Port Authority (PA) is a state-owned corporation responsible for commercial maritime operations at multiple locations on the country’s east coast. They handle the navigation, maintenance, and security needs…
Overview / Executive summary Australia’s Daffodil Centre, a joint venture between the non-profit Cancer Council NSW and the University of Sydney. While Cancer Council had adopted Microsoft 365,…
Port Authority of NSW
Port Authority (PA) is a state-owned corporation responsible for commercial maritime operations at multiple locations on the country’s east coast. They handle the navigation, maintenance, and security needs of commercial shipping, managing Sydney’s two world-class international cruise terminals and responds to maritime emergencies.
In 2014, the PA decided to review its technology infrastructure. From the review, Port’s initial focus was on upgrading the disaster recovery environment. Also, the organisation faced a two-year deadline to take on IT management for the four other ports, including corporate business software and specialised technologies used in the port operation. After careful consideration, PA decided that the cloud was the best choice. They realised upgrading its on-premises infrastructure would be too time-consuming and costly, and other factors were resulting to the decision. Ian Chilton, Senior Manager, Solutions Development and Services, Port Authority of NSW explains.
The main driver was gaining a more flexible and scalable IT architecture. We’ve gone through a lot of changes including a period of partial privatisation, and we’ve merged with other ports within the state. So we were really looking for options offering flexibility and scope for change at this stage whilst also making some cost efficiencies.
Senior Manager, Solutions Development and Services
Port Authority of NSW
The PA chose Microsoft partner cubesys to help with the first phase of its transition to the cloud, migrating its disaster recovery and development environments to Azure.
cubesys are experienced with the entire Azure platform and Microsoft products in general. We were very impressed with the quality of their engineers and the extra mile they’ll go to deliver projects.
Senior IT Infrastructure Specialist
Port Authority of NSW
The organisation had the same confidence in Azure, hence making their move to the cloud platform and seeking cubesys for assistance. Tzikas says, “We looked at multiple hosting vendors when we undertook the tender process. The Azure platform stood out to us because of its flexibility, multiple sites, security, and Microsoft’s good partnership with cubesys.”
The latest disaster recovery solution is based on Microsoft Operations Management Suite, Azure Site Recovery, and Azure Backup services. cubesys also assisted the PA on installing a development and test environment on Azure, using Azure Site Recovery for migration and creating a self-service portal for developers to manage Azure Virtual Machines. In addition to that, cubesys also took over the PA’s disaster recovery process as a managed service.
Chilton further explains “The transition to Microsoft Azure is about moving from a model based on capital expenditure to a system based on operational expenditure. That’s what a lot of the industry is doing: moving from a ‘we own’ to a ‘we subscribe’ model.” Port Authority is looking forward to a more agile environment efficiently providing better services to a mobile workforce of marine pilots and other port personnel. By moving to the cloud, the Port Authority can take on current and future trails more easily.
Overview / Executive summary
Australia’s Daffodil Centre, a joint venture between the non-profit Cancer Council NSW and the University of Sydney. While Cancer Council had adopted Microsoft 365, Dynamics 365, and Azure for the rest of the non-profit’s operations, the Daffodil Centre modelling team were still using on-premises, legacy infrastructure to run complex models. Migrating to Azure has improved model simulation time from a week to half a day.
The customer / client
Australia’s the Daffodil Centre, a joint venture between the non-profit Cancer Council NSW and the University of Sydney, is focused on finding the most effective ways to reduce cancer death and illness. The non-profit is transitioning its cancer modelling research efforts to the Azure cloud to accelerate the pace of research into prevention, early detection, treatment, and care. Increasing the speed and scope of research-based insights could help the organisation save even more lives.
While Cancer Council had adopted Microsoft 365, Dynamics 365, and Azure for the rest of the non-profit’s operations, the Daffodil Centre modelling team were still using on-premises, legacy infrastructure to run complex models.
The research teams had to schedule who was going to use the organisation’s 48 virtual machines and sometimes waited weeks for their turn. If time-sensitive questions or issues cropped up, turnaround timing lengthened, and scheduling congestion increased.
The on-premises infrastructure used ageing hardware and software which required frequent repairs and patches to maintain security. The non-profit faced a choice: Either heavily invest to upgrade the ageing infrastructure or transition to the cloud.
An organisation-wide cloud-first strategy led the Daffodil Centre modelling researchers to work with cubesys to test the cloud’s ability to handle complex scenario-based modelling studies. The team successfully created a use case based on a prostate cancer model in Azure Batch and automation delivered by Azure DevOps.
Cloud adoption gives the research teams access to the tools that will accelerate their work and take away the constraints that slow them down with their current on prem systems.
With the limitations of legacy technology, research teams had to be extremely careful in what details or new scenarios they added to their research. Removing that constraint empowers the team to provide nuanced and timely information to its partners.
In the old on-premise environment, It could take about a week to run a model simulation, but by shifting the work to the cloud’s unlimited compute power, researches can now expect to cut that run time to a half-day. They will be able to run as many of these models in parallel as they like, instead of having to queue up one after another, giving research teams more flexibility and control over work timelines.
By running fully automated models on demand, researchers can reduce their administrative overhead and spend more time on research tasks. IT administration and system maintenance has been removed or vastly reduced has as the associated cost.
The cubesys team is now in the process of recreating their two most complex models, for bowel and cervical cancers, in the Microsoft cloud.
Software and Services
- Microsoft Azure
- Azure Batch
- DevOpps Automation