Case study

Bayside Council & Onel

Bayside City Council

About the client

The City of Bayside is a local government area in Victoria, Australia. It is within the southern suburbs of Melbourne. It has an area of 36 square kilometres and in 2016 had a population of 97,087 people. It was created on 14 December 1994 as a new municipality comprising the former City of Brighton, the former City of Sandringham and part of the former City of Mordialloc west of Charman Road and part of the City of Moorabbin between the railway and Charman Road.

Bayside was rated eighth of 590 Australian Local Government Areas in the BankWest Quality of Life Index 2008. The Council’s purpose is to work with the community to make Bayside a better place. By setting out their commitments and establishing what they need to do to address them, they expect to achieve this.

The project

The Council Plan is to deliver an unprecedented capital works program to upgrade, expand, and renew existing infrastructure and community services. To be able to meet these plans, the Council needed IT infrastructure that is solid, scalable, and flexible, and to be able to work seamlessly. The legacy systems were:

  • Complex, with multiple disparate systems
  • Costly to maintain, with regular intervention from external vendors just to keep them running
  • Unable to meet some of the Council’s core compliance requirements around disaster recovery and security
  • Out of date and out of support

The project set out to completely replace 6-year-old infrastructure. Highlights of the new infrastructure include:

  • Using HPE Nimble all-flash storage for production delivering high-performance and low latency to virtualised applications with built-in snapshot and replications capabilities
  • Using HPE Nimble adaptive flash for DR for near all-flash performance
  • A converged on-premise datacentre solution, with a virtual Infrastructure platform running VMware vSphere 6.5 hypervisor with 100% virtualised workload
  • Veeam application-aware backups to an HPE StoreOnce disk backup target for 12 months of disk-based backup with object-level recovery
  • New core network and stretch VLANs between the production and DR sites
  • VMware SRM to automate DR failover, fallback and testing
  • Storage-level, application-aware replication which can be enabled for workloads from both sites
  • Long-term backups and archives older than 1 year are stored in a public cloud

How Onel worked with the client

Bayside issued a public tender, with many vendors responding. However, “the presentation that Onel put forward was just amazing. It just showed me what they could do. They clearly had the products to meet our requirements, but they were also demonstrating that they had the support capability and technical knowledge to give us confidence that they could execute a complete overhaul of our environment,” said Kathryn Tozer, Manager, Information Services at Bayside City Council.

“Onel’s planning and response times were amazing. Their knowledge and implementation skills were phenomenal. The overall performance of our systems is much better. It’s faster and more reliable and up-time is terrific.”

The outcome and benefits

Remarkably, the cutover from Bayside’s 6-year-old infrastructure to running on the new infrastructure, only required 4 to 5 minutes of downtime. Kathryn had been concerned about other proposals for solutions based in the cloud. The new solution is a converged on-premise datacentre implementation. “I’m pleased that we have infrastructure on-premise – you get a guarantee that it’s your infrastructure. If something goes wrong, you’re not logging a ticket and hoping for a good response time from a cloud vendor. We basically have a private cloud data centre on-site, and another one for DR in another location. The enhanced security of having your data on your infrastructure in your premises can’t be over-rated.”

Kathryn was delighted by comments from auditors following a recent internal audit. “They said we were a leader in terms of our setup. They were absolutely blown away by the infrastructure and recovery times. We can be up and running in our DR site in 15 minutes should we need to.”

“We now have a solid, scalable platform with full visibility into our environment via cloud proactive monitoring and simplicity of infrastructure, and all with a single support number. We are meeting all internal and external auditors’ compliance requirements, and an ability to prove them with built-in reporting of the solution,” said Kathryn.

The platforms are so stable and reliable that the Bayside IT team are now able to focus on business innovation projects instead of day-to-day maintenance tasks. With the environment working so reliably and seamlessly, IT is now able to meet the objectives of the Council’s transformation project. Bayside is moving into data warehouse applications with the objective of providing statistics and analytics on their customers helping them to engage proactively with their community rather than reactively. The extremely high performance of the HPE Nimble all-flash storage is enabling such data-intensive workloads.

What the client said

Kathryn Tozer is very pleased with the relationship that Bayside has with Onel.

“They are not a ‘drop and run’ organisation. We can call them at any time, and they’ll send someone out immediately. In my 20 years, I have not seen a better organisation – their response times are amazing. We’ve had a couple of outages and I call them and we know they’ll come and sort it out. I’m completely satisfied with the solution. Onel’s handling of the entire project has been simply fantastic.”