Successful serverless AWS Migration and ongoing government site support
11 Jan 2022
5 min read
We partnered with CSIRO, Australia's premier national science agency, to modernise and manage two legacy websites – the Council of Australian Government (COAG) and Bureau of Infrastructure and Transport Research Economics (BITRE) dashboards.
CSIRO is Australia's national science agency. It is a government-funded organisation that focuses on scientific research and innovation.
CSIRO plays a significant role in advancing Australia's scientific and technological capabilities, collaborating with industries, academia, and government bodies to develop solutions for various fields, including agriculture, health, environment, and technology.
Supporting government agencies with legacy software maintenance and resourcing challenges
CSIRO needed help maintaining and upgrading two of their websites – COAG and BITRE dashboards, both of which presented critical infrastructure data.
With a lack of available internal resourcing, CSIRO sought a partner to upgrade the dashboards, enhance accessibility, improve functionality, as well as take over the ongoing development, hosting, support, and maintenance of the websites.
CSIRO’s goal was to ensure that these platforms continued to deliver insights to policymakers, industry leaders, analysts, and the public while meeting evolving accessibility standards and technical requirements.
This is when they partnered with us to help modernise these dashboards, address design limitations, introduce new features, and migrate to a more efficient serverless infrastructure.
Previous EC2 server infrastructure
User connects to dashboard application load balancer using web browser and dashboard URL.
Load balancer forwards request onto available EC2 instance. There were at least two instances running. Additional EC2 instances were spun up or shutdown depending on the load / traffic.
EC2 instances connect to RDS managed database and retrieve data per request.
EC2 instances log requests to CloudWatch logs.
EC2 instances return response back to the load balancer which returns it back to the user.
New serverless infrastructure
User connects to Dashboard CloudFront Distribution (CDN) using web browser and dashboard URL. The closet AWS CDN edge server to the user handles the requests to ensure fast response times.
CloudFront returns cached response to the user, or if it has expired or not cached, makes a new request. The new request is either made to S3, for static content such as images, or API Gateway, for statistical / chart content.
If statistical / chart content is requested, API Gateway invokes the dashboard lambda, which loads configuration from AWS Secrets Manager and connects to the RDS managed database.
Lambda logs requests to CloudWatch logs.
Lambda returns results to CloudFront, which caches it for quicker response for the same request, and returns the results to the user.
Australia’s trusted government development company
With an understanding of CSIRO's goals and resourcing challenges, our design and development team created a plan to address both the upgrades and ongoing support that was required to keep these key technologies accessible.
Undertook technical modernisation
We modernised the dashboards by implementing major version upgrades of the underlying programming language, dependencies, and frameworks.
Enhanced accessibility and functionality
We updated the dashboard's visual elements and replaced colour-based differentiators with symbols, shading, and other accessibility features. We also created new widgets, including graphs, tables, and data exports, which were added, enriching the dashboards' utility for users.
Migrated to serverless infrastructure
We migrated the hosting infrastructure from traditional server-based architecture to a more efficient serverless setup, using Amazon Web Services. This enhanced scalability, reduced operational overheads, and increased performance.
Provided ongoing development and support
We committed to the ongoing development, hosting, and support of the COAG and BITRE dashboards. This involved regular testing, feature updates, maintenance, and addressing technical issues as they arose. AWS services such as CloudFormation, Lambda, ECS, S3, CloudFront, and more were utilised to ensure optimal performance and reliability.
We segregated networks (VPCs) to separate different environments and implemented robust security measures. This ensured data integrity and privacy compliance.
Ongoing dashboard development, support, and maintenance
The migration to a serverless AWS infrastructure increased scalability and reduced operational burden. As a result, CSIRO continues to deliver critical infrastructure insights to policymakers, industry leaders, analysts, and the public, while meeting evolving standards and technical requirements.
“I had the pleasure of contracting Airteam. Super responsive and they delivered on time and well within budget.” - Nicola Cowen, CSIRO
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Do you have development, support, or digital maintenance needs? We can help. We can modernise existing systems, as well as develop entirely new products. To discuss your goals and how we can collaborate, reach out to us at firstname.lastname@example.org or via our contact form here.
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