When a State Government started a project to move its legacy cloud-based hosting environment to Amazon Web Services, it needed an experienced partner that could assist in designing and configuring a platform to quickly adapt to different workloads and complex enterprise-wide applications with minimal business logic and a simple architecture.
The State needed to move legacy Human Services workloads to a public cloud that was cost-effective, streamlined, and secure. Agile, interoperable systems should ensure a consumer-friendly experience while providing features such as logging and monitoring to enable operational maintenance and deployment, to be proactive, and to take preventive actions.
The State and the CenturyLink Managed Services Anywhere team began by designing a scalable AWS architecture that could facilitate the State’s computing needs and security requirements, while providing event, incident and change management for the systems hosted there. CenturyLink® Managed Services Anywhere includes AWS Platform Services, Operating Systems, Cloud Optimization and Analytics, and Security Services.
The design and accompanying support include AWS Workspaces, AWS EC2, Amazon RDS, Amazon Elastic Load Balancing, Amazon S3, and Amazon VPC.
The CenturyLink solution is a fully Managed Service leveraging AWS infrastructure and CenturyLink® Cloud Application Manager. It also includes network, infrastructure (Cloud Connect), security services, consulting and enterprise service management, and Disaster Recovery solutions.
The AWS environment also leverages CenturyLink’s Managed Services Anywhere/Cloud Application Manager monitoring component, a mix of best-of-breed technologies and integrated open source software that collects and stores metrics from applications, services and infrastructure. While these metrics are useful for event triage and historical trending, they may also be used for statistical analysis.
Using triple exponential smoothing (the Holt-Winters method), it compares actual observed values against forecasted expected values to identify anomalous events. Multiple parameters are also available to fine tune the sensitivity of the anomaly detection algorithm.
Because traditional monitoring utilizes a threshold, the systems produce monitoring events due to increased activity. When an anomaly is identified, alerts are generated and sent to the CenturyLink incident management system.
Alerts are generated only for those events that are more indicative of real problems, so backups and other scheduled activities for the environment that run on a predetermined schedule are ignored. Tickets and monitoring events are created, but these events are fundamentally unactionable as they are indicative of normal operations.
The direct benefit for the State’s Human Services department has been its ability to deliver improvements in user interface, systems and experience for its citizens who need food and medical assistance.
On the technical front, the State now has a predictable cost model for its public cloud infrastructure, information security measures in place, and enabled configuration rather than customization.
Through increased system availability, it can now make data-driven decisions. And a decrease in the need to triage the State’s environment has freed resources to focus on other business objectives.
The State has requested a repeatable model for 50+ other agencies to replicate this approach and design to drive its digital transformation.
Learn more about Managed Services Anywhere, powered by Cloud Application Manager.