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Ministry of Water Resources: In-Cloud OS Building Cloud Application Platform for Water Resources Monitoring And Management


Abstract: Inspur proposes the solution of integrated cloud platform which supports 21 business systems and provides cloud computing services to nearly one hundred departments of the Ministry of Water Resources and related units. The platform has greatly improved the management efficiency and realized the allocation of resources on demand. This is the first cloud computing platform at national ministry level and has not only promoted the development of informatization in water industry, but also played an exemplary role for applying cloud computing in industries other than IT.

Constructing Highly Unified Cloud Data Centers

National water resources data center is a basic part of the mission of "six systems and two basic supporting platforms" in the national Golden Water project. Unified data center is designed to overcome problems emerging in the process of water resources informatization, such as separation of sectors, low-level redundant construction, dispersed information resources, low development and utilization efficiency, lack of information sharing and weak security system.

The hydrology bureau of the Ministry of Water Resources currently has seven server rooms and over 200 servers, varying in brands, models, specifications and service life; No.1 room, which is 100 square meters in size, has been deployed with nearly twenty machine cabinets. The space left can only hold two more cabinets at most, leaving the huge demand of room space not fulfilled. In terms of power supply, the server room provides maximum 100 kilowatt, of which 85% is in use now. About 80% of server resources have a low utilization rate and high vacancy rate, making it more difficult to maximize the usage of these equipments.

The Ministry of Water Resources has a Complex System Which is Difficult to Manage

The hydrological bureau of the Ministry of Water Resources faces the following problems: the existing systems are isolated from each other, impeding the internal information sharing; departments own completely independent devices, leading to repetitive low-end facilities construction; dispersed information resources cause low efficiency in development and utilization.

New applications are being launched every year, requiring increasing numbers of servers constantly. With strict division of responsibilities, adding systems always require collaboration between different departments and hence need a long time. In addition, each department runs its own data collecting and exchanging system, application system, and separate databases. The situation above adds to the obstacles when integrating all the systems in a scientific way.

The hydrological bureau of the Ministry of Water Resources currently runs several operation systems: Windows, Linux and UNIX. The server needs to support different versions of software and applications  from different manufacturers. This task grows more complex faced with the increasing demand for informatization of different department. As a result, the server fails to provide stable and efficient service support; and once the hardware breaks down, the server takes a long time to respond. The management is still inefficient though there are ten technicians in the server room.

Cloud Platform as an Important Information Transmission Channel for the Ministry of Water Resources

The cloud computing platform of the Ministry of Water Resources plays an essential role in storing and sharing data, integrating services, ensuring the application of water conservancy facilities, and improving the informatization of the whole industry.

Application modes: standard B/S mode of application, Windows/LinuxServer platform, Weblogic middleware, OracleRAC 10g, MS SQL Server database. The architectures of all application software are basically the same.

The original system has intranet and extranet, and intranet is a classified network physically isolated from the Internet while the extranet is a non-classified logically isolated from the Internet. The cloud management platform in this project is mainly based on the extranet.

Functional analysis: the cloud computing platform is responsible for various businesses and services of the Ministry of Water Resources. This platform connects valley institutions and other national water resources administrations to provide a high-speed and reliable channel for the transmission of data, images and other information among all levels of water management bureaus.

The Ministry of Water Resources Decided to Create Integrated Cloud Solution

The integrated cloud platform of the Ministry of Water Resources uses four 8-way servers TS850, In-Cloud OS and virtualization products. It also includes underlying physical and virtual resources as well as cloud management platform. After the platform is completed, the requirement for physical hardware is delivered through system services hardware devices. It changes the original mode in which systems and devices have to be increased at the same time. The new platform also integrates the existing application systems and achieve rapid delivery of IT services.

Building Integrated Services

We finish reports after analyzing the performance and TCO of the original system; the front-end virtualization migration test confirms that the combination of high-end servers and virtualization mode will help reduce consumption and compact space of the existing server system; we also set up software and hardware platform and complete the system migration; we assist users to launch, measure and cooperate with system integrator in hardware and software integration services.

A High-Performance and Expansible System Platform

Four 8-way 10-core Inspur TS850 servers have 320 computing cores and 640 logic cores; in real test, the best performance is achieved through one physical core which is virtualized as eight CPUs, enabling the cloud computing platform to provide maximum 2,560 virtual CPUs  to meet the requirements of applications; the memory is aggregated to 2TB which fully support the whole cloud platform, and host more virtual applications.

In-Cloud OS Self-Service Portal Providing Users with on-demand Self-Service

It enables the on-demand allocation of resources. Users fill out forms to apply for resources according to their own needs through the service of resources in the data center; using units  apply for resources via self-service on cloud platform, making the business processes more standardized and efficient.

Inspur Creates Superior Cloud Computing Architecture

As mentioned in the feedback from the Ministry of Water and Resources, traditional data center requires additional 30 servers to cope with new businesses while new cloud computing data center need only four 8-way TS850 servers, decreasing the power consumption by 70%, footprint by 98% and increasing the resource utilization rate by ten times.

Via the template deployment wizard, Inspur In-Cloud OS platform takes only five to ten minutes to deploy a new application while the traditional system took one to four hours; as for hardware purchases, the traditional system took even longer, up to ten days. In traditional mode, the system requires one to three hours to maintain windows, days or even weeks to prepare change management and need to run terminal maintenance and upgrades every day; however, within the new cloud computing architecture, hardware upgrades with zero-downtime, and the terminal upgrade needs only some simple improvement of servers.