AusRegistry Group had built a strong reputation based on reliability and customer service since it was founded in 2000; and with its sights set on international growth it recognised it needed to take its IT infrastructure to the next level. As a current provider of core national infrastructure the stability and reliability of existing systems was being tested on a daily basis by the weight of ever increasing internet traffic. Operational staff observed diminishing performance returns from current infrastructure investments and called out the need for a new approach.
AusRegistry chose to partner with IBM to deliver an infrastructure platform capable of sustaining the high volume transaction workload required from an Internet Registry system. The platform was founded on IBM x86 architecture Intel servers, dual DS4700 Storage systems and Tivoli Storage Management and Automation tools
The business now enjoys unprecedented levels of performance and stability, with effortless ongoing management, enabling AusRegistry to consistently exceed service level agreements (SLAs) with its clients
As the wholesale provider of domain names in Australia, AusRegistry is responsible for providing and running the technical function, including all IT infrastructure, behind all the .au domain names. This infrastructure includes a network of name servers which re-direct all associated internet traffic to .au websites. As the backbone of Australia’s internet operations, managing this domain name platform is a responsibility AusRegistry does not take lightly. In 2006, as AusRegistry was entering the second term of managing the .au domain name registry, it decided to look at re-designing its IT infrastructure in order to improve ongoing performance and prepare the company for an ambitious international growth plan
In particular running the domain names gov.au and edu.au, considered part of Australia’s national critical infrastructure linking citizens to emergency services and the prime minister’s website,
AusRegistry needed to be able to guarantee 100% uptime, and its existing IT infrastructure was beginning to put these guarantees under strain. Not only this, but the number of .au domain names continued to grow, resulting in ever increasing levels of internet traffic. In 2002 when AusRegistry began managing .au there were only 270,000 domain names, but by 2007 there were over a million registered names. It became clear that in order to manage future growth and to continue to meet it’s agreed SLAs with clients, AusRegistry needed to consider implementing a more advanced and scalable IT infrastructure.
Standardising with IBM
AusRegistry evaluated a number of leading vendors and decided to partner with IBM because of the quality of its people and the approach the company takes to doing business. For Simon Delzoppo, CEO of AusRegistry it was also important to find an IT vendor who could help AusRegistry to consolidate its IT infrastructure, “Due to a mixed server environment, we were experiencing problems with manageability. We wanted to consolidate with one provider on one platform so that we could simplify management across a number of our server sites.” IBM’s existing reputation was also important, “IBM has a reputation for stability – and because we manage services which are critical to Australia’s national infrastructure, we wanted to go with a vendor which would enable us to keep our systems up 24/7. It was clear that IBM had these kinds of credentials in the marketplace.” said Simon
In consultation with IBM, AusRegistry decided to implement a number of IBM’s 3650 and 3550 System x servers, along with DS4700 storage and Tivoli® management tools. AusRegistry implemented this approach across its various data centres located all around the world. This included its main data centre in is Melbourne, housed in a tier one third party commercial data centre in a high security area as part of its business continuity strategy. The company also has a disaster recovery site and other domain name server sites around the world, including the UK and the United States
Performance and Stability
Since implementation AusRegistry’s IT infrastructure has delivered excellent performance and stability and requires effortless ongoing management. “It’s become easier to maintain high levels of performance and stability by having all this IBM equipment around. It’s safer too because we have more spare capacity in the event of a security attack – we are now even more confident of keeping Australia’s critical national infrastructure online,” said Simon. Due to the strong cultural fit between the two companies AusRegistry and IBM have begun to work jointly on new business opportunities. Recently AusRegistry won and executed the contract to roll out a domain name registry for Dubai. The project went live in the United Arab Emirates, rolling out Registry Software Services for the .ae domain. “Due to our own experience of implementing IBM solutions, we are now actively promoting IBM to our clients, as we know this a key ingredient to the success of our projects,” concluded Simon