For Fraser Coast Regional Council, the threat of the D in DR is very real. Located in the Wide Bay\u2013Burnett region of Queensland the council governs an area at significant risk of flooding. \u201cCertainly there's a real possibility that one of our data centres could go down,\u201d explains the council\u2019s executive manager information services Wade Rogers. When the rains come \u2013 and they often do \u2013 many of the region\u2019s 100,000 citizens go online to access flood maps and evacuation guides. The council\u2019s online services are especially important during times of emergency, but were at risk of being inaccessible, such as in 2012 when floods took a data centre in Maryborough offline for a number of days. Until recently the council\u2019s back-up datacentre was not equipped to quickly take on workloads, heightening the risk of outages. This month Rogers\u2019 17-strong team shared details of its solution \u2013 the deployment of a Nutanix Enterprise Cloud Platform to replace an outdated three-tier storage area network (SAN) and blade server infrastructure. \u201cThis [solution] gave us the opportunity to go back to two data centres and put effectively the same infrastructure in both, and enough infrastructure in both that we could run all server and storage workloads from a single environment if we had to,\u201d Rogers says. The move has not only shored up the council\u2019s disaster defences, but also given the team the opportunity to better serve its citizens.Cloud on the horizon The opportunity to make the change came about around a year ago when the infrastructures asset replacement programme aligned with available budget. \u201cIt was all pretty new, the hyper-converged space. Initially there were questions like 'where does the data sit?\u2019 When you've got dedicated SANs the guys can identify down to the physical drive where data sits but it's all a bit \u2013 I won't say black magic \u2013 but it's very conceptual,\u201d Rogers says. \u201cThe more we kind of looked at it the more comfortable the team got with it. We spoke to the vendors and got more of an idea around how it actually works and what sort of redundancy you get with that sort of a model. And certainly the reduction in the physical footprint of what we needed in our server rooms just sounded better.\u201d With the NBN not having yet reached the area, going all-in with cloud wasn\u2019t an option. The implementation has secured operations for the next five years or more. \u201cIn five years we anticipate we'll have much more robust network links in the region whether through NBN or otherwise,\u201d Rogers says. \u201cBy that time we'll have more confidence and be better placed to make a decision: do we replace it all, keep what we've got and do the same thing again or potentially just put it all out in the cloud.\u201d And when it pours, the team can rest assured their systems are safe. \u201cBeing able to move workloads quickly in the event of a disaster is a huge relief, and we\u2019ve saved a ton of storage space with deduplication and compression, which has taken the pressure out of our datacentres. The redundancy is also key for us being in a flood prone area, or an area that is known to flood.\u201d Since the deployment, the Council has recorded 45 per cent savings in storage capacity through deduplication and compression in its primary datacentre, and 26 per cent savings in storage capacity in its secondary datacentre. Cloning of virtual machine guests has gone from five minutes down to less than one, and the physical space used in both datacentres has decreased by 60 per cent. Serving the community The Council has upwards of 600 users across its network who rely on its applications \u2013 including Microsoft SQL, ERP, finance systems, asset management and HR apps \u2013 along with many web services like recruitment, event booking and online mapping used by the public. The majority are now running on the Nutanix platform. Without their time being consumed by infrastructure demands, the team is now focused on adding value to the organisation and the area. \u201cThere's a bit of that shift in mentality in the team, that they're not hardware guys anymore. We're really in a service delivery area within the organisation,\u201d Rogers says. A recent project has seen the team work alongside Queensland Police in deploying CCTV cameras to monitor troubled areas reported by citizens. When hotspots have been identified, officers can connect directly into the council\u2019s network to access CCTV coverage which has grown from around 30 cameras a few years ago to more than 300 today. A number of other projects are also afoot. \u201cThe real benefits though, are in the infrastructure management time it\u2019s created, enabling us to roll out projects that we expected wouldn\u2019t have even started yet. We can also be of greater service to the community. Simply put, we have more resources and can respond better to the community\u2019s needs,\u201d Rogers says.