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To the cloud my friend!. State of Wyoming Department of Environmental Quality. Why Georgia has its node. in the cloud. Steve Alison – Georgia EPD Simon Watson – Windsor . Session Purpose.

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State of Wyoming Department of Environmental Quality

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To the cloud my friend!

State of Wyoming

Department of Environmental Quality

Why Georgia has its node

in the cloud

Steve Alison – Georgia EPD

Simon Watson – Windsor

session purpose
Session Purpose

In 2011 Georgia EPD decided it would be beneficial to their organization to relocate their exchange network flows from an internally hosted OpenNode2 instance to a new cloud based instance “OpenNodeC”.

This session discusses why the choice was made, the solution provided and whether hosted solutions are viable for other EN participants.


The challenge

  • goals
  • approach
  • future

The solution

  • architecture
  • choices
  • conclusion


the challenge1
The challenge

Costly support contract in place at the state level.

Lengthy turnaround in resolving issues

Lack of skilled resources that understand the node architecture.

Difficulties in utilizing contracting mechanisms.

EPD lacked an affordable infrastructure and sufficient skilled resources to support the EN environment.

Rapidly evolving technology stacks.


State Supported Infrastructure Dependence – removed

Node Upgrade – included

Flow Support – included

Reliability - maximum

Infrastructure – provided

Technology Currency - included

Technology Platform - indifferent

Need for own EN skilled staff – gone

Peace of mind – in the cloud


Georgia has taken the bull by the horns.

  • Implemented OpenNodeC instance within Amazon’s EC2 environment.
  • Five flows TRI, WQX, Beaches, SDWIS and EIS
  • Established a Cloud Node support contract


  • We don’t worry whether the node is up and running anymore.
  • We simply have a periodic check-in with our vendor to review status and issues (rare).
  • We are able to focus more on the data and business of the agency rather than the technology that supports it.

So what does the future hold

  • Georgia’s EPD commitment to the cloud.
    • Waste Water Permits
    • SDWIS Web
    • Water Withdrawals Permitting
    • Current Application Migration
  • Next up
  • Environmental Warehouse then FRS data flow.
  • ICIS data flow
  • Electronic Permitting, Reporting, and Fee Collection
architecture the cloud
Architecture – the “Cloud”

Wikipedia Definition:

Cloud computing is the delivery of computing as a service rather than a product, whereby shared resources, software, and information are provided to computers and other devices as a utility (like the electricity grid) over a network (typically the Internet).

architecture the cloud1
Architecture – the “Cloud”
  • Essentially, “Internet-based hosting of application(s) and/or service(s)”.
  • We are all likely to use some cloud based services
  • Back up (iCloud, Mozy, Carbonite)
  • Email / Calendaring (Gmail)
  • Collaboration / Social (Picassa, Pandora, DropBox)
  • Hosting Services (RackSpace, Amazon, Microsoft)
architecture georgia
Architecture - Georgia

Windsor Cloud Node


  • OpenNodeC
  • Amazon EC2
  • SaaS model
  • Periodic pull
  • Cached data in Node
  • Node DB services all queries

Secure Tunnel /Direct DB



What does all this mean to the EN?

Why should I consider the cloud?

What challenges still exist?

What should you do?

cloud en
Cloud & EN

Another viable alternative.

Cost effective option.

A hosted node could form an integral part of a cloud based strategy.

Opportunity to remove some technical aspects of the EN and return focus to protecting the environment .

reasons to consider the cloud
Reasons to consider the Cloud

Massive uptake in cloud deployments as organizations see benefits.

Less dependence on a particular technology stack. When its in the cloud it really is software in a box or Software as a Service (SaaS).

Big use of Amazon and more players available.

Best practices promised in order to provide cloud security peace of mind.

Protection of sensitive data.

reasons to consider the cloud1
Reasons to consider the Cloud

Factors driving others to choose a cloud option


Overall Cost Savings

Easier Management


Greater Flexibility

Elasticity/Ability to adjust to fluctuations in resource demands

Improved Hardware Utilization


reasons to be careful
Reasons to be careful

Still some challenges ahead. In particular building confidence and trust.

  • Network Lag
  • Security
  • Availability
  • Costs
  • Trust
  • Control
the conclusion
The conclusion
  • Is a hosted node, or even a hosted solution the right thing for you:
  • Maybe, but develop a cloud strategy / approach first.
  • Understand your in-house ability to support the business need
  • Understand value of a hosted environment (cost / benefit)
  • Understand the migration effort to make the transition
  • Pilot before you go full bore
contact information
Contact Information

Steve Allison

Georgia EPD


Simon Watson

Windsor Solutions, Inc.