Aurukun Shire Council

Streamlining Operations While Reducing Costs

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Future IT Services worked closely with Aurukun Shire Council to create a reliable, scalable Microsoft alternative to replace their outdated hosting solution.

The Back Story

Based in Far North Queensland, the Aurukun Shire Council has been established since 1978 and has since been on a mission to unlock the full potential of the town’s growth. As a long-term client of Future IT Services, when the Council received news that their current hosting service with Telstra was closing, enlisting our support to transition to a new solution was a natural response.

At the time, the Telstra-hosted server that the Council used included a terminal server environment with an MPLS network and managed desktops. Along with being outdated, the operational and running costs behind this solution were also consuming a significant amount of their IT budget.

Although switching provider was unavoidable, our goal was to not only pair our client with a functional alternative but also to lower costs, increase resilience and provide the ability to adapt alongside demand.

Working with Future IT Services has brought peace of mind

"Working with Future IT Services has brought peace of mind to the management of Council’s ICT needs. Their team is small enough to be accessible and make us confident that we’re not paying for the overheads of some of the larger service providers, but they are also large enough and diverse enough to retain several very skilled and knowledgeable people to work on our support tickets and projects."

How Future IT Services Helped

The first step is always to determine our client’s unique requirements. In this case, Aurukun Shire Council would have many users who relied solely on their new solution, meaning that stability and resilience were imperative. As Telstra was a known resource in the industry, any replacement we proposed needed to promise the same level of uptime and performance.

After careful consideration and ongoing discussions with the Council, we concluded that MS Azure Virtual Desktop was the best-suited alternative. Our solution would involve migrating the existing servers and business applications from Telstra Shared resources to Azure IaaS Platforms, all while ensuring that downtime was kept at a minimum.

By implementing MS Azure VDI, we would not only address performance requirements but also eliminate the expensive capacity that lies idle for extended periods. The solution can be scaled with ease and powered off or deallocated when not required, offering an immense saving in IT operational costs.

Another key benefit was collaboration. As the old solution used an obsolete operating system, users were limited to Office 2013 – a platform different from their daily use. With MS 365 Business Premium, on the other hand, all staff would use the same programs in their remote sessions as in their local sessions, maximising convenience.

Our solution composed of the following elements:

  • Migration to Microsoft Azure Virtual Desktop for stability and resilience
  • Maximised convenience by implementing Microsoft 365 Business Premium
  • Addressed performance requirements and tailored solution to be easily adjusted as needed

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    The End Result?

    Following the transition to Microsoft, the Aurukun Shire Council has reduced its IaaS spend by at least 50%. They successfully achieved a major infrastructure change with almost no impact on the end users. There was no unplanned system downtime, and the training required was minimal (and all provided internally), allowing operations to continue as usual without delay.

    Since the implementation, we have continued to engage with the Council to uncover further ways to reduce costs, improve Cyber Security and system reliability without compromising performance. We are working closely with them to fine-tune availability times to ensure that they are not wasting money on resources that are not being used.

    “They very competently prepared the new infrastructure”

    Future recently managed Council’s move from our legacy cloud servers hosted with Telstra to the current cloud servers hosted in the Microsoft Azure cloud. They very competently prepared the new infrastructure and transitioned Council to it painlessly. It’s difficult to estimate cloud server costs given the variables involved, but Future’s estimated costs have so far been within a few per cent of the actual costs. And they have continued to review the ongoing costs and have made recommendations on how we can further reduce our cloud spend.

    The team at Future IT Services has been totally reliable.

    "When working with any IT service provider, the concerns are many. Can they be trusted, can they be relied on, will they be slow to respond, will they deliver the support we need when we need it? The team at Future IT Services has been totally reliable. They have shown ingenuity and thoughtfulness in all their recommendations and have been very forthcoming with new suggestions and solutions. They have proven themselves to be an active support partner, and I highly recommend them."