The Business Challenge
A company relying on 24×7 critical systems wanted to tidy up its legacy data centre, hosting arrangements and enable cost savings.
They wanted to save €100,000 a month as quickly as possible by exiting a legacy on-prem data centre and moving workloads and storage to the IBM Cloud.
Planning for a Successful Cloud Migration
A successful cloud migration doesn’t come by chance, at IT Naturally we make sure everything is planned out carefully for a smooth ride.
We follow a methodology of dividing workloads into different categories, starting with business applications vs. infrastructure applications, like Active Directory, so we can focus on the different areas of the business to work with.
Working with the business closely, we agree which workloads are still required and which could be retired.
The workloads to be retained in this case were re-hosted, re-platformed and refactored.
We then further split the workloads between Windows and Linux, physical to virtual and virtual to virtual enabling us to design migration methods and inform the business about expected downtime for each method/workload combination.
We always go to great lengths to schedule downtime with all parts of the business, especially in this case as they wanted to migrate as swiftly as possible.
Meetings with all parts of the business were held 3 times a week where we discussed scheduling and captured detailed steps for each migration in run books. These included expected durations for each step and most importantly checkpoints for deciding if/when a roll back would be required and its process.
The team at IT Naturally designed the full solution using multiple constituent parts from the IBM Cloud to ensure network connectivity were in place. Hosting, load-balancing and storage was right-sized and backup and monitoring solutions were established.
IT Naturally also designed the solution for securing the workloads in the new cloud utilising virtual firewalls available in the IBM Cloud and integrating the new cloud servers with our SIEM platform.
Before the cloud migration began, we created the necessary knowledge for our Service Management and Technical Operations teams. We tested migration speeds throughout to understand how much we could migrate in parallel.
Communication is Key during a Cloud Migration
We believe it is essential to ensure close dialogue between the IT Naturally teams and the IBM team we were working with in Hungary.
We followed our standard change management processes and utilised our 24×7 Service Desk to manage and track the technical changes. This made sure progress remained on track and escalations were made when issues came up.
Our communication tool of choice was Microsoft Teams, it enabled non-stop dialogue between all parties round the clock on chat or with face-2-face video meetings.
Before starting migration for each service or application a Go / No Go meeting was held, chaired by our Head of Service Management. In this meeting we ensure all stakeholders are present and actively acknowledged on behalf of the business and that the change is starting, and the potential risk are accepted. It’s at this time that we would also confirm all resources for the change were available and had access to everything required.
100 Servers Migrated in 30 Days
If we can say so ourselves the cloud migration was a huge success. All workloads were migrated 3 hours before the 30-day deadline was up.
We believe having everyone working from home during lockdown (due to COVID-19) actually made this easier rather than harder; the modern-day communications worked brilliantly and no-one was commuting, which meant we could kick work-off round the clock and keep fixing when any little issues occurred.
All in all, the teams at both IT Naturally and IBM worked together to the highest standards and pulled off a great challenge in challenging times with an amazing customer outcome.
Customer Outcomes – €100,000/month Savings and Legacy Contract Ceased on Time