CASE STUDIES

BC Hydro Case Study

Maintaining high security standards while practicing cost efficiency

Who is BC Hydro?

BC Hydro is a Canadian electric utility responsible for generating, purchasing, distributing and selling electricity in the province of British Columbia

BC Hydro is the third largest electric utility in Canada, serving approximately 1.9 million customers throughout the province of British Columbia. The primary source of BC Hydro’s generation are a number of large hydroelectric generating stations combined with a number of water reservoirs located throughout the province. Managing and optimizing the output of the generators is a critical and challenging function, and is dependent on a wide number of dynamic variables.

Goals

Maintain high security standards
Realize cost efficiencies

Solution

Secure, on-demand cloud solution on AWS and Compute cluster in AWS implemented and secured in Amazon VPC

Outcome

Ability to run models securely while minimizing operational costs

”The utility computing model of AWS and the cloud are the perfect fit for this workload. We leaned heavily on Onica´s expertise to take advantage of the AWS platform, and we were very pleased with the results.”

LUCAS MALESKU
IT Architect, BC Hydro
The Issue

Cost relative to usage

Without AWS, the newest generation of BC Hydro’s models wouldn’t be economically feasible: the relatively low average usage means that the cost of maintaining on premises hardware to meet the peak load would be too high to justify.

The Solution

Implementing an on-demand model

The AWS Cloud lends itself perfectly to the on-demand model, such as when a significant amount of computational resources are required for relatively short bursts of activity. BC Hydro did not have the in-house expertise to develop the solution, and chose Onica to work together to enable them to run these models in an automated and secure environment on AWS.

Ensuring Data is Secure

Without AWS, the newest generation of BC Hydro’s models wouldn’t be economically feasible: the relatively low average usage means that the cost of maintaining on premises hardware to meet the peak load would be too high to justify.

“The utility computing model of AWS and the cloud are the perfect fit for this workload,” said Lucas Malesku, an IT Architect for BC Hydro. “We leaned heavily on Onica’s expertise to take advantage of the AWS platform, and we were very pleased with the results.”

 Using existing laptops takes 10 to 20 hours to run a key model, which was impractical given that this new model needs to run 10 times per month. The new solution resulted in the following outcomes:

  • The Cloud environment, utilizing 216 CPUs, can be spun up in 10-15 minutes;
  • The data and program code can be deployed to the Cloud in five minutes;
  • The model can be run in 10 to 12 minutes within the Cloud;
  • Once results are retrieved, the Cloud environment can be destroyed in five to 10 minutes;
  • The total cost of the run is approximately $10

By using AWS, BC Hydro is able to provide the computer resources very quickly, use them to run the models, ensure the data is secure, and then shut them down to minimize operational costs. By using Onica’s expertise both in AWS and software engineering, the company was able to understand all the necessary components and go deeper into the requirements, and plan and implement the right solution for BC Hydro.

The Power of AWS

By using AWS, BC Hydro is able to provide the computer resources very quickly, use them to run the models, ensure the data is secure, and then shut them down to minimize operational costs.

Why Us

An AWS and Partner Solution

The AWS Cloud lends itself perfectly to the on-demand model – such as when a significant amount of computational resources are required for relatively short bursts of activity. BC Hydro did not have the in-house expertise to develop the solution, and chose Onica, an AWS Premier Consulting Partner, to work together to enable them to run these models in an automated and secure environment on AWS.

Why Onica

Onica is one of the largest and fastest-growing Amazon Web Services (AWS) Premier Consulting Partners in the world, helping companies enable, operate, and innovate in the cloud. From migration strategy to operational excellence and immersive transformation, Onica is a full spectrum AWS integrator. Learn more at www.onica.com.