THE CHALLENGE

One of our customers is an innovative IT start-up business based in Brisbane, Australia. Their primary focus is to provide clients with a solution to securely store and share files in the cloud.

The expansion of the business from individuals to organisations and expected demand made it necessary to scale the hosted environment on-demand to meet customer expectations. There were also some challenges with physical equipment redundancy and risk.

The business outcomes the organisation was hoping to achieve include:

  • Increased reliability and availability for ‘go-live’ of their product;
  • The ability to bid on business without the need to scale the IT infrastructure in advance;
  • The potential to enable global coverage and localised user experience;
  • To build the company’s reputation in local markets by demonstrating data sovereignty and compliance adherence; and
  • To be based on a cost-effective, highly scalable platform with brand recognition.

Our customer was running physical equipment hosted in a co-location data centre in Brisbane. They subsequently sought a second opinion, approaching Venn IT for a proposal.

THE SOLUTION

Venn IT initially prepared a scope of work outlining the first major step of movement of the physically hosted equipment to a cloud-based hosted environment using Amazon Web Services (AWS).

The approach for the transitional phase took the following high-level design objectives into consideration:

  • Minimise the changes to the overall topology and infrastructure
  • Provide cost estimations for the implemented design prior to deployment
  • Obtain a peer review of the design by an Amazon Web Services Solutions architect
  • Maintain a high degree of security awareness during the design process
  • Validate security of the built environment prior to customer cut over via penetration.

There was a need to provide testing and reporting on system availability and redundancy along with data backup. The future ability to automatically scale and shrink the supporting environment was also crucial.

Our design looked to minimise the number of deployed components (moving parts) and to simplify and automate ongoing management and scalability. Since security was integral to our customer’s service offering, it was critical to ensure the environment was designed with security in its DNA and validated through external independent penetration testing.

First Venn IT created a design, with cost estimates prior to deployment and migration. The formal execution phase involved:

  • Requirements analysis;
  • High-level design;
  • Detailed design;
  • Development of plans – data migration;
  • Functional testing and user acceptance testing;
  • Build;
  • Migration;
  • Testing:
  • Commissioning and documentation;
  • Draft, review and acceptance at every stage.

Venn IT performed the major phases of transition and transformation as two separate projects. The transition project was to de-risk the current environment; the transformational project was to design in such a way as to achieve the true benefits of cloud hosting.

The “All-In” design, deployment and data migration of service from on-premise to Amazon Web Services, including the total decommissioning of all on-premise infrastructure took place over a period of three months.

By harmonising a number of AWS platform-as-a-service products in a customer design, it was possible to produce a system that was self-maintaining and could scale automatically and infinitely.

Venn IT also included Splunk as a value-add, providing the client with a useful reporting and analytics dashboard.

CHALLENGES

The company had received a prior recommendation based on a “lift & shift” approach which was inferior to the solution provided by Venn IT Solutions. The competing proposal was more complicated, with less scalability and would have required more administration.

On the basis of our analysis, we were able to provide our client with a new platform with costs comparable to that for the previous on-premise environment. However, the solutions represented a paradigm shift in terms of increased agility, scale, flexibility and reliability.

The new hosting environment gives our client the flexibility to scale on demand, paying only for the storage required at any given time. Our client can now be more nimble in its new business activities providing the ability to submit for large projects, with the confidence that the required capacity is in place. There is no requirement to ‘gear up’ in advance, no risk of committing to costs before a project is confirmed, and no time-consuming commercial process of negotiating with resellers after the event.

The project was delivered on time and on budget and Venn IT is working with the organisation on an ongoing basis in a continuous improvement process.

IMPACT ON REVENUE

The costs for the new platform are comparable for a like-for-like comparison. Potential benefits to revenue will result from the ability to scale, agility, flexibility and reliability. The potential to gain larger projects represents a significant revenue opportunity for our client.[/vc_column_text][/vc_column][/vc_row]

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