Insights: Case Study

Case Study: An innovative journey to the hybrid cloud

Our customer, a large public sector department, now operates their own tailored cloud environment – a hybrid cloud – that enables them to target cloud solutions more strategically, ensuring the right solutions are adopted for the right challenges.

The Problem


The customer inherited disparate IT environments as a result of its merger from several legacy departments. This created barriers for the adoption of cloud solutions, which they sought to leverage cloud technology to modernise their IT environment, reduce operational risks and costs, align to state government policy, and minimise impact on the environment.

The Solution


Kinetic IT worked with the customer to implement a hybrid cloud environment that consolidated and stabilised the inherited IT environments whilst providing a foundation for future transformation.

The Outcome


The customer has mitigated the risks associated with disparate, aged environments and can now focus on modernising its ICT services for greater security and improved user experience.


Customer Background

Our customer is a public sector department that was created following a state government initiative to reduce the number of existing departments and agencies.

Each former department operated separate ICT environments; however, as they were now operating as a single entity, the disconnected ICT environments introduced significant inefficiencies due to the duplication of resources. There was also a negative impact for employees and contractors, due to the differing operational process and services.

The customer required a unified approach to ICT to mitigate these inefficiencies and constraints, which would also build a foundation for future transformation. These transformation objectives included the adoption of cloud technology to unlock further cost, operational and environmental efficiencies.

Having provided ICT services to the customer for more than a decade, Kinetic IT has supported them through their journey to consolidate and modernise their infrastructure and ICT services, culminating in the design and implementation of a hybrid cloud environment.

  • Stabilisation: There was an urgent need to stabilise and secure the customer’s environment to mitigate risk associated with ageing infrastructure and capacity constraints within on-premises data centres.
  • Consolidation: Disparate ICT environments needed to be consolidated to remove cost inefficiencies associated with the duplication of resources, and to provide a consistent experience for staff accessing ICT services.
  • Transformation: The hybrid solution needed to incorporate public cloud services to provide the platform for the department to transform legacy applications to modern web apps leveraging native public cloud services.

The Solution

Kinetic IT worked closely with the customer to design a scalable solution to address current capacity issues, cater to future workloads and burst capacity, as well as provide an environment that allowed cost-effective growth and elasticity.

Kinetic IT’s solution was a hybrid cloud solution utilising hyper-converged infrastructure that was secured by design using Fortinet Next-Generation Firewalls.

Working in step with the customer, Kinetic IT went through the following phases to implement the solution:

Phase 1 – Lift and Shift Non-Production Environment

Kinetic IT’s first challenge was to find a cost-effective and immediate solution to relieve the pressure on the customer’s over-burdened and aged hardware. After analysing available solutions, and with target workloads in mind, Kinetic IT proposed migrating the customer’s test, development and pre-production environments to a cloud platform using a “lift and shift” approach. This involved moving applications and data with minimal or no modification. This outcome immediately relieved the pressure on hardware, thus reducing the risk to the business, and creating some breathing space to investigate a longer-term solution.

Phase 2 – Commence Multi-Cloud Development

Using the “lift and shift” approach, a public cloud migration trial involving the relocation of 100 virtual machines was undertaken. Following this trial, it became apparent that there were latency and performance issues with some applications due to legacy application architectures and integrations. Aside from highlighting performance issues, this experience also provided lessons learned in terms of considerations for migrating the remaining fleet of virtual servers, and reinforced the customer’s strategy for operating a combination of both public and private cloud services.

With this in mind, Kinetic IT set about designing a new private cloud solution to align with the customer’s cloud strategy to operate a hybrid cloud environment.

Phase 3 – On-Premises Private Cloud

Building on the experiences learned from Phases 1 and 2, and with the customer’s infrastructure cloud strategy in mind, Kinetic IT designed and costed a private cloud solution built on a hyperconverged Dell EMC VxRail platform. This utilised infrastructure leased by the customer through the state government’s GovNext program. Kinetic IT evaluated the customer’s environment and requirements to identify all components that would be required to build and operate the solution and performed a detailed financial analysis. This environment could handle all of the customer’s workloads, without any latency issues.

The private cloud solution incorporates hyperconverged infrastructure to provide the customer with scalable capacity as well as meet the stipulated elasticity requirements to rapidly expand and scale out horizontally by adding modular nodes without changes to the architecture. The solution is secured by design, using Fortinet Next-Generation Firewalls to provide robust security, monitoring traffic not just in and out of the environment, but within it as well.

Phase 4 – Hybrid Cloud and Cloud-Native Application Development

With a hybrid cloud solution in place, the customer now has an environment that allows them flexibility to rearchitect legacy applications. The next stage of the journey will see a focus on the modernisation of legacy applications as well as the continued focus on security.

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The Outcome

The customer is now operating a private hybrid cloud environment that meets its business requirements and provides a solid foundation for future transformation.

The consolidation and retirement of aged equipment have enabled the customer to:

  • Decommission 4 of its 6 Data Centres, and;
  • Consolidate 48 racks of IT equipment to 9.

The private hybrid cloud infrastructure the customer now operates uses significantly less power (from 10-20 KW per rack to now 6 KW per rack) which reduced operational costs, as well as reduced the negative impact of IT operations on the environment.

The customer maintains a hybrid cloud strategy and has pivoted to ensure that both private and public cloud technologies are adopted for the right circumstances. Having removed the limitations of aged hardware, the customer now has time for its developers to build cloud-native solutions while the current infrastructure is stable, allowing applications to be hosted in the public cloud after they have been rearchitected to be cloud-native.

  • Cloud Right: The customer is in a better position to gain the maximum value from their cloud expenditure, adopting cloud solutions where they will provide better outcomes, while maintaining a stable environment for applications that remain on-premise
  • Cost Efficiencies: The private cloud solution enables the customer to avoid the high costs associated with a non-optimised application migration strategy to public cloud.
  • Green IT: The customer has reduced its data centre footprint, and subsequently its power consumption, minimising negative environmental impacts.

ISG Provider Lens™ ServiceNow Ecosystem Partners 2024 Report.

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