Following the successful migration of the DMV system at the Tax Commission to the AWS cloud in October of 2020 we began the process of moving GenTax, the agency’s primary tax application to the AWS GovCloud in January of 2021. This process was tied to a quarterly release of the GenTax application and involved creating each environment just in time for its use in the development and testing phases. This was done to minimize the need for dual environments and to make sure development and testing occurred in the new environment. The new production environment was created in May to allow for testing of all connections and interfaces. Over the weekend of June 11th 2021 production data was moved to AWS and verified along with a testing of system functionality. On the morning of June 14 all users were live in the new production environment with only minor glitches.
One of the primary benefits of being in the cloud is redundancy. Production GenTax runs with database and application servers spread across multiple AWS data centers with automated failover built in. Data is replicated in real time so the loss of a server or even a data center would be a minimal disruption. The freedom to quickly and easily scale is another major benefit. Resources can be added or removed as needed with costing adjusting to match. This allows us to respond easily to the seasonal nature of tax administration and right-size the environments for any conditions. Enhanced security is also a benefit. Isolating the application in its own virtual private cloud means that access can be even more limited and secure than what was done on premise and locating it in GovCloud means that it was built to meet stringent requirements from the ground up.
The goal was to move to the cloud without increasing cost for the agency. Server by server costs are between flat and a 20% savings for the agency. After we have stabilized and run for a few months we can implement additional savings opportunities available from AWS and by shutting down servers overnight when they are not being used.