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City of Monash leaps towards virtualisation and cloud

Jennifer O'Brien | July 11, 2016
Requirement to move DR to the cloud part of the reason to revamp systems

he City of Monash has embarked on a massive transformation project to upgrade its entire IT environment in a push towards virtualisation and the cloud.

City of Monash ICT manager, Stephen Peatling, who has been with Monash for one year toldCIO Australia the council has undergone a complete review of its ICT environment.

"I was asked to come in and do a review of the ICT systems here at the City of Monash. I found that some infrastructure and applications needed to be brought up to date. The organisation was workstation based with very little mobility. We had a very physical server environment in our datacentre of 42 physical servers with very little virtualisation on a Hyper V environment."

Once assessing the environment, Peatling started to virtualise the datacentre and was able to reduce the number of servers from 42 down to six blade servers.

"We have virtualised on a VMware platform and we have migrated all of our servers from Microsoft Windows Server 2003 to 2008 and 2012 across the board," he said.

Peatling, who is tasked with determining strategic direction, policy, service level and standards relating to all IT issues, said the steps taken towards virtualisation and the cloud was a major endeavour - and one that was sparked by the council's need to beef up its disaster recovery.

"To migrate all of those servers over to a virtual platform took about three to four months. We are using EMC for our storage environment. Part of that process and the reason why we went down the virtualisation path was because we wanted to move our disaster recovery (DR) to a cloud solution.

"We have now implemented a DR system in the cloud and are partnered with Thomas Duryea," he said, explaining the system has been in place for one month.

"We can now get the organisation operational if a disaster was called within 30 minutes. This is a great achievement for Monash."

Key results

The latest technology implementation is enabling council in many areas, Peatling said, explaining access and mobility are two big business and technology changes.

"There was no single sign-on when I got here so everybody had to log into every application using different user names and passwords. We've had a complete Active Directory (AD) upgrade and single sign-on for the organisation and now all of our applications are referring back to AD: one user name and password."

Additionally, Wi-Fi was installed throughout the main buildings, and Microsoft Surfaces were introduced.

"We have rolled out Surfaces to our councillors and executive team, and a few managers in corporate services, and we are seeing a great change in the way people are working. People are now coming to meetings (executive and council meetings) with their mobile devices and referring to them instead of carrying chunky agendas and papers."

 

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