The digital transformation of engineering capability has the potential to be game changing. This process starts by building the systems architecture to deliver the promise of high value engineering.
A time critical project, replicating the customer’s IT production system methods, tools and processes was commissioned with a go-live date of 6 weeks from procurement. Architecting, procuring and deploying a secure, air-gapped IT system, whilst adhering to export control and intellectual property laws was required.
Utilising its expertise in hosting and managing an agile, High Performance Computing (HPC) cluster and IT Lab, The Centre for Modelling & Simulation (CFMS), provided a dedicated, high performance 3D accelerated ‘Virtual Desktop Infrastructure’ (VDI) environment, using industry standard technologies. Customer remote site access to the system was provided using ‘zero-clients’ to access the servers. Server equipment was installed within CFMS IT Lab, with a dedicated fibre connection to the user clients.
A templated system image was developed that included commercial tools and the customers in-house software products, so that user profiles could be created or removed on-demand. A support facility was provided for the customer to raise user queries or request additional features. A highly available system, it successfully ran for 1 year (the project duration) with zero outages or downtime. At the project close, all system and user data was archived along with the system state mothballed. This will allow the customer to quickly resume the service with a known state or move to another service (if ever required).
For this project, a VDI solution with the data securely hosted in CFMS IT Lab provided a strong data-loss prevention strategy; although users could view and manipulate the data, it could not be extracted. CFMS deployed a complex system to its trusted digital test bed that enables organisations to test and evaluate IT system architectures, engineering methods, tools, and product design techniques without disruption to production systems. The project highlights expertise possessed by its technical team and agile approach embedded within CFMS when dealing with traditional, complex enterprise IT systems. This enables faster evaluation, de-risking of production system upgrades and future IT strategies where data security is a prerequisite.