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Animal and Plant Health Agency
Bovine tuberculosis tracking boosted by improved application performance

APHA needed to publish information showing bovine tuberculosis (bTB) outbreaks across the UK for use by farmers, vets and the general public.

Design consultancy

After developing an interactive GIS application for all bTB incidents in England over the previous five years, APHA asked SFW to assist with application design consultancy.

The project focussed on data replication from the DefraNet secure network, and design review to remove external dependencies and assist with the design and implementation of a Cloud environment.

Performance testing

Because the solution used GIS technologies, performance was a big concern. SFW’s suite of performance tests, using Apache JMeter, mimicked different load levels using collaboratively designed usage scenarios.

A suite of automated test scripts were then developed, executed and reported.

Efficient Cloud management and data updates

Following successful performance testing, the production, development and test environments were designed and delivered using Microsoft Azure.

SFW provided full environment management and worked with APHA to design a practical process for data updates to ensure legislative compliance.

Using the elastic facilities of Azure, the environment could be scaled to manage peak demand and the test servers ‘switched off’ when not required to guarantee best value.

Some of the benefits include:

  • Reduced operating costs – incurring costs only when environments are actually utilised
  • Fully managed – keeping all platforms up-to date, secure and available, backed by a Service Level Agreement
  • Managed process for data update – ensuring the latest data is always available
  • Application updates – deploying application updates through the development and test process before releasing to production
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