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Energinet makes data publicly available

Data sharing service wrapped in security with Kubernetes and Docker on Azure.

In 2017, Energinet decided to make part of their energy data publicly available for free. This was to be accomplished through a new data portal called EDS, Energi Data Service, primarily designed as a data sharing service capable of handling diverse data and large data quantities.

Critical infrastructure wrapped in security

“Secure access and data processing have been vital for the design and development of the solution infrastructure,” says Paul Sørensen, Senior Data Architect at Energinet. He illustrates his point by saying that Energinet has opened the door and placed data on the doorstep for everyone to use without ever allowing anyone inside.

“Security is an essential part of our setup. When making data publicly available like this, it’s important to eliminate any connection to our systems. Vi operate critical infrastructure. Therefore, it’s quite essential that it can’t be compromised. That’s a solution that is well suited for Azure. If we had developed a similar solution five years ago, we would have had to work much harder to achieve this degree of separation,” establishes Paul.

Kubernetes and Docker on Azure

Paul tells us that it has been a strategic decision to build the EDS platform in Docker and Kubernetes on Azure: “We opted to containerize it all in Kubernetes to avoid being too dependent on Microsoft and departing a bit from the platform instead. At the same time, we would like to harvest the synergies of the entire company developing on the same platform.”

“With Kubernetes, we get security and flexibility at application level,” explains Paul and continues: “Kubernetes makes it easy to upgrade applications. Using services under our control, we’re able to ramp up and down, assigning resources to match the number of users and the load they put on the systems. It also means that we can now show the rest of the organization that resources come at a cost.”

Managed services on Azure

Automize has been involved in the design and development of the EDS infrastructure and platform. Therefore, it was only natural that Automize would handle the operation of EDS with managed services on Azure.

“Automize has played a central role in the project as we didn’t have enough in-house Azure competences,” says Paul and elaborates: “Being able to put Automize’s competences into play when building the platform has been essential, and they’ve helped us keep track of all sorts of improvements.”

Large and complex projects require experience

“For projects of this size and complexity I really recommend to team up with a partner who holds the necessary experience,” says Paul.

“I’m not a network and security specialist. I’m responsible towards the business, and the business needs a platform that works. This is where Automize comes in,” says Paul. “For example, we experienced network and security challenges outside the scope of the project. Automize has been involved in building much of our network, so they solved the problems in cooperation with our network professionals. The problems are solved, and I get a solution.”

Automize are focused on creating solutions

Getting a solution is one of the things that Paul emphasizes about his cooperation with Automize.

“Automize recognizes that they’re part of a solution,” says Paul and elaborates: “When working with Automize, I don’t have to translate a problem or a request into a number of subtasks, which Automize then solves. Instead, Automize is excellent at understanding what it is we want – even if we don’t always know how to achieve it. We talk it through and define the solution in cooperation with Automize.”

Automize offers continuity

Energinet and Automize have worked together for years, even prior to Energinet’s EDS project.

“We mostly cooperate with specific Automize experts, and I hope we can continue doing so. Automize’s people have insight into how a lot of things work in our business,” says Paul and concludes: “At Automize, people don’t come and go all the time. They send us very competent people, and the continuity that Automize provides is of great value to us.”

About the EDS data portal

Energinet has collected a lot of energy data, which they make available, free of charge, through the EDS (Energi Data Service) data portal. With this service, Energinet wants to broaden the public’s and relevant players’ understanding of the Danish energy system to enable development of new services to benefit society in general and the green transition. EDS is constantly developing.

Read more at energidataservice.dk.

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Paul Sørensen, Senior Dataarkitekt, Energinet

”For projects of this size and complexity I really recommend to team up with a partner who holds the necessary experience.”

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Paul Sørensen, Senior Dataarkitekt, Energinet

”They send us very competent people, and the continuity that Automize provides is of great value to us.”

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