Managing the AWS environment for the SEED Data Portal
The Sharing and Enabling Environmental Data (SEED) portal, is a publicly accessible resource used by academics, researchers, public servants and the public alike, to search, manipulate and visualise critical environmental data on topics such as the bush fires.
SEED sits within the NSW Department of Planning, Industry & Environment, which is a government entity with 10,000 plus employees responsible for effective and sustainable planning to support growth in NSW.
Though the SEED portal had been moved into the AWS Cloud, SEED realised they did not have the internal resources within their team to properly manage such a complex application stack within the AWS environment.
PolarSeven brought the value of a standing team of AWS experts, plus the ability to seamlessly manage additional support by third parties for specialist applications. Now SEED can focus on evolving the portal knowing that their platform is secure, scalable and fully cost-optimised.
The SEED team found it challenging to find adequate internal resources to continue the ongoing management and evolution of the AWS environment which was new to them.
Some components of the solutions stack also required specialist support, outsourced to third parties, but they wanted a single point of contact to manage all their support needs.
PolarSeven provides SEED with p7-Managed Services, a suite of integrated ITIL based services designed to support clients’ applications within the AWS environment.
The suite includes p7-CoreServices as ITIL based Incident, Problem, Access and Request Management facilities, plus p7-ProactivePlan which is an Account Management and Cost Optimisation service.
At its core is an ITIL compliant ServiceDesk which accepts and tracks items as tickets where they triaged according to their potential impact on business operations, and assigned a Severity Level. This allows PolarSeven to Acknowledge, Respond, Resolve and Report Support Service requests within set and agreed SLAs.
Minor Service Requests can be addressed and resolved very quickly. Where escalation is required to specialist third parties, the single ticket can be used to coordinate escalation and resolution, again according to agreed SLAs.
Users can also open tickets at the p7-ServiceDesk to get access to highly qualified and certified AWS cloud engineers, and access the Knowledgebase within the p7-ServiceDesk.
At PolarSeven, Account Management service is a proactive service designed to ensure the Client’s secure, and cost effective use of the AWS environment. The service includes a monthly review of the following:
All open tickets; and tickets closed since the last report.
Analysis, findings and recommendations of security reviews, including for example, IAM credential reports, S3 Bucket policies and Network Access Control and Secure Group configurations.
Analysis, findings and recommendations of the cost analysis, including, for example, reserved instance reporting, resource configuration optimisation, cache purging and clean up of unused/under-utilised resources.
The findings of the review are presented as a report which provides the basis of a monthly agenda to discuss the general health of the environment, systemic issues and trends, and any recommendations for improvement.
Results and Benefits
Throughout the past three years, PolarSeven has managed the release of new applications, features and fixes for the SEED platform while upskilling the SEED team. The SEED team can focus on expanding the datasets and feature sets available within the SEED portal knowing that their platform is secure, scalable and fully cost-optimised.
Going forward, SEED will be using a third party monitoring tool providing deep insights into the usage patterns of the applications. This both demonstrates the value of the platform, and also highlights areas for further investment and development.
As part of the on-going trusted relationship, PolarSeven was engaged to Modernise the SEED environment.