Northern Beaches Council

100% uptime, just in time for Christmas

‘Twas the night before Christmas, nothing was stirring, not even a developer.

The client

Northern Beaches Council manage the communities living in and around Palm Beach to Manly in Sydney, Australia. The Northern Beaches area boasts more than half of all the beaches in Sydney and a population of more than 266,000.

The Council need to provide their patrons with a central source of information on waste collections, council events, news, surf safety and secondly, a place to make council tax payments online, book free children’s swimming lessons and notify the council on local issues.

The challenge

NBC launched their newly designed public facing website in late 2019. A complex Drupal based website application expecting significant traffic in particular over the Council summer shutdown period over Christmas and into the New Year. This was a key concern for the internal team over the period.

In late December, with the festive period imminent and two major unplanned outages under their belt in December and confidence low, NBC contacted Just After Midnight for a safe pair of hands to provide round the clock application and infrastructure support.

The solution

To provide Council with additional support and a fast solution prior to the commencement of festivities, Just After Midnight on-boarded the site within days and from Christmas Eve commenced round the clock monitoring and support to give the NBC team peace of mind just in time.

Just After Midnight provided it’s “Lite” support package aimed at emergency support situations where time is short and onboarding is thus limited. Just After Midnight provided round the clock application and infrastructure monitoring, incident management and established clear paths for escalation with all parties responsible for application problem management and infrastructure services.

For the more technical reader, the solution architecture was complex with multiple moving parts; with a well implemented Drupal application running a number of standard, community and custom modules sitting on top of Microsoft Azure infrastructure (Ubuntu, NGNX, MariaDB-mySQL) with parts of it in Virtual Machines, Docker containers and some in application services running on Azure.


  • 100% uptime. Zero downtime.
  • An undisturbed Council client team able to enjoy their holiday in peace
  • Happy Northern Beaches habitants able to check waste collections and submit tax payments in time
  • Saved digital agency developers from perils of 24/7 support when not setup to do so