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NIRS Study Tour

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  • FAQ 3_Cloud
  • Date
  • 2021/03/31
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  • 539
1. What is the ‘Intelligent Cloud Data Center Infra Model’ of NIRS?

Intelligent Cloud Data Center Infra Model is so called as ‘Software Defined Data Center (SDDC)’ which virtualizes information resources such as computing, networks and storages with software technology to provide digital government services like Government 24 and Hometax and auto-controls the whole center using MCloud, a comprehensive management environment. ‘Virtualization’ with software power and ‘Automation’ are considered as core operational technologies.

2. What was the main drive that Korean Government decided to actively implement the government-only cloud platform?

It is inevitable for amount of information resources to be kept growing as number of new digital government services for public convenience improvement and government business innovation are increased or existing services are expanded. Korean Government needed to 1) reduce down the excessively spent maintenance costs, 2) improve inefficiency due to requiring to operate heterogeneous types of resources by standardizing them, 3) set up a smart domestic standards suit for universal environment and 4) improve efficiency by only allocating resources in need per work load.

3. Tell us about the current status of NIRS’ Cloud projects.

NIRS started to integrate information resources of client institutions since 2009 by implementing resource bulk purchasing and co-use system. Requested gears were purchased as high performance and large volume ones so that they could be shared among the agencies. Cloud-first policy was introduced in 2011 by introducing Cloud computing technology which can allocate and re-collect resources in need conveniently and efficiently whenever requested. This year in 2021, advancement job is ongoing by improving the way it is migrated to the Cloud from ‘when outdated ones required to be replaced’ to ‘business unit’.

4. Could you share the major features of the government cloud that NIRS operates?

The cloud is to support the digital government services provided by the central government bodies and is designed by specially taking availability, extendability and agility into consideration based on the standardized frame. Operating services in the Cloud are classified into 4 different categories considering significance and numbers of users of services. Service levels over incident, change and security management are being managed according to the corresponding classes. On top of that, NIRS does not save its efforts to lead and support the related industry by continuously carrying on various policies such as supporting SMEs, boosting up domestic product consumption and expanding open SW adoption as a government data center.

5. What could we expect from the exclusive government cloud project as outcomes ?

First of all, there were significant amount of economical benefits from the cloud compared to individual small scaled implementations prepared by ministries respectively which were up to about USD 370 million. We could share essential resources such as network and security gears via comprehensively built common infra among the agencies as well. We could improve information resources efficiency by supporting period-specific services with additionally designated virtual servers.

6. How does the billing system of the NIRS’ Cloud work?

NIRS does not operate a charging per usage system unlike most of private cloud service providers. When an institution needs to extend more resources, they are required to secure the budget from the Ministry of Planning and Finance first and ask NIRS to build the system for them. NIRS provides required resources based on the amount of requests filed in.

7. Could you explain about the NIRS Cloud migration plan by stage?

NIRS conducted a pilot test for implementing an intelligent cloud data center in 2019. From the last year in 2020, SDDC based cloud environment has been successfully prepared at the first center in NIRS Deajeon and the infra is continuously being expanding and advancing. We are expecting to apply the infra to NIRS Daegu in next year while information resources of new client agencies would be migrated. NIRS Gwanju’s infra would finish being transformed till 2022.

8. Have HW procurement costs been considerably reduced after starting the Cloud migration project?

In Cloud, we can implement and operate more than one virtual machine (VM)s in a single physical device employing virtualization technology. Through the arts, we could integrate over 2,000 servers into about 260 high performing ones. HW introduction costs have been decreased as the numbers of device reduced accordingly and we could reach at our ultimate goal of introducing the Cloud project.

9. Doesn’t NIRS hire any private Cloud Service Provider (CSP)?

No, as NIRS is supporting critical government document and security management services as well, it does not procure any of CSP’s product. However, in order to proactively cope up with pan-governmental cloud computing stimulating policies, NIRS is making its best efforts to find some ways to collaborate with private cloud professionals.

10. Are the Cloud servers in Korean main land only or also in overseas?

NIRS Cloud servers are only in Korean peninsula. NIRS operates disaster recovery systems between NIRS Daejeon and Gwangju to deal with contingencies such as unexpected disasters and sudden accidents. NIRS Gongju expected to be ready in 2022 will be used as an exclusive backup center.

11. What would happen to those APs not ready to be migrated?

When we migrate legacy systems to the Cloud, APs also need to be modified to be compatible with as operating systems or middlewares are required to be changed or ungraded. The budget costs for AP modulation are secured by each institution. From 2021, a new initiative called ‘Unit based Cloud Migration Project’ technically supports those systems doesn’t have migration costs for themselves through NIRS expert groups who conduct ‘as-is environment analysis’, ‘design’, ‘implement and test’, and more.

12. How did client agencies deal with new movement ? Are they ok about the new projects without resistance?

Information Resources’ efficiency, resiliency and availability are all to be improved by implementing a cloud computing infrastructure. Costs required for procurement and operation has also been reduced down accordingly. Clients in early stages had expressed their difficulties in migrating the legacies into the Cloud, however, they are now in pretty much cooperative lines as they have reached an consensus that the Cloud is competent not only in flexible resource allocation but also in availability management and more.

13. Tell us about the ‘Cloud First’ policy of the NIRS (Korean Government).

It is the policy when brand new digital government services are to be launched or outworn device are to be replaced, the Cloud infra need to be considered as a priority to accomodate them. NIRS started resource integration projects since 2009 and has proactively promoted the Cloud policy, ‘G-cloud 456’ which introduces more than 40% of open sources compared to existed operating conditions, aiming to cut off over 50% of operating costs and to migrate over 60% of total government services into the Cloud, to accelerate expansion of the government cloud services.

14. Does NIRS also have a plan to migrate UNIX based large scaled and critical systems into the Cloud?

There are some client agencies requesting commercial SWs operating based on UNIX environment when they are required to exercise high performing resources such as DBMS from NIRS. As it is quite challenging to operate UNIX based systems resiliently, NIRS keeps monitoring technological development status of Cloud and virtualization product so that they could also be relocated to x86 based systems.

15. How about license issues according to expansion of server resources in the Cloud? What is NIRS’ basic stance over the matter?

In NIRS Cloud system, it is essential to hire domestic and open SWs first. When a client inevitably needs to practice commercial ones, NIRS reviews the specific case with the department in charge by considering the features of services and tries to find ways to settle the problems.

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FAQ 2_Information Resource Operation & Management Projects