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WaterNSW flows real-time data streams into data lake with Nutanix

  • WaterNSW flows real-time data streams into data lake with Nutanix
  • State bulk water supplier and river operator provides farmers, irrigators, and government departments real-time data collected from 4,600 measurement devices.

About the entity

WaterNSW is a State-Owned Corporation established under the Water NSW Act 2014 and operates under an Operating Licence issued and monitored by the Independent Pricing and Regulatory Tribunal (IPART).


Enterprise cloud OS leader, Nutanix is supporting WaterNSW in its mission of supplying and improving water availability for communities across the state through the innovative use of data.

WaterNSW is a state-owned corporation responsible for operating New South Wales’ rivers and water supply systems. It is tasked with protecting Greater Sydney’s drinking water catchment, supplying water to Sydney Water and other distributors for treatment and delivery to residents, infrastructure planning and operation, and the management and monitoring of water transaction services – including licensing and approvals – for farmers and irrigators across the state.   

Ian Robinson, CIO at WaterNSW, said the organisation operates the largest surface and groundwater monitoring network in the southern hemisphere and the data gathered from this network was one of its most important assets. Nutanix software allows WaterNSW to process the collected data by first capturing and storing it, before interfacing it between a range of customer-centric applications – including the recently released Water Insights Portal.

“We’re a data management company when it comes down to it,” Robinson said. “Everything we deliver for our customers depends on the visibility of what’s happening across our water network. Whether that’s river flows, storage levels or water quality, every decision we make is data-driven.”

WaterNSW’s monitoring network comprises about 4,600 measurement gauges and sensing devices installed in waterways across the state, delivering data which is not only critical to its own operational decisions, but also the decisions of its customers – particularly given recent disasters including drought, floods, and last summer’s bushfires.

“Our water data is critically important, and it needs to be shared. Making it accessible is a core part of our role,” Robinson said. “From the Bureau of Meteorology investigating weather patterns, to government departments making policy and population decisions, to farmers and irrigators who need to know when there’s enough water available for them to start pumping – all these decisions are influenced by our data.

“Nutanix plays a key role in the way we operate our network. All our SCADA and telemetry systems sit on the platform, which acts as the engine room for gathering all that data from the field in real-time. Our infrastructure allows us to move our data between the point it is captured and the output location with integrity and automation so it’s consistent and meets our customer promise.”

WaterNSW first engaged Nutanix as part of a datacentre refresh alongside trusted IT partner HCL Technologies. It runs a hybrid cloud environment with SaaS or IaaS used where the workload dictates, and business-critical and operational applications hosted at a government-run datacentre. Robinson said as part of the refresh, he explored moving all the business’ workloads to the cloud but opted for a hybrid approach underpinned by Nutanix as it offered WaterNSW a number of key benefits.

“Nutanix represented better value for money than going to a cloud-only strategy,” he said. “Not only would we save a further 50 percent, Nutanix’s consolidated approach means we can emulate the cloud capabilities in-house without a huge amount of effort.”

Since the implementation, 400 applications have been transitioned to the new environment with a large number of those modernised to the latest Windows and SQL server versions meaning many of the underlying applications also had to be upgraded. Further, upgrades to business critical applications have removed legacy system security vulnerabilities and enabled automated failover to an alternated datacentre, giving the critical infrastructure provider a much stronger disaster recovery capability.

Lee Thompson, Managing Director at Nutanix A/NZ, said hybrid cloud was emerging across enterprise and government as the preferred operating model and WaterNSW was a leading example of an Australian organisation having the best of both worlds.

“While some applications and data are suited to public cloud, the risk of handing others over to a third party is just too immense – particularly in the case of critical infrastructure such as water, utilities, and government services,” Thompson said.

“WaterNSW understands the incredible value of its data. Through an innovative approach to its architecture, it has retained ownership and control over its most important asset, while simultaneously having the flexibility to share it in real time with those who matter most – its customers.”

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