Email system on private cloud

The Government of Catalonia has successfully completed the migration to e-mail service to the 2010 version of Microsoft Exchange, a project that has brought significant improvements in the operation and management of the system:

  • Unification of diverse platforms in a single system, with over 100,000 users (one of 10 biggest installations in Europe)
  • Contracting services in a private cloud, where the provider owns the infrastructure and charges based on the number of users
  • Improving the robustness of the system, passing to a configuration dual active-active data center
  • Reducing costs by 20% (saving 400,000 € / year)

This project posed many difficulties due to the implementation of a client-server system with a large number of users, many different client configurations, and with a very high geographical dispersion (nearly 4,000 sites involved).

The resulting model of the new IT model project, involves outsourcing this service to a provider that will provide this functionality as a service, which will mean an evolution in cloud. Thus, the responsibility for the infrastructure (Data Center, servers) and the technical service are at the provider, and the Government will consume units of final service (accounts) on a dedicated infrastructure (private cloud).

This use of cloud computing services such as mass mailing has been recognized as an example of good practice within the European Community initiative to promote cloud computing as part of the government. The case has been presented within the forum “European Regions for Growth” of the Committee of the Regions. However, the case has been presented by Microsoft as the world leader in its Worldwide Government Solutions Forum 2011 event, event held in Rome with the participation of heads of major public sector administrations in the world .

The project has been recognized by Microsoft as an example of good practice in the use of its products.

 

 

Given the importance of the project and the experiences gained in its development, we will share a technical report that describes the details of the project and the lessons learned.