Australian Electoral Commission moves websites to the cloud

AEC will migrate all of its public websites into the AWS cloud

The Australian Electoral Commission (AEC) has started working with Amazon Web Services (AWS) and SMS Management & Technology for the hosting of its online digital services.

The AEC conducts federal elections and referendums and also maintains the Commonwealth electoral roll.

According to the AEC, its websites collectively receive over 100 million hits on election night.

"With such a large volume of traffic, the AEC has engaged with SMS to streamline the migration of their public-facing websites into the AWS cloud," it said in a statement.

The AWS agreement with AEC includes implementation services which will prepare it to meet the digital demands of an election, during and outside the election period.

Meanwhile, SMS will provide ongoing cloud operational managed services to AEC to ensure the systems improve with technological advances.

According to SMS director of managed services Murray Rosa, AEC's public facing websites are suited to a public cloud platform because of the varying demand for capacity.

"SMS, together with AWS, were able to provide a highly secure, scalable and flexible solution that responds rapidly to the peak capacity demands required during an election period," he said in a statement.

“We have also introduced a number of innovative approaches that make sure we make the most of the cloud services delivery model. The additional benefit to the AEC here is our ability to provide a true “as-a-service” offering. This means that the customer is only paying for what they use, not capacity or services ‘just in case’.”

An AEC spokesperson said it had conducted a proof of concept using cloud technologies during the 2013 federal election to determine whether or not the cloud was suitable for some election related workloads. This was conducted internally making use of the AWS public cloud.

"The AEC’s public facing websites have been hosted by Fujitsu Australia under a contract entered into in 2009. The AEC conducted a competitive open tender process without specifying or precluding a cloud model. The successful tenderer was able to provide the best value for money and comprehensive solution," said the spokesperson.

Read more: ​AEC migrating IT infrastructure to NextDC's C1

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