SoftArc Engineering Ltd is a civil engineering company which works across Australia as well as in Indonesia, Timor Leste and Papua New Guinea. The company is considering moving some of its computer infrastructure into the Cloud. The SoftArc Engineering Board is contemplating this move as a way to increase the company’s flexibility and responsiveness, as well as to achieve some savings on the cost of maintaining their ICT infrastructure.

SoftArc Engineering has engaged you as a consultant to advise them on the use of Cloud Computing in their daily operations. They have some 200 engineering and support staff that work on different civil engineering projects in different parts of the Australia and neighboring countries. They have been advised that a move to using a Cloud based infrastructure would be an advantage to them.

Your task is to:

  1. Prepare a PowerPoint briefing for the SoftArc Engineering board. Your briefing should:
    1. Explain the main concepts of Cloud Computing and why you think that a move to the Cloud could be good for SoftArc Engineering;
    2. Explain some of the Cloud Architectures that you think would be useful for SoftArc Engineering to use as part of their Cloud infrastructure.
    3. Each slide in the briefing must also include speaking notes in the notes section to explain the slide, and all images used in the briefing should be referenced. (20 marks)
  2. One of SoftArc Engineering’s first undertakings is to provide all their civil engineering staff with the ability to access office automation, such as email, word processing and spreadsheet capabilities, as well as online storage for their files, whether they are in the office, at home, or deployed on site in the field. The SoftArc Engineering board is very concerned to learn about the critical issues, other than cost, that may affect the supply of Cloud based office automation to their staff. You will need to prepare a report on the best way to provide office automation for SoftArc Engineering. Your report should:
    1. Provide SoftArc Engineering with TWO different approaches to providing office automation to their civil engineering staff;
    2. Outline the major benefits and issues for each approach;
    3. Provide a summary of your advice to this company along with your recommendation about which option to choose. This part of your report should be no longer than 2 pages. (20 marks)
  3. SoftArc Engineering has a number of data centres in Sydney, Melbourne and Brisbane. These data centres are linked by a fibre based WAN and data is replicated between the data centres daily. The 3 data centres each run x86 based servers attached to a HPE 3PAR SAN with 1PB of storage. They also have a series of RHEL 6 servers (Red Hat Enterprise Linux v6.0) that are used to host Web pages and various Web services. These are located only in the Sydney data centre. SoftArc Engineering is considering initially moving its Web infrastructure to an IaaS instance in a public Cloud, but they are unsure of the issues that are involved with this migration. You are to write a report for the SoftArc Engineering board that:
    1. Describes the difference between locally hosted infrastructure (ie. in an enterprise data centre) and infrastructure provided using an IaaS provider in a public Cloud.
    2. You will need to discuss the critical issues and factors, other than cost, that SoftArc Engineering will have to consider in choosing to migrate their Web infrastructure to an IaaS service provider. This part of your report should take no more than two pages. (30 marks)
  4. SoftArc Engineering is also considering whether to use PaaS or SaaS to provide services to its employees. SoftArc Engineering has deployed Microsoft SharePoint 2013 from its data centre as a collaboration and document management tool for its 250 employees. The SharePoint 2013 instance has been extensively customised to suit SoftArc Engineering’s needs and also runs Project Central, their Project Management tool as a separate application from within SharePoint. All employees have the Microsoft Office 2013 suite of office automation products installed on their respective desktops or laptops. SoftArc Engineering would like to move its SharePoint 2013 instance to the cloud to make it more accessible, particularly to its users in remote or overseas locations. SoftArc Engineering want you to report on:
    1. What are the major differences between the models IaaS, PaaS and SaaS? (5 marks)
    2. Recommend the model that you consider most appropriate for this service and discuss why this model is the most appropriate for the SharePoint service. (10 marks)
    3. What are the most likely problems that SoftArc Engineering will encounter with the model that you recommend? How would you advise SoftArc Engineering to deal with these issues? (15 marks)
    4. This part of your report should be no more than 3 pages.
        

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