With a population of 1.32 million (2011 Census) and covering an area of almost 400,000 hectares, Hampshire is one of the largest non-metropolitan or “shire” counties in England. Like all local authorities, Hampshire County Council provides a diverse range of services to its growing population and uses a variety of IT systems to manage and support those services.
“Triton Consulting had been providing Hampshire County Council with their RemoteDBA support service since 2013 and had to go through a tender process to win the three year deal in May this year.” Iqbal Goralwalla, Head of Database Services
Hampshire County Council’s application systems are based on several different database technologies. Two critical application systems are based on IBM’s flagship relational database, Db2. Db2 is optimised to deliver industry-leading performance across multiple workloads lowering administration, storage, development, and server costs.
When a key Db2 technology expert left Hampshire County Council, the Council recognised that with a reduced headcount comes an increased level of risk. Hampshire County Council requires their data to be available 24/7 in order to provide critical services such as social care, children’s service and emergency support. In order to maintain this level of service, Hampshire County Council would either need to supplement their in-house skills quickly or find a high quality, Db2 managed service provider to support their Db2 systems. Hampshire County Council was also under pressure to keep service levels high whilst keeping costs at a minimum.
Following a detailed evaluation process Hampshire County Council opted for RemoteDBA, a Db2 Managed Service from Triton Consulting. RemoteDBA was tailored to provide different Service Levels based upon the criticality of the incident. The SLA’s covered:
RemoteDBA provides unlimited support for a fixed price. This is extremely beneficial for Hampshire County Council as it means that they know their Db2 support costs for the next 12 months up front. Regardless of how many support calls Hampshire County Council need to make or how long issues take to resolve they know that their costs are fixed. For a Public Sector organisation trying to manage pressures of squeezed budgets and the increasing need for accountability of public spending, this kind of forward planning is vital.
As part of the service Triton committed to provide a weekly schedule of diagnostics to check on the health of the system. Although RemoteDBA is designed as a remote support service, Triton also agreed to provide on-site support during any weekend Disaster Recovery (DR) Tests.
The weekly checks and the confidence that Triton is available at short notice, and will raise PMRs (Problem Management Records) with IBM on their behalf, provides Hampshire with considerable peace of mind.
Triton receives up to a dozen diagnostics log error and warning reports and database performance monitoring metrics from Hampshire County Council per day. These are assessed for severity and then followed up with an assessment report with remedial actions if necessary. Triton also runs a series of checks on database housekeeping (REORG, BACKUP, REBIND etc.) activity. These monitoring activities mean that Hampshire County Council does not need to spend valuable resource on these potentially time consuming but important tasks.
The Triton service to Hampshire County Council also includes 20 Hours of “Consultancy on Demand”. This is a highly flexible service which allows customers to purchase a block of 20, 50 or 100 hours. These hours can be called off as and when needed for any consultancy or training requirements. Hampshire County Council has already used some of their CoD hours for Production implementation of planned database changes and support and user/login management and are considering using the rest of their COD hours to facilitate a Db2 upgrade and to enhance and extend their scheduled housekeeping jobs, to enable targeting ‘intelligent’ REORG, RUNSTATS and REBIND executions.