Bristol City Council delivers cloud-based digital services

Bristol City Council (BCC) provides services for around 440,000 people. Cloud technology plays a key role in supporting business transformation as part of the city’s commitment to build better online services for its citizens. BCC is the winner of “Best Use of Agile in the Public Sector 2015” award.

Main requirements for city council services

A major requirement for BCC was hosting its website in a more flexible and scalable environment than was available from the previous hosting partner. A cloud-based solution has helped the administration adopt a more agile approach to the delivery and development of the website, ensuring scalability to cope with peaks in demand, like heavy snow days when large numbers of people quickly need access to information about school closures, travel information and emergency services.

Another important requirement was keeping some services in-house for information assurance or data sovereignty reasons with security connectivity between the cloud service provider and services hosted on its on-premise enterprise service bus (ESB).

The Council acquired the services of a cloud development partner to implement a resilient, multi-tier Amazon Web Services (AWS) architecture for the Council’s digital services platform.

Benefits of cloud hosting services

- A highly scalable and resilient platform and hybrid connectivity to BCC’s on-premise infrastructure, enabling interaction between the digital services platform and data held within the Council’s data centre, with BCC building up an in-house DevOps team working closing with solution and CMS providers to ensure continuity of service during the transition while retaining secure connectivity to back-end services.

- A repeatable, scalable solution taking just three months to go from initial proof of concept to live service.

- More agile development of online services, spinning up an exact copy of the Council’s digital platform in less than 20 minutes.

- Ability to develop and test before deploying a live service, taking down the test environment when finished and only paying for what they use.

- Ability to cope for peaks in demand (e.g. 1,000 requests/second) based on successfully stress-testing the environment and monitoring the website and infrastructure performance and availability.

 

Solution provider: Eduserv, a Managed Cloud and Managed Infrastructure as a Service provider, implementing Amazon Web Services (AWS). The Council’s Digital Services team is driving towards a DevOps approach to software development and deployment.

Source: Eduserv on Bristol City Council