Case Study: Met Office

THE CHALLENGE

The World Meteorological Office (WMO) Information system (WIS) is the pillar of the WMO’s strategy for managing and moving global weather, climate and water information in the 21st century. OpenWIS is a software implementation of the WIS standard managed by the OpenWIS association (a collection of national meteorological agencies including the Met Office).

Originally released in 2011 OpenWIS was increasingly facing a number of challenges in keeping their legacy system in operational use:

+ Underlying components were several versions out of date

+ Several of the components had also branched significantly from the original open source tools

+ There were numerous third-party libraries

+ The project partners were globally dispersed and used different methods for building software

+ The challenge, therefore, was to cost-effectively uplift the OpenWIS software to support on-going operational requirements.

 

THE APPROACH

SCISYS worked with the Met Office and their international partners to provide an uplift strategy that allowed all members to work together as a co-ordinated team.

SCISYS designed and developed a cloud based automated deployment architecture based on AWS CloudFormation /Cloudbees (Jenkins) and Puppet. This automated the build and testing of OpenWIS. This then allowed the environment to be built reliably and repeatedly introducing a more evolved continuous integration / continuous deployment culture.

This was crucial as it enabled the international partners to uplift different aspects of the technology stack and test that components still worked once they had been upgraded.

 

THE BENEFITS

The main benefit is that the Association now has a supportable product which can be further developed to meet evolving needs. In addition:

+ The approach was lower cost  and less risky than rebuilding the legacy systems from scratch

Improved quality of software delivery

+ Releases are more frequent and the quality is better assured through repeatable build, deploy and test processes

+ The community has grown

+ Better Team working and knowledge transfer between team members

+ More Engagement with Met Centres and the wider WIS community

 

" Rob Varley, former Chief Executive, Met Office: 'It’s been a fantastic team effort... Thanks SCISYS for your valuable help in supporting OpenWIS and the wider community. All your efforts have been a key factor in securing more resources (developers) from a number of national Met centres. The future of OpenWIS (and what it stands for) has now a much better chance of delivering/distributing quality meteorological data, technologies & systems for the WMO and the greater good.' "

About SCISYS Group:

Employing around 670 staff, SCISYS Group is a leading developer of information and communications technology services, e-business, web and mobile applications, editorial newsroom solutions and advanced technology solutions. The Company operates in a broad spectrum of market sectors, including Media & Broadcast, Space, Government and Defence and Commercial sectors. SCISYS clients are predominantly blue-chip and public-sector organisations. Customers include the Environment Agency, the Ministry of Defence, Airbus Defence & Space, Thales Alenia Space, Arqiva, Vodafone, the European Space Agency, Eumetsat, the BBC, Radio France, RTL, RNLI, Pets at Home, Siemens and the National Trust. The Company's registered office is in Dublin, with UK offices in Chippenham, Bristol, Leicester and Reading and German offices in Bochum, Dortmund, Darmstadt and Munich.