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Origin Energy Speeds Migration, Enhances Security, and Cuts Costs with AWS Customer Enablement

2021

Origin Energy is a leading Australian integrated energy company—with more than four million customer accounts and 7,500 megawatts of thermal and renewable generation—that supplies the Australian and export markets.

The energy sector has become increasingly data-driven and digitally focused. Origin’s cloud strategy, Cloud 2022, focuses on agility, elasticity, resilience, efficiency, and cost optimization, freeing Origin up from infrastructure and operating system requirements to focus on improving the customer experience.

In migrating all data to the cloud and exiting its two primary data centers, Origin wanted to augment its internal resources to accelerate this migration and operate at scale and speed. “We had started our cloud journey, and the pace at which we were moving meant we really needed to collaborate with someone so we could increase our migration velocity,” says Garry Clarke, head of cloud and infrastructure operations at Origin Energy.

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We would not have been able to hit our targets for migrating applications without the help of AWS Customer Enablement services and Contino.”

Paul Laios
Head of Cloud and Infrastructure Business Office, Origin Energy

Streamlining the Migration with AWS Customer Enablement and Contino

Origin chose to work with Amazon Web Services (AWS) Customer Enablement, including AWS Managed Services (AMS) and AWS Professional Services, to help identify which workloads to migrate first while selecting the right architecture. AWS Professional Services collaborated with Origin to develop an initial cloud migration business case in support of Origin’s Cloud 2022 strategy. “It was an easy decision because we knew AWS Professional Services and AMS could scale out to help quickly support our migrations,” says Paul Laios, head of cloud and infrastructure business office at Origin Energy.

Origin brought in technology partner Contino to assist in the migration. Origin selected Contino, an AWS Premier Consulting Partner, because of its cloud development and management methodologies, deep AWS expertise, and modern delivery practices such as an agile framework. Origin led the migration, while Contino performed the majority of the migration tasks. Additionally, Contino helped Origin re-architect custom-developed applications to take advantage of various AWS services including AWS Lambda and Amazon Relational Database Service (Amazon RDS).

Collaborating to Speed Migration and Support a Cloud Strategy

Working together with AWS Professional Services and Contino, Origin moved its business-critical applications, including billing, customer care, energy trading, operations management, payroll, and document management systems, to AWS Landing Zone. Origin DevOps teams are responsible for application operations. “We would not have been able to hit our targets for migrating applications without the help of AWS Customer Enablement services and Contino,” says Laios.

AMS helps Origin manage infrastructure operations. “AMS provides 24/7 support for certain workloads, which has been a major benefit for us,” Clarke says. “For example, when emergency software patches are released, AMS helps us prioritize those so we can focus on application development.” When Origin needed to deploy critical software updates, AMS completed the patching within 48 hours, over a single weekend.

Now, Origin will meet its Cloud 2022 timeline, and the company can focus more resources on deploying sandbox development environments and new feature developments for customers. “We are putting resources into customer improvements and new software features instead of needing to fix infrastructure and operating system–related problems,” says Clarke. “Overall, we have sped up delivery time for features and accelerated innovation by working with AMS.”

Reducing Costs and Providing Transparency, Enabling 96% Automation

By quickly moving key applications to AWS and exiting its two primary data centers, Origin reduced operational expenses and avoided the need to invest in new data center technology. “We no longer need to guess capacity requirements or over-provision resources for applications because we are leveraging right-sizing and auto-scaling capabilities on AWS,” says Laios.

Origin has also improved visibility into its operating costs. “We have more transparency around our costs now,” Clarke says. “When you have a long-term contract for a data center, the true cost of running workloads can be hidden. Running on AWS, we have better visibility into the costs for all our workloads.”

AMS is also enabling 96 percent infrastructure automation for managed workloads, in turn helping the company streamline and simplify IT management. In addition, Origin has improved its overall operational performance by moving to AWS. Specifically, the company has seen a 30 percent improvement in batch processing times and an 84 percent improvement in report run times since the migration. Beyond the initial migration, AMS has helped optimize Origin’s application environment by adhering to AWS best practices. Origin has also achieved significant monthly savings through cost optimization initiatives led by AMS.

Enhancing Security and Resiliency

After the migration, AMS implemented more than 100 security controls, including encryption, data protection, and incident response. AMS ensures each control is implemented and maintained, and Origin is alerted to any compromise. “AMS helps us categorize levels of risk for data security,” Laios says.

The company has also improved the resiliency of its applications by working with AMS. AMS helped Origin reduce its recovery time objective by 94 percent compared to its on-premises environment, since failover is now automated and gives the company confidence that application outages will be minimized in the event of a disaster.

Origin continues to work with AWS Professional Services, AMS, and Contino to migrate and manage additional business applications. “We look forward to growing the relationship with AMS. AMS is not a third-party service provider—it’s an extension of our own internal teams, and that approach will help us meet our goal of moving entirely to the cloud,” says Laios.

About Origin Energy

Origin Energy, headquartered in Sydney, Australia, is one of the country’s largest energy retailers. Origin delivers energy to more than four million electricity, natural gas, and liquefied petroleum gas (LPG) customers across Australia.

Benefits of AWS

  • Improves report run times by 84%
  • Reduces recovery time objective by 94%
  • Enables 96% workload automation
  • Improves batch processing times by 30%
  • Enhances security and resiliency

AWS Services Used

AWS Customer Enablement

AWS Customer Enablement services augment your team’s cloud skills by delivering deep AWS expertise where, when, and how you need it.

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AWS Managed Services

AWS Managed Services (AMS) helps you operate your AWS infrastructure more efficiently and securely. Leveraging AWS services and a growing library of automations, configurations, and run books, AMS can augment and optimize your operational capabilities in both new and existing AWS environments.

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AWS Professional Services

The AWS Professional Services organization is a global team of experts that can help you realize your desired business outcomes when using the AWS Cloud. We work together with your team and your chosen member of the AWS Partner Network (APN) to execute your enterprise cloud computing initiatives.

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AWS Lambda

AWS Lambda is a serverless compute service that lets you run code without provisioning or managing servers, creating workload-aware cluster scaling logic, maintaining event integrations, or managing runtimes.

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