Until recently most organisations ran their IT systems on dedicated hardware in data centres, which may have been on premises or maintained by external providers. Many organisations are now moving their systems to infrastructure hosted in the cloud. The cloud approach differs from the traditional model in that an organisation can add infrastructure the instant it’s required and destroy it when the work is complete. Having near infinite storage and compute capacity at one's fingertips increases the ability of an organisation to innovate while simultaneously driving down costs by paying on an as-needed basis.
Amazon Web Services (AWS) is the world’s largest provider of this type of Infrastructure as a Service (IaaS) cloud computing. The AWS offering was originally developed for the Amazon online store, but since 2004 it has been available publically. AWS now has ten times the utilisation of its next ten competitors combined - where AWS competitors include the likes of Microsoft and Google.
The AODN recently migrated its primary storage and compute to the AWS Sydney region. In addition to the generic advantages of cloud computing alluded to above, AWS offers a growing array of complimentary services. These services include the automated deployment of autoscaling and load balancing architectures, which increase system reliability. Data durability is another key advantage, and is important in regards to the IMOS data hosted by the AODN, which is expensive to acquire and cannot be recreated. The AWS primary storage service (s3) delivers 99.999999999% data durability, which guarantees the perpetuity of IMOS data.
The migration to AWS was a significant undertaking, but the benefits are now being realised and the AODN is pleased to offer increasingly more powerful and reliable services to its users as a result.