Public Cloud provides global launchpad
Public cloud is a key enabler for Medi-Map’s global business aspirations. Like most high growth cloud businesses, Medi-Map requires push button scalability and as a service infrastructure to keep pace with customer demand and service upgrade cycles.
Microsoft Azure ticked the boxes, providing a secure cloud ready launchpad for Medi-Map’s Australian operation and beyond. However, working in the cloud highlighted a skills and experience gap that knocked the health services provider’s confidence to progress optimally at the required pace.
While Medi-Map’s development team continued to write applications for Microsoft Windows and other operating systems, as self described “cloud immigrants” they were less familiar with much of Azure‘s cloud native functionality.
“Our skillset was geared more to deploying software to servers rather than serverless infrastructure,” Paul Hilton, Medi-Map’s CTO said. “We’re software people not infrastructure people, so we needed help to ensure what we were delivering wasn’t going to be a fizzer requiring unexpected additional work.”
A little guidance goes a long way.
Work kicked off with a Cloud Architecture Review; an audit of Medi-Map’s existing Azure environment to ensure the company’s applications scaled to support projected growth. The work also identified potential cost savings the company could realise.
Spark Health investigated five key areas to gauge the state of Medi-Map’s Azure environment, including scalability, availability, resiliency, security, and DevOps.
Feedback prioritised over 100 recommended improvements for future release cycles. “The surface area on Azure from a functionality perspective is huge, and growing every month” Hilton said.
“Rather than wrestle with three to four options, Spark Health understood each use case, narrowed the options and outlined the pros and cons of each so we could make an informed decision with confidence.”
While the review pinpointed wide ranging improvements, Hilton specifically mentioned an early win involving the retirement of a load balancer technology that distributes web traffic across multiple servers to improve application performance and resiliency. Switching to Azure’s Web Application Gateway, described by Hilton as a “load balancer on steroids”, the technology enables hardware scaling profiles to support variable traffic while maintaining systems availability and application uptime.
The move provided Medi-Map with greater functionality at a lower cost than the original load balancer supported.