Our partnership incorporated both Discovery and Delivery phases.
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:
- A desire to add cloud service providers to the department’s supplier list without lock-in.
- An existing dependency upon a single third-party provider, for environment creation and management, which was a lengthy and costly process.
- A need to ensure the department’s architecture supported their broader technology strategy, and their ever-expanding in-house technology services.
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.