MITA Systems and Databases team
Written by Kenneth Scicluna
MITA enables the Government of Malta’s modern digital ecosystem whereby teams within MITA are vested with the responsibility to implement, manage, and maintain all the Government of Malta ICT infrastructure and services.
All these teams work together to maintain a high degree of service availability and manage a state-of-the-art infrastructure with the highest possible standards. The scale at which these teams operate is unique and the investment in technology is quite considerable. One of these teams is the Systems and Databases team within the Infrastructure Services Department.
This team is responsible for the design, installation, maintenance, and continuous improvement of critical IT services which include virtualization hosting, corporate authentication, databases, and file sharing. Our day-to-day work involves troubleshooting complex operational issues, reducing the recurrence of incidents, providing consultancy, and performing capacity management. Our engineers have an aptitude to pro-actively find new ways to improve the resilience of our infrastructure and keep these services up to date.
Operational issues are not always straightforward to solve and since our services are critical to the government, our experts do not always have the luxury to spend a lot of time troubleshooting issues that impact these services. Time is of the essence, and it is not always easy to find a solution with that kind of pressure on your shoulder. Our priority is to restore the service within the shortest time possible so as not to breach any Service Level Agreements. Usually as a post-mortem, a root cause analysis is performed together with the vendor to understand what would have happened and make the necessary changes to avoid such an issue to reoccur.
About our services:
- The virtualization hosting service consists of 83 physical servers and 2000 virtual servers. On these virtual servers one can find most of the government services hosted on this platform. When the government is working on a new system e.g., Clinical Patient Administration System, the client request MITA to provide a number of virtual servers to host such a system.
- The corporate authentication service is used by around 40,000 government and contractor users. This service makes it possible for MITA to provide government users access to their respective documents and information systems. This adds a layer of security and ensures that unauthorized users do not have access to sensitive data.
- Our team also provides a database hosting service where we administer around 900 databases of various technology flavours. Just to put you in the picture to what a database is, imagine logging on myhealth.gov.mt to access your lab results. These results are hosted on a database. Basically, a database is where application data is stored.
- Another important service is the file sharing service which consists of 90TB of data. As the name implies, file-sharing service provides the end users a space to store and share their documents with other end users in a secure manner.
- All these services are backed up through an enterprise backup system which backs up around 9.5 Petabytes of data to ensure service restoration in case of data failure.
The Systems and Databases team is considered one of the core teams at MITA due to the critical services that it provides to the Government of Malta and our people are always at the forefront to make sure that we provide the best service possible for the benefit of the government workforce and the public in general.