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City Of Melbourne Case Study

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Customer Details

The City of Melbourne is Victoria’s capital city, and the state’s business, administrative, cultural and recreational hub.

With tourism high on its agenda, the City of Melbourne has been investing for some time now in seasonal destination marketing campaigns.

Seasonal campaigns are strongly underpinned by online promotions via melbourne.vic.gov.au/whatson, a What’s On eNewsletter and social media channels.

Business Need

The City of Melbourne needed to improve the capacity of its systems infrastructure and promotional website (http://melbourne.vic.gov.au/whatson) to better support seasonal destination marketing campaigns.

Traffic to the website is highly volatile: 100%+ utilisation for a few weeks of the year; 1-10% utilisation for the remainder. This variability has led to website/system overload during peak periods, and large capital expenditures paired with high costs for underutilised IT assets and infrastructure during troughs.

The City of Melbourne required a solution that would:

  • Accommodate fluctuations in demand with high availability and scalability
  • Improve the presentation of its public face with an attractive and reliable website for promoting high-profile events, such as Melbourne Spring Fashion Week and New Years Eve
  • Reflect the true costs of infrastructure use (i.e. pay only for what you use)
  • Enable in-house [website and systems] management [to accomplish xx] in the future quickly and effectively
  • Encourage a more innovative development and test environment.

Solution

PolarSeven designed, implemented and trained City of Melbourne staff on the use of a cloud-based solution using Amazon Web Services (AWS).

The entire process took one month and involved the following steps.

  1. Consultation and diagnosis:
    Discussions with key stakeholders to determine the suitability of an AWS solution for the City of Melbourne
  2. Architecture:
    Workshopping with the City of Melbourne to deliver a solution that included high availability, multiple availability zones and elastic load balancers
  3. Delivery:
    ‘Lift and shift’ migration from the City of Melbourne’s internally hosted infrastructure to the AWS platform using the web application platform, Microsoft SharePoint
  4. Training:
    Working alongside City of Melbourne staff on a daily basis facilitated:
    – knowledge transfer
    – self-sufficiency of staff for future management of the environment
    – the transition of Developers to DevOps (an amalgamation of two roles spanning development and operations)
  5. Change management:
    Building relationships with key City of Melbourne stakeholders to bring them onboard with the project and encourage adoption of the AWS solution.

Results

The City of Melbourne now has a strong online presence to support its destination marketing campaigns.

The customised AWS solution has enabled efficient and cost-effective management of traffic to the website, melbourne.vic.gov.au/whatson.

In particular, the City of Melbourne can:

  • Downscale during troughs and thereby lower costs (pay only for what you use)
  • Upscale for high profile events to eliminate ‘site busy’ responses and present a seamless, professional front-end to the public.

The solution has also improved agility, time to market and innovation by:

  • Increasing the speed with which a test environment can be created and replicated (thereby encouraging developers to experiment with changes and updates)
  • Introducing a self-service infrastructure, in which Developers become DevOps with ownership of the website and greater motivation to innovate and deploy changes Easily scale Up and Down when the need arises
  • Provide a robust, creative open environment to work it

By shifting our public facing websites and supporting infrastructure into AWS, we’ve proved that the City of Melbourne can be more agile and flexible with the help of cloud technologies. This realisation has opened up new ways of thinking for how we use our IT infrastructure, which has already resulted in creative and productive results.
Brook Ferguson – Senior IT Manager

About PolarSeven

PolarSeven’s vision is to be a customer centric, Amazon Web Services consultancy, where cloud computing is seen as a key enabler to our customers needs and challenges. “We help our customers achieve amazing things.....”

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