Government Information Portals Require 24x7 Uptime
One of the ways that South Korea’s Ministry of Public Administration and Security (MOPAS) communicates with citizens is through eight website portals. The portals give citizens access to civil services and information they need to interact with various local and central government bodies. The portals also enable bi-directional communication between citizens and government officials to discuss public affairs. Citizens can access information and submit inquiries on a variety of programs such as welfare, education, and employment. Portal visitors can also perform customized searches for the information they need.
As the Ministry began to rapidly expand the services offered by the eight portals, the IT staff realized the system would require improvements to continue providing efficient and reliable services. The Ministry wanted to ensure the system would remain operational at all times so that citizens could always have access.
MOPAS found that the database platform supporting the website portals was not reliable because it relied on an active-passive standby server architecture. When failures occurred to the primary server during data-processing sessions, the time to restore operations was not up to the standards that MOPAS desired. The Ministry thus wanted to deploy a new solution that would ensure reliable business continuity and keep downtime to an absolute minimum.
“We needed to make sure that citizens could always access the services and the information they need as part of their daily lives,” Byung Hoon Choi, Head Administrative Officer at MOPAS says. “When they can’t access information, it causes a lot of frustration for them as well as for our internal staff. We needed to improve the system so that it would provide services without any interruptions.”
Sybase ASE Cluster Edition Provides Fast Failover Capability
To take on the challenge, MOPAS turned to Sybase ASE Cluster Edition, which builds upon the reliability and lower operational costs of the Sybase ASE database platform. ASE Cluster Edition delivers an infrastructure that improves business continuity and application performance while also reducing data center costs. The platform also scales easily for future business growth.
“The relatively low acquisition cost as well as the proactive technical and educational support systems offered by Sybase were big factors in why we chose ASE Cluster Edition,” Mr. Hoon Choi says. “And the active-active system architecture of ASE Cluster Edition improves our level of services by providing a stable system that ensures business continuity.”
The ASE Cluster Edition architecture allows failover from a primary server to a secondary server to occur without any interruptions to the website portal services provided to the public. If a failover occurs, the citizens usually don’t notice any interruption in services. MOPAS also found that that ASE Cluster Edition has enhanced its ability to deliver higher-quality services by making it possible to tightly integrate data across the eight website portals.
New System Also Improves Information Quality and Consistency
The Sybase system has also improved the quality of administrative services by providing consistent information across the portals so that citizens no longer encounter repetitive or missing information when moving from one portal to another. The ASE Cluster Edition architecture has also helped MOPAS establish more consistent work processes through the management of historical data.
“ASE Cluster Edition helps us maintain an effective balance between the supply and demand on local resources by allowing the central government, local governments, and public facilities to all share information,” Mr. Hoon Choi says. “Sharing information allows each individual agency to interact with citizens to a greater extent.”
The agencies that oversee the services affiliated with the eight website portals have all provided feedback to the Ministry that the Sybase ASE Cluster Edition is performing reliably. The Ministry is also impressed with the low cost of on-going database maintenance, and the success of the solution has prompted MOPAS to consider developing a similar database infrastructure for policy decision-making and execution.
“After seeing the success of how ASE Cluster Edition enables the website portals to interact with the public and help meet their needs, we are now considering a decision-support system that would help us establish more effective policies,” Mr. Hoon Choi says. “We anticipate that policy improvements in the work processes will increase the efficiency of local services and create the ability to provide customized services based on the needs of citizens.”