The Ordnance Survey (OS) is a £120 million a year turnover organisation that is at the very forefront of digital technology, with its web mapping services driving a whole host of business and public services.
The OS produce a huge range of digital mapping products, accounting for 90% of their total revenue, licensing their products for use by businesses and other organisations, as well as selling their products direct, through their website.
Sleek designed and built a platform that offers the OS the kind of secure and flexible platform that our business operations require.
We needed a stable platform for our ecommerce and administration as well as the ability to support new commercial opportunities with the resource they needed. The Sleek solution gives us just that.
Lee Newton, B2C Digital Channel Manager, Ordnance Survey
Ordnance Survey required a fully managed enterprise-hosting platform that would deliver their complex web presence internally and externally.
The solution needed to support both the forward facing, customer elements of their sites and systems and a secure backend, for the purposes of pre-production, administration, internal system management and a UAT testing environments.
The platform needed the resilience and consistent performance that would ensure a smooth visitor experience during busy periods and comfortably manage the large numbers of transactions processed through the high profile website.
The backend needed to be completely secure and isolated from the public elements of the platform, providing Ordnance Survey with an environment for development, production and support.
A backbone of scalability needed to support both sides of the platform, offering the ability to provision additional resource in the face of increased demand, quickly and cost effectively, when required.
Sleek proposed a hybrid solution for Ordnance Survey, combining both physical, dedicated resources with the addition of a Private Cloud to supply the flexibility that they needed.
The two distinct areas of the platform could then both benefit from the dedicated performance of the physical server estate and the ability to quickly spin-up virtual machines on the Private Cloud platform.
Both the physical and Cloud resources were built on high-specification HP Proliant servers coupled with HP MSA SAN storage.
The platform utilises a total of four firewalls to ‘section-off’ the public and private areas. Pairs of Juniper firewalls protect the public portions, allowing visitors to browse websites, make product purchases and access OS services. A second pair of dedicated firewalls then secures the database and administration portions of the platform from the outside world, only allowing access internally.
Brocade ServerIron load balancers control user traffic across the entire platform, maintaining the consistently high level of performance demanded by OS and ensuring the most compelling experience for users.
The Private Cloud component then builds in a huge amount of agility to the platform, with the ability to add and remove resources quickly and simply through the Citrix Xen hypervisor’s intuitive interface.
The hybrid configuration of technologies built into the platform by Sleek, created the right blend of dedicated processing power and dexterity to satisfy the business needs of OS.
The seamless balance of physical and Cloud infrastructure architected into the system maximised the inherent benefits of each type of technology, creating a bespoke framework that supported OS with the right kind of resource just where and when they are needed.
Ryan McCarry, Sleek’s Managing Director said:
We are delighted to have been given the opportunity to support the Ordnance Survey’s online profile and to continue to deliver their services with a Sleek Solution.
The OS are a household name that offer a fantastic range of innovative products and services and we are very glad to be a part of their offering.