Mid-Kent ICT Services Technology Strategy. Author: Tony Bullock Date: September 2013 Version: 019

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1 Mid-Kent ICT Services Technology Strategy Author: Tony Bullock Date: September 2013 Version: 019

2 Contents Background and purpose... 2 Key deliverables... 3 Benefits... 3 Principles... 3 Work anywhere, anytime... 3 Working for our users, not us... 4 Securing data in a compliant manner... 4 Supporting commercialism... 4 Consolidation... 4 Standardisation... 4 Sharing and market leverage Consider insource vs. outsource... 4 Catalogue items... 4 Virtualisation... 4 Component switching... 5 Green computing... 5 Components... 5 Data centre... 6 Compute... 7 Virtual servers... 7 Physical servers... 8 Desktop delivery... 8 Storage... 8 Disaster recovery... 9 Network... 9 Telephony... 9 Fixed lines... 9 Mobile Glossary of terms Mid-Kent ICT Services Technology Strategy Page 1

3 Background and purpose Mid-Kent ICT Services was created in April 2013 from the former ICT teams at Maidstone, Swale and Tunbridge Wells Borough Councils. It inherited the equipment and systems from the component local authorities and took on responsibility for on-going, maintenance, security and hardware refreshes. It also provides and supports the core business systems for the three councils and a number of shared services. Table 1 lists the strategic priorities for the ICT shared service as a whole. This document supports these priorities through provision of the underlying infrastructure of servers, storage, network connectivity and telephony. Table 1 Flexibility and Agility Resilience and Reliability Asset Consolidation A mobile and operationally agile partnership that has easy access to business information The partnership is confident that all ICT systems are secure and maintained, ensuring optimum availability to its customers A Partnership that maintains its assets to excellent standards, ensures optimum value for money and return on investment whilst delivering opportunities for collaborative working The service operates in a dynamic environment where technology evolves, business needs change, new shared services emerge and budgets shrink. To provide an effective, high quality service that meets these challenges and acts as an enabler of business change, Mid-Kent ICT Services needs to have a clear strategic vision of its technology over a realistic period of time. This document presents an overview of the current position and a strategy for maintaining, developing and evolving the following components of the infrastructure over a five year period: Internal network Wide area network Storage Compute for virtual servers Compute for virtual desktops Telephony Desktop delivery By the end of the lifetime of the strategy the technology will be built in such a way as to facilitate the transition from a single local data centre to the G-Cloud, should it be prudent and desirable. Progress and benefits will be reviewed and presented annually to the MKIP ICT Board. Mid-Kent ICT Services Technology Strategy Page 2

4 Key deliverables The strategy will be delivered through a programme of work that will bring about the changes and benefits described throughout this document. They will be formally managed using a project management methodology that will report into the MKIP ICT Board, Senior ICT Management Team or ICT Management Team as appropriate. Once completed, the projects will deliver a: Single data centre located in Maidstone House with sufficient processing power and storage to meet business needs until Consistent user experience, regardless of a user s geographic location. Effective backup and disaster recovery capability. Single telephone system providing a flexible and value for money service to all three partners. Unified communications platform that allows for modern and efficient working practices to drive out cost and increase end-user productivity. Benefits The shared service aims to bring about cost savings and resilience through consolidation of infrastructure and contribute to the 3.7m savings target for The network architecture will support the formation of further shared services by providing a space within which shared service staff will have access to all the resources they need through a single identity, be they documents, printers, telephones or line of business applications. The end-user experience will be improved through providing the ability to work in any location (office, partner site, home or in the field) with a common set of tools. Further, the data centre refresh of compute and storage will bring about a more resilient, reliable and high performing set of storage and processing power that underpins application delivery. A telephony systems refresh will provide a platform on which to build business tools such as consolidated Contact Centre telephony, and modern communication channels such as audio and video conferencing, collaborative working tools for live desktop sharing and presence awareness / availability. Principles The following principles underpin the delivery of this strategy and are explored in more detail throughout the document. Work anywhere, anytime Technology we implement will be fit for purpose and work with the minimum of administrative overhead. Location independence is crucial. It will allow a user to work at any location and access the full range of systems, services and data that they would expect to find working in a primary office location. Mid-Kent ICT Services Technology Strategy Page 3

5 Working for our users, not us Technology will be focused on allowing our customers to meet their business objectives, not just making life easier for the ICT service, although ideally both will be desirable outcomes. Measurements of customer satisfaction will be taken annually throughout the lifetime of the strategy. Securing data in a compliant manner Any organisation has an obligation to ensure that the data it keeps meets legal, ethical and compliance requirements. This is especially true in the Public Sector, so Mid Kent ICT Services will provide an ICT infrastructure that meets these requirements through PSN compliance and ISO Supporting commercialism In April 2012 as part of the original business case for the shared service, it was stated that there was an aim to become more commercial. The infrastructure we build will support this aim through the provision of secure partitioning of network, compute and storage components. This will allow potential new customers such as clusters, single authorities, small businesses etc. to consume services hosted and managed by Mid Kent ICT. Consolidation The service will replace multiple, identically functioning systems in the three councils with either best-of-breed, or a new option to bring a single point of administration and financial benefits through better use of licensing. Standardisation A single supplier of linked technologies (such as storage and servers) will be selected where appropriate to achieve value for money and streamlined administrative processes. Sharing and market leverage. We will work with Kent Connects, KPSN, Kent clusters and individual councils to share resources, and develop joint projects and procurements to obtain best value from the marketplace and increase the pool of knowledge across the county. Consider insource vs. outsource The appropriateness of internal or external hosting will always be determined by weighing up value for money, practicality and service level. Catalogue items The service catalogue will include devices such as laptops, mobile phones and tablets, and will enable a service manager to determine the most appropriate equipment for a job role in their team. Virtualisation Where technically possible, the replacement of physical hardware with virtual hardware will ensure that we meet the aim of providing an environment that can easily be moved to a new data centre at any location. This will support both disaster recovery and G-Cloud objectives. Mid-Kent ICT Services Technology Strategy Page 4

6 Component switching The concept of components in a data centre applies to the high level architectural design. The strategy will allow for switching components from one vendor to another to take advantage of more modern feature sets or advantageous pricing. Green computing The service will support the commitments in each council s Carbon Management Plans through a modern and efficient single data centre, desktops and thin clients, mobile working capabilities and disposal polices. Components A number of interlinked technologies form this overarching technology strategy and will support the principles described above. These are referred to as components throughout this document. Figures 1 and 2 below illustrate the key components and show how their locations change over time. Mid-Kent Data Centre components Conceptual model MKIP data centre (Maidstone House) DR Site Virtual server hosting Virtual desktop hosting SAN Off-site backup LAN WAN Maidstone clients Tunbridge Wells clients KPSN Home workers Swale clients WAN Internet Figure 1 Mid-Kent ICT Services Technology Strategy Page 5

7 Mid-Kent Data Centre components circa 2018 Cloud-based data centre Virtual server hosting Virtual desktop hosting SAN Off-site backup Maidstone clients Tunbridge Wells clients KPSN Home workers Swale clients Internet Figure 2 Data centre Core to the success of the strategy is a migration to a single data centre for all compute, storage and telephony components accompanied by a refresh of the hardware at the two sites that have older equipment (Maidstone and Swale). Recent investments in hardware at Tunbridge Wells will be protected by repurposing these components. The components will provide an entirely virtualised infrastructure (meaning that servers share physical resources), and by the end of the strategy s life this environment will be in a position to be hosted in a cloud-based data centre should that be a financially attractive proposition. Figure 3 describes a timeline for this process. Mid-Kent ICT Services Technology Strategy Page 6

8 (2013) Three data centres ( ) Cloud ( ) Single data centre Figure 3 A review of the suitability for cloud providers to host our environment will take place at a number points during the strategy s lifetime. If it is both financially viable and practical, hardware components procured early in the strategy lifecycle will not be refreshed beyond five or six years. Figure 4 illustrates a timeline for how some of the data centre components will change over the next five years. Whilst the physical hardware implemented in 2013 will remain in place for at least five years, key technologies such as the VDI delivery method and the hypervisor used for server virtualisation will be reviewed early on to drive costs out of virtualisation where possible three data centres 2014 Q1 new VDI 2014 new hypervisor proof of concept 2015 and 2016 Review cloud 2013 Q4 new virtual hosts 2014 Q1 new SAN 2014 migrate to new hypervisor? Move to cloud? Figure 4 Compute This component is split into virtual servers and virtual desktops. Before the formation of Mid Kent ICT Services, the separate ICT Teams had already virtualised much of their compute component. Virtual servers Whilst all three councils currently use the same hypervisor product to host virtual servers, regular review of the marketplace will take place to understand if other products are fit for purpose and Mid-Kent ICT Services Technology Strategy Page 7

9 more cost-effective. The architecture will be designed in such a way as to facilitate the replacement of this core component and not tie Mid Kent ICT Services to a vendor because of practical difficulties. The first opportunity to reduce expenditure on virtual servers will be explored during 2014 through replacing the platform that is currently in place in the three independent data centres. Physical servers In an ideal world, virtualisation of hardware will result in only virtual host hardware existing in the data centre. However, it is understood that this is not always achievable from a licensing perspective so dedicated hardware may be required in some circumstances. Mid Kent ICT Services will always work with suppliers, customers and procurement teams to achieve the aim of full virtualisation. Desktop delivery A new approach to desktop delivery will bring about fundamental changes to the way our customers receive their desktops. Delivering services from a single data centre will rely heavily on thin client technology to ensure an acceptable level of service. True VDI and Remote Desktop architectures each have their advantages and disadvantages. This component will be built in such a way as to support a single technology that provides the most appropriate capabilities for the business. The component will be reviewed regularly and switched out if appropriate during the lifetime of the strategy. The first opportunity to review this will be The delivery method will support the principle of work anywhere, anytime and use the principle of securing data in a compliant manner by ensuring that only managed endpoints are used to connect to our network. Storage Capacity planning up to 2018 suggests growth from 70TB to 174TB using an estimated 20% annual increase. The storage component will be designed to support capacities well beyond this, but will initially only be populated with sufficient drives for a maximum of two years growth. Service plans at each of the three boroughs will inform the growth estimates. Financial planning will need to take this into account from year three to five. Table 2 Model a Model b Total capacity (TB) Est. % Growth (TB) Total capacity (TB) Est. % Growth (TB) % % % % % % % % % % % % Mid-Kent ICT Services Technology Strategy Page 8

10 Daily tape backups will be replaced with a process of disk-to-disk backups, with tape only used for long-term archiving. This will reduce the need for costly 3 rd party tape management and storage processes. Off-site disk storage will provide both replicated backups on disk as well as a quick-access disaster recovery solution. Disaster recovery The storage and compute components will provide enhanced disaster recovery capability through offsite duplication of backups. Partnering with others will offer reduced costs and the ability to offer this as a service to others across Kent. The design will be location independent to achieve greatest flexibility should other options for hosting become available over time. There are close ties between Disaster Recovery and Business Continuity and these will be maintained through regular dialogue with the business to ensure that their needs are being met. Network Each site will retain its existing core network switching and cabling until it is due for a refresh, at which point a single manufacturer scenario will be reconsidered to reduce administrative and network management overheads through the concept of a Network Operations Centre. Wide area network connectivity will be provided through the KPSN partnership where it is deemed both financially viable and the business need dictates it. Where dedicated circuits that do not need to provide services to or from KPSN partners are required, market forces will inform the decision as to which network provider is commissioned. Wi-Fi networks at each of the three sites will be reviewed at the end of their contracts to understand if it is prudent to consolidate them through a single management interface. The Eduroam service in place at Tunbridge Wells will be installed in Maidstone and Swale to allow participating Kent Connects partners to work at any of these locations as if they were at their primary location. Telephony Fixed lines Three independent voice systems will be combined into a single, modern and cost-effective VoIP solution that interoperates with Kent Connects partners at least to the level where SIP technology provides cost-free calling between partners. Figure 5 illustrates how this might be configured, focusing on the centralisation of the infrastructure and the move to modern SIP trunks instead of older, less flexible and more expensive ISDN technology. Locations in green will benefit from free calls between each other and from low-cost calls to locations in yellow. Mid-Kent ICT Services Technology Strategy Page 9

11 High level schematic of proposed telephony Telephony system Swale Maidstone Tunbridge Wells WAN KPSN WAN SIP trunks KPSN SIP Non-MKIP KPSN SIP users PTSN Resident Supplier Non-MKIP non-kpsn SIP Figure 5 At the desktop and on mobile devices the solution built will include a Unified Communications platform that will offer the user seamless integration between productivity tools, presence awareness, instant messaging, voice, video and live collaboration tools, all either 1:1 or as a conference. This approach will support the evolving modern methods of working as the number of shared services increases. Mobile Mobile telephony will be consolidated into a primary supplier for network coverage and a secondary supplier where coverage is not at an acceptable level. The partnership will benefit from preferential call rates and subsidised handsets. A move to a single platform for handsets starting in Q (supported by the principle of standardisation) will ensure that technical support issues are kept to a minimum whilst providing end users with the most flexible option to meet their business needs. To meet compliance requirements, mobile connectivity will be restricted to managed devices. Mid-Kent ICT Services Technology Strategy Page 10

12 Glossary of terms Cloud a conceptual location for the provision of information technology systems, notably the location of storage and compute components. o G-Cloud - UK government-accredited cloud services designed to reduce costs and provide flexible and agile services. o Private cloud a cloud dedicated to a specific group of users such as MKIP partners. o Community cloud an extension of the private cloud that may include organisations beyond the boundaries of a close partnership. Compute the processing power for servers that provide line of business applications. Hypervisor the supporting technology that allows virtualisation to provide the illusion of multiple servers and desktops from a single physical piece of hardware. ISDN a legacy technology used to route voice and data over the public telephone network. KPSN Kent Public Services Network a private network used by Mid Kent ICT Services to route data between data centres, to the Internet and PSN. Managed devices an end-user device such as a laptop, tablet or mobile phone that is owned by MKIP or a partner organisation, and controlled by network security policy. PSN Public Services Network a private network used by government bodies to exchange information and services. KPSN is will be connected to PSN from February Remote desktop an end-user s desktop experience provided on a server and delivered to a device with limited or no local processing or disk space. This benefits homeworkers through keeping data transfer limited to screen-only, and internal users by providing access via costeffective equipment. See also VDI. SAN Storage Area Network a rack of disk storage available on the network infrastructure that is accessible to any number of physical or virtual servers and provides resilience through disk mirroring or striping. SIP a telephony technology used to route voice calls to the public telephone network over the Internet rather than traditional ISDN circuits. Storage the disk capacity measured in terms of gigabytes (GB) and terabytes (TB). Telephony functions such as voice calls and the systems that manage them. a device or software that provides simply a screen connected to a remote server that handles all the processing and storage requirements for a line of business or office productivity application. Unified Communications a logical group of communications methods that include: o Presence awareness visibility of an individual s ability to take a call and / or location o Instant messaging keyboard chat o Voice calls analogous to a standard telephone call o Video calls either desktop or room-based o Conferencing (voice and video) more than two callers o Live collaboration (sharing and presenting desktops individually or in groups) VDI virtual desktop infrastructure VoIP Voice over IP network technology used to transmit voice calls over a data network Virtualisation / virtual servers / virtual desktops the abstraction of hardware from a technology environment. A physical server can appear on a network as more than one server, typically simultaneously. It can also act as a desktop for end users either internally or remotely. Mid-Kent ICT Services Technology Strategy Page 11

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