Move toward VMware Cloud on AWS strengthens emergency response for Italian water supply specialist
In many ways, Tuscany is like nowhere else on earth. The central Italian region is the birthplace of the Renaissance movement—hosting some of the world’s most culturally significant art and architecture and no fewer than eight World Heritage sites—and its most stunning landscapes.
In other ways, however, Tuscany is like any other region; even areas of jaw-dropping human-made and natural beauty need basic infrastructure, amenities, and utilities.
Local utility operator Publiacqua SpA is responsible for supplying drinking water and handling the collection and purification of wastewater in the provinces of Florence, Prato, Pistoia and Arezzo. Together, these account for the bulk of economic activity in Tuscany and, with over 1.3 million inhabitants in 46 municipalities, around a third of the region’s total population.
Evolution as a critical imperative
Managing an operation of this scale involves a complex physical infrastructure and an IT department with a long-standing philosophy of innovation and proactive responses to potential service outages or emergency situations. And while a traditional on-premises data center based on VMware vSphere had met the operator’s disaster recovery needs well, Publiacqua realized that, for both technical and financial reasons, the future lay in the cloud.
The IT department at Publiaqua also knew that this would be a transition that they would struggle to manage alone. The organization needed a partner operator that would suggest possible options and accompany Publiacqua through the process.
Based in Florence, TAI Solutions is a digital consultancy with more than 35 years of experience. It recognizes that change and evolution are no longer a business choice, but a critical imperative. As a VMware partner, it also had invaluable insights into how Publiacqua could take the next steps on its journey with virtualization and a hybrid cloud environment.
“We proposed an extension of the on-premises vSphere environment on VMware Cloud on AWS,” says Alberto Menichetti, project manager at TAI Solutions. “This would allow Publiacqua to take advantage of all the benefits of the hybrid cloud and a software-defined data center.”
Validating a new working environment
Things moved quickly. Publiacqua and TAI Solutions progressed from an initial feasibility study through to project initiation and the deployment of the main infrastructure in around six months, despite delays and a shift to remote working caused by COVID-19 and Italy’s strict lockdown measures.
And while the integration of VMware Cloud on AWS meant Publiacqua staff were already familiar with many of the tools needed to manage the project, VMware Professional Services and TAI worked together to complete basic configurations, coordinate the migration and share experience and knowledge of the platform’s automation tools.
“We also involved application solution representatives to coordinate migration, testing and verification,” says Mauro Cacciafani, Publiacqua architecture, risk and security manager. “They were involved right up to the final stages when we validated the new environment directly with end users.”
A secure, future-ready environment
The result is a secure, durable and scalable environment which ensures Publiacqua can continue its work without having to fear the worst should disaster strike. It gives Publiacqua a future-ready platform on which to build its resiliency and extend its reach while ensuring data integrity and security for both the business and its customers.
“It’s also a platform on which we can develop hybrid cloud solutions,” notes Paolo Vinci, CIO, Publiacqua. “A hybrid cloud strategy will allow Publiacqua to develop new, cloud native applications, respond to new needs and deliver new services.”