A rapid IT operation transformation using AWS.

2017 – 2021

Overview

  • CMD has provided a secure, robust, private AWS platform customised to Coal LSL’s requirements
  • The migration was completed without service failures
  • Coal LSL’s cloud capability was enhanced through mentoring from highly experienced AWS engineers

Coal LSL engaged CMD Solutions to support its cloud adoption program and ensure the appropriate foundational elements were correctly set up from the outset, migrate Coal LSL’s business systems into a Cloud based architecture and provide ongoing managed services.

Coal LSL required assistance to take advantage of the benefits the AWS platform offered while also using an architecture that adheres with Australian Government cloud standards and relevant industry best practices, compliance standards and policies.

CMD assisted Coal LSL with the rapid enablement of the IT platform. The team set up secure efficient Infrastructure as Code patterns and initiated the Cloud Managed DevOps service that has since been provided on an ongoing basis.

The challenge

Coal Mining Industry (Long Service Leave Funding) Corporation (Coal LSL) decided to in-source operations as part of a decision to optimise their business model.

From a technology perspective, this presented the challenge of setting up a complete IT operation to support the separation from the incumbent administrator.

Coal LSL recognised the suitability and potential advantages in using cloud-based services and adopted a cloud first approach, to simplify the uptake and management of the core registry system as well as the supporting IT and business systems.

The aim of the cloud first approach was to provide a flexible and efficient IT platform designed to meet Coal LSL’s business demand.

The solution

The project worked within a short separation timeline using an Agile phased approach to stand up the core business services required to support the day one business operations.

The project focused on enabling the Coal LSL IT environment across ‘backend’ and ‘front-end’ services.

The ‘back-end’ services included the servers, storage, network and infrastructure required to run the core business systems along with the supporting shared services.

The ‘front-end’ project activities were focused on the front-end user side services such as desktops/laptops, email and office productivity software.

Coal LSL were transitioning from a legacy IT environment which consisted of several COTS applications and services. Coal LSL opted to perform an initial transformation migration that would allow a greater level of availability, scalability and security to its operations.

Based on the limited time-frame for the initial migration, Coal LSL and CMD worked on ensuring that the right transformations were completed within the initial separation project.

CMD ensured that Coal LSL client data was secure and had housed in a scalable foundation which would facilitate Coal LSL to continue to reduce costs and improve the service offering for its clients.

Key areas of the IT operation which were identified for uplift were AWS Accounts and Networks and Automated Build and Deployment.

Coal LSL were coming from a traditional flat network environment with all infrastructure and application services being hosted within private co-location on premise data centres.

The migration to AWS allowed Coal LSL to transform its base network infrastructure within a very short period providing air-gap separation of production and test services at both the AWS account and network layer.

The introduction of three air-gapped AWS accounts to provide Coal LSL guaranteed separation and control of services meant it could improve the security and availability of service to operations.

CMD Solutions assisted Coal LSL to both perform the initial migration and implement a fully automated build and deployment process.

This would not have been possible without moving from existing manual processes to a fully automated build and deployment process which was tuned to provide zero down time release and automated deployment of Coal LSL managed testing environments to allow for an unprecedented ability to test application and system upgrades, releases and patches.

In 2020, CoaL LSL expanded their engagement with CMD Managed Services, approving a proposal to modernise their environments. This included new works to further enhance the end-to-end automation of the build and deploy processes leveraging a new containerised, serverless solution. Infrastructure as Code was refactored and streamlined using Terraform across the entire platform. These foundational changes allow greater flexibility through the ability to create ephemeral environments and leverage a new automated testing framework. Further improvements to logging and monitoring were also included in this proposal as well as upgrades to the AMI baking and application bootstrapping functions.

Services deployed

The result

The IT enablement component was one element of the overall business separation and office move project. It was delivered on time, on budget and was received very positively.

CMD were able to assist Coal LSL to rapidly stand up a production ready AWS environment integrated with various third party supporting SaaS products.

The production grade AWS platform was created using Infrastructure as Code with secure and scalable architecture design patterns.

With a clear migration strategy for each application, the project was completed without service interruption and delivered CoalLSL with a renewed technology platform and new levels of scalability, efficiency and security.