A central government department who provide a breadth of services to individuals and businesses – increasingly self-service and offered online – which must be cost-effective.
This government client needed to reduce their technology costs, whilst also modernising their technology platform.
They wanted to move beyond traditional hosting and locked-in supplier contracts, to incorporate more cloud-based services. In parallel, as a result of the growth of their internal technology teams, there was a need for the fast creation of repeatable and secure development environments.
We began our work with a number of workshops, designed to help us better understand the department’s current technology landscape, as well as their broader strategy. From this we ascertained there was:
Having established intentions, we were able to propose a solution – a ‘cloud broker – that would enable the department to better manage their own environments across cloud providers.
After validating this approach with a Proof of Solution (PoS), we were tasked with the creation of a production-quality solution for usage across the department. This necessitated liaising with 250+ stakeholders across the UK, numerous external third parties and the department’s most senior directorate.
The final solution embraced a number of cutting-edge tools and practices such as public cloud, infrastructure-as-code, automation, API driven infrastructure and open source.
Specifically: HashiCorp tools as Packer was used for consistent cloud image building; Terraform for IaaS provisioning; and Vault for secret management, with teams free to choose and use the most appropriate configuration management tools (Ansible, Puppet, Chef, etc) as required.
MITIGATING SUPPLIER LOCK-IN
The ability to consume infrastructure and cloud-based services from multiple providers is fast becoming a key requirement for many large enterprises and government departments.
The ‘cloud broker is founded on contemporary principles providing architectural flexibility to support current, as well as potential future cloud and infrastructure provider requirements.
As a result of our partnership we were able to leave this Government department with: