Strategic arguments for cloud computing
Open Grid Europe (OGE) is one of the leading transmission system operators in Europe and one of the biggest gas grid operators in Germany. The company is continually working on improving its processes and is spearheading
the technological evolution in the market. To increase efficiency in IT operations, the transmission
system operator decided to make the switch to cloud computing for as many of its processes as possible. As
one of the first big steps, the GAS-X application was moved to GX@Cloud, including all the components for
energy calculation, allocation and billing. GX@Cloud is a Sopra Steria cloud solution hosted by Amazon Web
Services (AWS). As a result, OGE now enjoys all the benefits of a cloud environment, including enormous
flexibility and unrivalled infrastructure availability. At the same time, the gas grid operator relies on the
expertise of Sopra Steria‘s consultants and thus benefits from the advantages of a one-stop solution.
- 24/7 processes: All IT processes of the core application ensure an hourly rhythm for calculations. GX@Cloud easily fulfils this major
- Huge data volume: The database contained multiple terabytes of data. That data was moved to the cloud with minimal downtime — no data was lost or corrupted.
- Simple migration: GAS-X is integrated into OGE‘s IT landscape via various interfaces. The connected systems did not need to be
- Focus on core business: The service and governance processes
that were previously carried out by OGE’s internal IT and hosting provider are now handled by Sopra Steria on its own cloud
These days, it is not much of a challenge to move several terabytes of data from an important production application to the cloud. However, this changes if the application must be available for calculations every hour — as
is the case with OGE. Such a high-availability mode does not allow for prolonged downtimes. In addition, tens of
thousands of calculations are performed every hour, the results and documentation logs of which generate more
than 100 gigabytes of new data every day.
The challenge was therefore to minimise the downtime required for the cloud migration to ensure that OGE could
serve the market processes again as quickly as possible. Additionally, the database had to be replicated to the
cloud during ongoing operations. This required a tailor-made solution. The cloud provider‘s standard resources
could not handle the volumes in the required timeframe.
How we worked together
The project team consisted of OGE and Sopra Steria staff, who were supported by experts from the cloud provider and the previous hosting partner. Migrating a system of this magnitude and operational frequency on the fly
required maximum commitment and close coordination. All tasks besides transition had to take a back seat.
The deep involvement of all parties, the trust in the team, the agile approach and the focus on the key points
minimal downtime and data replication were the decisive factors in keeping the project on schedule and within
The effects of the Corona pandemic and the associated remote activity of all participants were cushioned by absolute professionalism — without any disadvantages in the project and without any influence on the results.
Results and benefits
OGE now enjoys all the benefits of a state-of-the art cloud computing environment. Since the migration, the gas grid operator can rely on software and services from a one-stop provider. The company benefits from seamless
operation of its GAS-X solution and highly efficient incident handling. Expert users and IT managers work more
efficiently because now there is only one contact person and clear responsibility through one supplier.
With GAS-X, we have moved our first major business-critical core application to the cloud and are benefiting from the advantages that the cloud offers. Thanks to Sopra Steria, the cloud transformation was completed quickly, successfully and on time & budget.
Ralf Werner, Head of IT-Management, Open Grid Europe GmbH