automation specialist PowerON.
The council was keen to automate more IT tools, enable the pro-active monitoring of hardware, and streamline software distribution.
With a Microsoft-centric platform already in place, it invested in System Centre but required help to get the most out of the Microsoft suite’s management products.
The council called in PowerON which immediately decided to create a bespoke Cloud Management Appliance (CMA) with what’s described as “extensive management capabilities”.
Steve Beaumont, the company’s product development director, explains that the appliance was used with Microsoft Hyper-V which provided flexibility between on-premises and cloud computing resources.
““This is complemented by a hybrid cloud system with the flexing of infrastructure services across on-premises and Azure for key scenarios,” he says. “We then also incorporated Operations Management Suite for cloud backup, disaster recovery and log analytics, as well as Enterprise Mobility Suite for hybrid management of mobile devices.”
Beaumont goes on to say that the council needed to have servers up and running quickly.
“We delivered a fully functioning version of System Centre, via our CMA, in just over two weeks which was much less than the 90 days the council had initially estimated it would take.
“We were then able to roll out Windows 10 faster than any other desktop refresh in the council’s history. The whole system, which runs on Windows Server 2012 R2, is now completely scalable through Azure and can support up to 20,000 managed devices per appliance.”
Paul Dunlavey, enterprise manager at the council, says PowerON made the adoption of the cloud an easy process. “The speed it took to build the infrastructure, which had been a barrier to adopting these technologies in the past, resulted in major cost savings against our initial forecast of how long it would take do in-house.”
Dunlavey says the deployment has also enabled to reduce the size of its primary and secondary data centres which has generated both office space and further savings.
He adds: “Importantly, it has also paved the way for the council to migrate larger systems to the cloud, and within two years the aim is to have all primary business applications running from the cloud.”
Following the of success of the project, PowerON is now replicating the solution blueprint at a number of other local authorities, such as Suffolk, Hounslow, Barnsley and Wirral.