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Victorian Land Registry Services Ensures Availability, Cuts Costs by 60% Using AWS

2020

Victorian Land Registry Services (VLRS) uses AWS to deliver near 100 percent availability for a critical web application, reduce disaster recovery time from 16 hours to under 30 minutes, and cut infrastructure hosting costs by 60 percent. Based in Victoria, Australia, VLRS manages property-related transactions and information services for thousands of users a day. VLRS runs its primary web applications on Amazon EC2 Reserved Instances and uses a range of AWS services to meet its security and compliance objectives.

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We have near 100 percent availability for our applications since migrating to AWS, so we can deliver a reliable, stable property transaction and information services solution for Victorian property owners and aspirants.”

Ani Chakraborty
Business Transformation Director, Victorian Land Registry Services

Supporting Property Transactions for Millions of People

Victorian Land Registry Services (VLRS), the private operator of land registry services in the Australian state of Victoria, manages all property-related transactions for the state, such as transfers, mortgages, and discharges. “We are at the center of the property transaction and property-related information system for Victoria,” says Ani Chakraborty, business transformation director for VLRS.

The organization needs its web-based transaction applications to be continuously available to thousands of daily users. “There is a high expectation that our digital operations are always running,” Chakraborty says. “Continuous operations mean, for example, a legal professional who does property-related work can complete documentation at any time—even at midnight or during weekends.”

Data security is one of the most important priorities for VLRS. “We knew we needed to meet our security and compliance obligations because of the valuable data in our custody,” says Chakraborty. Additionally, VLRS needed to enable and support its application environment to scale from more than 4,000 transactions a day to more than 11,000 transactions during peak times.

Migrating to the AWS Cloud

To deliver high availability with scalable and compliant applications, VLRS completed the migration of its applications from an on-premises environment to Amazon Web Services (AWS). This journey was started prior to commercialization and implemented by VLRS. “We were glad AWS was chosen as the cloud platform. AWS offers the most services and features and the best security and privacy framework in Australia for our requirements,” says Chakraborty.

VLRS considers AWS as an enabler to meet its security and compliance objectives. The organization relies on AWS security services and AWS-based application monitoring tools to protect its customer data. VLRS uses Amazon Cognito for identity management in specific areas; AWS Certificate Manager for SSL certificate management in production, pre-production, and development environments; and AWS Directory Service for identity management for its management account. Additionally, VLRS uses Amazon GuardDuty for threat detection and AWS Security Hub for reporting and governance of its security status.

VLRS runs its application on Amazon Elastic Compute Cloud (Amazon EC2) Reserved Instances and uses AWS Trusted Advisor for reporting and governance of its AWS well-architected environment. The organization relies on Amazon CloudWatch to capture performance and health metrics, and it takes advantage of Amazon Elasticsearch Service to perform application log analysis and reporting.

Ensuring High Availability for Mission-Critical Applications

Since migrating to AWS, VLRS can give users access to critical property transaction and information services virtually 24 hours a day, seven days a week. “We have near 100 percent availability for our applications since migrating to AWS, so we can deliver a reliable, stable property transaction and information services solution for Victorian property owners and aspirants,” says Chakraborty.

Running on AWS, VLRS has also improved its disaster recovery capabilities. “In some of our key applications, we were able to achieve disaster recovery within 30 minutes in 2019, compared to 16 hours previously prior to moving to AWS,” Chakraborty says.

Cutting Infrastructure Hosting Costs by 60% through Optimization

VLRS reduced the infrastructure hosting costs of running and maintaining its application by optimizing its AWS environment. Its cost optimization journey began soon after the migration was completed and applications were stabilized. “Over the last 12 months, working closely with AWS to optimize, we have reduced our infrastructure hosting costs by 60 percent,” says Chakraborty.

Accelerating Application Development

Since migrating to AWS, VLRS has increased its agility and reduced its development and deployment time. VLRS now releases new software features faster. “The agility we have from building on AWS has made deployment much easier for us,” says Chakraborty. “Previously, code deployments would take us up to two days, but we can do them in about 4 hours now, so we can actually release new features more regularly instead of twice a year. We can also update our application faster, which means we can provide fewer scheduled outages to our customers.”

Enhancing Security and Compliance

Using AWS security services and application monitoring, VLRS can ensure compliance with industry regulations, such as the ISO 27001 information security standard. “We have been ISO 27001 certified for our information security management systems since October 2019,” Chakraborty says. “That gives our external stakeholders a lot of confidence that we have the fundamentals in place in relation to compliance, so sensitive data in our custodianship is well protected.”

VLRS is also enhancing its cybersecurity capabilities by running on AWS. “In the first 16 months since we migrated to AWS, there were no cybersecurity or data security breaches,” says Chakraborty. “As we adopt additional AWS services in the future, we are confident that we can continue to enable compliance and high availability while delivering the best experience possible to our customers.”

Leveraging AWS as a platform to design and deliver solutions is a key aspect of the organization’s innovative thinking and roadmap. VLRS refreshes its ambitious AWS program on a yearly basis and invests to achieve target outcomes. “This is a never-ending journey for us,” says Chakraborty. “We can only get better.”


About Victorian Land Registry Services

Victorian Land Registry Services (VLRS) performs critical functions within Victoria’s real estate industry as part of its role managing Australia’s second largest land title registry services. The organization’s services are accessed by property owners, financial institutions, lawyers, state agencies, and the general public in Victoria.

Benefits of AWS

  • Delivers near 100% availability for critical web application
  • Decreases disaster recovery time from 16 hours to 30 minutes
  • Cuts infrastructure hosting costs by 60% and uses the savings to fund new initiatives
  • Reduces code deployment time from 2 days to 4 hours
  • Releases new software features regularly, instead of twice a year
  • Ensures compliance with industry regulations such as ISO 27001
  • Has had no data security breaches since migration

AWS Services Used

Amazon Cognito

Amazon Cognito lets you add user sign-up, sign-in, and access control to your web and mobile apps quickly and easily. Amazon Cognito scales to millions of users and supports sign-in with social identity providers, such as Facebook, Google, and Amazon, and enterprise identity providers via SAML 2.0.

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AWS Certificate Manager

AWS Certificate Manager is a service that lets you easily provision, manage, and deploy public and private Secure Sockets Layer/Transport Layer Security (SSL/TLS) certificates for use with AWS services and your internal connected resources. SSL/TLS certificates are used to secure network communications and establish the identity of websites over the Internet as well as resources on private networks. AWS Certificate Manager removes the time-consuming manual process of purchasing, uploading, and renewing SSL/TLS certificates.

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AWS Trusted Advisor

AWS Trusted Advisor is an online tool that provides you real time guidance to help you provision your resources following AWS best practices.

Whether establishing new workflows, developing applications, or as part of ongoing improvement, take advantage of the recommendations provided by Trusted Advisor on a regular basis to help keep your solutions provisioned optimally.

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Amazon Guard​Duty

Amazon GuardDuty is a threat detection service that continuously monitors for malicious activity and unauthorized behavior to protect your AWS accounts and workloads. With the cloud, the collection and aggregation of account and network activities is simplified, but it can be time consuming for security teams to continuously analyze event log data for potential threats. With GuardDuty, you now have an intelligent and cost-effective option for continuous threat detection in the AWS Cloud.

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