Overview

IntoWork faced significant challenges with its existing data centre infrastructure as it continued to grow as an organisation.  As they approached a decision point regarding their environment, they found their current hosting no longer met their needs.  As part of a new digital transformation strategy, InToWork began assessing new hosting pathways.  They soon recognised they would require external expertise to execute, which saw them select Mantalus as a delivery partner,  to help define their transformation with the use of Amazon Web Services (AWS) technology.

Whilst an end state of cloud native remained InToWork’s final objective, it became clear that an intermediary step was needed, to reduce pressure on the organisation while longer term decisions were ratified.  VMware Cloud (VMC) on AWS was chosen as the perfect interim technical solution.  VMC on AWS allowed InToWork to de-risk their ageing legacy server infrastructure, by adding the ability to bridge their existing hardware estate into the AWS cloud.

53.4%

Reduction in infrastructure

50%

Reduction in labour hours for infrastructure operations

99%

ROI over 3 years

Background

IntoWork offers Employment, Skills & Education, and Support services across Australia, providing opportunities and support for increased economic and social participation.

As a group, it has over 1800 staff across 200 sites in all states and territories in Australia providing contracted services on behalf of Commonwealth, State and Local Governments.

IntoWork provides services across five key areas:

  • Apprenticeships and Traineeships
  • Education and Training
  • Employment and Recruitment
  • Transition and Career Advice
  • Community Support Programs

IntoWork offers customers a unique blend of local knowledge and national reach combined with over 40 years of experience.

Challenge

The nature of IntoWork’s evolution as a national services provider resulted in significant expansion challenges as they incorporated other organisations under the one umbrella.

Additionally, IntoWork’s existing data centre provider’s commercial model was no longer cost-effective.  Faced with an expensive data centre hosting model, and a strain on internal resourcing; IntoWork began to assess options to move to a cloud hosted solution.

Mantalus proposed VMware Cloud (VMC) on Amazon Web Services (AWS) solution.  In using VMC on AWS, InToWork could rapidly transition away from their existing data centre without the expense and significant resources required to re-architect their applications.  By avoiding an immediate transition to cloud-native services, the pressure on in-house resources could also be reduced with upskilling requirements kept to a minimum.  Mantalus could help to rapidly deploy and configure a Lightweight AWS landing zone, and VMC solution, allowing IntoWork’s on-premises VMWare hosts could be migrated via a ‘drag and drop’ process into the AWS cloud.

Solution

Mantalus’ team of solution architects undertook a comprehensive assessment of IntoWork’s existing network architecture to document and identify their specific requirements.  With many collective years of managing the impacts of legacy network architecture, the Mantalus team was able to identify the key pain points in replicating IntoWork’s data centre network topology to integrate with the AWS hosted VMC deployment.

Rapid PoC process

The solution Mantalus designed and built for IntoWork’s VMWare migration created a virtualised facsimile of the existing on-premises network.  Guided by both InToWork team members and existing technical documentation, Mantalus then mapped the existing server infrastructure against the AWS environment, to plot the most efficient and effective path to final state migration.

IntoWork’s critical requirement for IP address retention was addressed through the use of the VMware Network and Security Virtualisation (NSX) device.  NSX has been a common on-premises use-case to help organisations span networks between stand-alone physical servers and VMWare virtualised environments for decades.  Now, with VMC on AWS, NSX technology can again play an important role, particularly as virtual machines are v-motioned from legacy on-premises deployments to their new homes in the AWS cloud.

VMWare to Cloud Solution

VMware Cloud (VMC) on AWS is a seamlessly integrated cloud service that brings VMware’s enterprise-class Software-Defined Data Centre (SDDC) to the AWS Cloud, providing businesses with a powerful and flexible platform for running their applications.

Key Solution Elements

Mantalus’ custom AWS infrastructure solution

Avoid Hardware Refresh

Mantalus’ solution avoided an expensive hardware refresh

OPEX Cost Reduction

Mantalus developed a class-leading architecture which reduced ongoing operational technology costs

Modern Environment

IntoWork’s network is now housed in a modern and extensible environment with native monitoring and alerting.

Leveraging Existing Network

Mantalus retained the existing network topology to reduce integration issues.

No Resource Drain

The entire initiative was completed without impacting resource contention in the InToWork technical team

Outcomes

In partnering with Mantalus, IntoWork successfully uncoupled themselves from their incumbent data centre hosting provider and their restrictive contract terms.  The Mantalus team deployed a lightweight AWS Landing Zone, a small scale Proof of Concept (POC) VMC environment for testing, and a right-sized production ready VMC environment with IP address spanning.

Once the project commenced, new and changing requirements were uncovered.  Mantalus was able to flex around these changes and develop nimble solutions to the changing scope.  This meant minimal impact to the overall project delivery cadence, ensuring no significant change to project delivery timelines.

These outcomes provided IntoWork with a modern, future-proofed infrastructure environment without interrupting existing business operations.  It produced a great point in time solution which would act as a stepping stone on their modernisation journey, the end goal of which is to move from a common virtual-server centric environment, towards AWS cloud native solutions.

Why Mantalus

Mantalus’ capability is built on being the tip of the spear to solve difficult and unique problems with AWS technology. Our strength is based on having consultants with an array of industry experience, who have themselves faced a litany of complex, business critical, technology roadblocks; and found creative and class-leading ways to solve them.

We’re great at developing AWS centric architectures, where none have existed before. Think platforms or middleware that have never been attempted on AWS by anyone; or even completely AWS native solutions, removing the need for expensive 3rd party solutions.

So, where can we be useful and important to you? Anywhere there’s pain.

When you’re scratching your heads with a tricky use case that doesn’t fit neatly into a known solution or reference architecture…. think Mantalus. We’re the cure!

AWS has a fantastic array of services – and if you partner with Mantalus we can use them to help you solve just about anything.

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