London Borough of Enfield Council
London council heads to the cloud
Access to the cloud via a VPN over the internet was putting a strain across the Council’s day to day operations.
Enabling an ‘always on’ service environment for their citizens while ensuring their operations remain secure and cost-effective.
The internet is wonderful. Open. Public. Accessible. The problem is, when you migrate IT infrastructure to the cloud, the last thing you want is it to be open, public and accessible.
So how do you ensure your organisation is always on, but simultaneously secure? Enter Cloud Connect. It provides flexibility with security, speed and a superior voice and data experience.
Time for change
London Borough of Enfield Council had a cloud strategy for data storage and systems backup, but their service wasn’t adequate. To keep their data from getting into the wrong hands, they were encrypting and decrypting their VPN over the internet to get to the cloud. It was a slow process.
And, because connecting to the cloud was across the Council’s current bandwidth, it was putting pressure on its day to day operations. So the Council turned to Virgin Media Business. Interim Head of IT, Steve Durbin, said: “We wanted a supplier with whom we had prior experience. As our WAN provider of ten years, Virgin Media Business has always been reliable.”
Migrate to innovate
Coordinating multiple parties was an important part of the process, which proved a worthwhile challenge for all concerned. Steve said: “Virgin Media Business arranged workshops to discuss the upgrade. Getting the resilience right end to end was essential because this was to be our key delivery link. Around 80% of services would be in Microsoft Azure.”
Supporting the Council’s move from three virtual routers to one was crucial. Programme manager, Michael Johnson, was impressed with the approach. He said: “Virgin Media Business switched our lines to the new circuits with the final work done on a Saturday night. Someone was there to oversee it and we completed within the planned window.”
Since the Council started migration, over 100 servers have moved to Azure, with plans to migrate another 200. The numerous benefits include guaranteed bandwidth, low latency and rapid recovery of systems - not to mention improved performance and cost savings. The Council now has its own private, dedicated and resilient link to its cloud service provider via the existing VPN. And with no need to go anywhere near the internet, the link to the cloud is secure - and faster too.
London Borough of Enfield Council, Enterprise Architect, Robert Musekiwa, said: “Most organisations have to sporadically replace servers, but thanks to this cloud solution we will never have to invest in huge infrastructure again.”
Truly digital organisation
Enfield residents benefit as Cloud Connect ensures the Council can provide services 24 hours a day, and scale up or down depending on demand. Robert said: “We’re not just keeping the lights on. It’s about innovation and being agile. A customer can book bulky waste collection at midnight, or access benefit forms at 3am. We’re always on.”
The Council has also migrated email to Office 365, which is kept secure using both two-factor and device authentication. There are plans to move voice systems to the cloud, which will be easier because of the improved service. Steve said: “We couldn’t have completed the migration to Azure without Virgin Media Business and Cloud Connect. It’s enabling us to become a truly digital organisation.”