AWS Case Study - DCLG Optimisation

About

The Department for Communities and Local Government's (DCLG) purpose is to support the creation of great places to live and work, and to give more power to local people to shape what happens in their area. In 2015, it chose Arcus Global to build a secure platform on AWS for hosting its applications. By 2016, that platform was hosting a series of applications up to ‘Official Sensitive’ level and DCLG wanted to move more of its infrastructure to AWS.

Challenge

How to deliver additional value for a client having already built and run their infrastructure for two years?

Why AWS?

The platform was already on AWS but Arcus used three techniques to drive increased value for DCLG:

  1. We used auto-scaling groups. This is an AWS technology that makes the infrastructure automatically grow and shrink with demand so that it is always optimally-sized and doesn’t waste capacity.

  2. We used CloudFormation scripts to create all of the servers and services automatically so that the whole, complex environment could be re-built perfectly in a matter of minutes.
  3. We advised DCLG on the discounts available from purchasing Reserved Instances so that the Department was able to reduce the cost of its biggest servers by more than 50%.

DCLG conducted a public procurement process which resulted in Arcus being appointed as its managed service provider for another two years.

Benefits

  1. Arcus’ optimisation work has both provided cost savings and increased resilience.

  2. DCLG is now migrating its remaining applications and users onto an environment that grows and shrinks to match demand.

  3. The process of creating the infrastructure from code has been externally penetration-tested so that new applications can be deployed faster.

“Having moved us to AWS which generated significant savings over traditional infrastructure, Arcus then suggested ways in which we could further reduce our costs. As a result, we expect to save a further 15% of the cost of our application infrastructure  over the next three years.”
Jack McGarrigle, Head of IT Applications - DCLG