NSW Cancer Institute optimises service delivery with pain-free migration by AC3

The migration was a complete success, despite a number of very high risks and issues that arose.

The Customer

The Cancer Institute of NSW is Australia’s first state-wide, government-funded cancer control agency and is part of NSW Health. Established in July 2003, it works to reduce the incidence of cancer in the community, increase survival rates and improve the quality of life for cancer patients and their carers.

The Institute also manages large data registries that provide an up-to-date overview of cancer in NSW, including trends, outcomes and risk factors. Detailed information on every new case of cancer diagnosed and treated in NSW is sent to its registries, to assist in optimising the outcomes and quality of life for people diagnosed with cancer.

The Challenge

The Cancer Institute needed to relocate its data centre equipment, networks and data to the NSW Government Data Centre (GovDC) in Sydney’s Silverwater.

The migration meant there was an opportunity to restructure and upgrade the high-speed networks between the Institute and hospitals, as part of the NSW Local Area Health Hospitals network. Critically, it was necessary to achieve this move without any discernible impact on the Cancer Institutes’ real-time services to patients and doctors.

The migration was a complicated operation involving expensive specialist equipment, complex technologies and multiple connections including thousands of underground fibre optic cables running between the data centre and eight major hospitals.

Because the infrastructure connecting the Institute’s existing data centre to the hospitals could not be physically moved, AC3 had to create everything from scratch in the new data centre.

The infrastructure wasn’t the only immovable element – the move timetable was also fixed. The entire transition had to be completed in a 4 day period over the Easter long weekend.

The Solution

To reduce the inherent risk in all data centre migrations, AC3 undertook meticulous preliminary planning.

Intricate plans and technical transition specifications were developed to reduce the risks around the physical transition, including managing individual patching runs and terminations for over 1,000 cables. AC3 created detailed activity run sheets broken into 30 minutes intervals that triggered each activity undertaken during the four-day move.

AC3 also designed and deployed a temporary set of high priority systems to support patients and hospitals while the services were physically in transition and off-line.

The Result

AC3 led a team of highly experienced service providers to successfully migrate the Institute’s data centre without any disruption to vital service delivery.

All the project objectives were achieved including completing the exceptionally complex job within the fixed and tight timeframe. No significant outages were experienced and all systems were returned to service within the pre-approved window.

AC3’s strategy for temporary systems deployment ensured that the Institute was able to provide continuity for its vital services. The temporary websites AC3 commissioned through its cloud, provided the essential online functionality the Institute required to service client requests over the weekend move.

“The migration was a complete success, despite a number of very high risks and issues that arose, said Sarajane Hansen, CIO, Cancer Institute.

“AC3 provided very professional support, and worked collaboratively with other vendors to ensure the documentation was accurate. I'd like to thank the AC3 team for the care taken with our equipment and the management of our high priority websites,” she added.

The Institute was also able to take advantage of the move to transform and increase the capacity of its systems during the relocation and rebuild.