Solnet is a Gold Datadog partner, and we’ve been working together to help Kiwi organisations increase the visibility and reliability of their systems. Datadog is a cloud-scale observability and security platform that can help organisations see inside any stack, any app, at any scale, anywhere.
Te Whatu Ora, or Health New Zealand (formerly the Ministry of Health), which leads our national health and disability system and has overall responsibility for managing and developing that system, approached us with a clear challenge.
In a very short timeframe, Te Whatu Ora needed to build, deploy, and operate several critical and highly-integrated applications at the forefront of the COVID 19 pandemic response, for use by almost every New Zealander as well as the huge workforce required to support the vaccine programme and contact tracing.
To meet such demanding business goals, these applications along with their complex integrations and infrastructure, required high visibility of their operating performance and resilience.
The applications were developed and operated by multiple vendors leveraging a broad spectrum of technology including AWS, Azure, cloud native applications, existing on-premise and third-party systems, Salesforce and MuleSoft, as well as an array of different integration solutions, databases, networks and infrastructure.
From the start, Te Whatu Ora realised that there was a clear need for a holistic, consistent, end-to-end view of the performance and reliability of the various solution components. Furthermore, given the short delivery timelines, large user-base, and anticipated speed of change, it was essential that problems could be identified, triaged, and resolved as rapidly as possible.
Using Datadog, and working closely with Te Whatu Ora’s Data & Digital teams, Solnet set out to deliver observability across this critical environment.
Datadog provides observability into modern and legacy applications and their infrastructure, to help engineering teams operate reliable applications. This helps to avoid downtime, operate secure applications, and deliver improved user experience. Being cloud-ready, Datadog is fast to work with, collaborative, and can connect to over 600 different data sources – capabilities that were essential to the speedy adoption required by Te Whatu Ora.
After successfully delivering a rapid Proof of Concept with Datadog, showcasing how quickly Datadog could be adopted and integrated, we embarked upon delivery of the solution. Solnet focussed on:
• designing and implementing a secure observability platform, with robust patterns, and best practice deployment.
• monitoring and visualising Google’s four ‘golden signals’: Traffic, Latency, Errors, and Saturation, using Datadog’s Infrastructure Monitoring and Log Management products.
• creating a state of the art bespoke Salesforce integration, offering deep insights into Salesforce operations and key business metrics.
• agile delivery processes, so that we could effectively manage to the rate of change, as well as capture learnings across an expansive technology and provider landscape.
• strong collaboration with the business stakeholders to ensure their needs were being met, and we were delivering high value outcomes, while addressing and mitigating key business risks.
• showcasing the new capabilities to all stakeholders, and making sure that the new dashboards, alerting, and monitoring capabilities, were promoted, easily shared, and accessible to everyone.
Within a matter of weeks the new monitoring system was up and running, providing immense value as the systems were rolled out and operational issues identified and resolved. Of particular value were alerts – often notifying operational support teams about impending issues before they escalated into serious outages.
Over time, Datadog’s coverage grew to provide observability across a large proportion of the systems and services upon which Te Whatu Ora’s COVID response depended. The solution has helped to increase trust and confidence amongst stakeholders, and reduced incident management effort on the part of operational teams.
Continued investment in Datadog by Te Whatu Ora has seen broader uptake of observability capabilities beyond the original COVID domain, significantly improving service levels, systems resilience and stakeholder confidence.
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