Moving to the cloud – A Case Study

Moving to the cloud – A Case Study

Our customer is a London based transformation consultancy, providing business coaching, executive placements, leadership training and workforce assessments to name a few services. Urban Network recently performed a comprehensive project to upgrade legacy Microsoft 2003 server systems for the business to a hybrid cloud storage file system, Office 365 and on premise solution.

We sat down with Chris, a member of our Professional Services Team to share lessons learned from the journey to the cloud with our client.

What did you feel was the main objective and business outcome to the customer?

To bring the business systems up to a current technology platform, as Windows Server 2003 has now been retired. The customer will then benefit from the additional security, support from the provider for the O/S and speed of a new system. The e-mail platform will also be supported and will benefit from the newer features of Office 365 Exchange versioning with improved webmail, larger storage and greater functionality for sharing information. The Office 365 system is native high availability redundant and cutting edge, which is a great for SMB. The cloud file system in the same way gives great access from anywhere to all the customer’s files, while also protecting the data with versioning.

What were the main considerations when planning the project?

The main drivers were to achieve high availability, with a swift smooth transition to the new systems. I used cut-over tools and processes for the 365 migration to ensure minimal downtime for e-mail. The deployment of new file systems was also delivered with this in mind.

What did we do that was of particular benefit to our customer?

Using the Microsoft developed tools and strategies for migration, we achieved the goals we set out for smooth migration.

How could you improve how the project went?

The customer was happy, and so I was happy with everything that I did on this job. I am always looking to improve though, and I feel I could have moved some resources over while awaiting transfers of data. On my next project I will plan to streamline moving devices like printers in the dead time.

Post migration, how do you feel our customer’s technology sits now?

The technology now is much better than they had before the project. If there are any changes to the way they work now, they can scale up and down quickly and easily and they can work much more effectively from wherever they are. Added to this they now have a modern secure setup for the entire business needs.

What do you see on the Horizon for customer’s technology?

They are now very well setup or anything that comes up in the future. I feel that they may develop some of the areas of Office 365 that currently they are not using. They have SharePoint with Office 365, and additional online collaborative data storage that will allow them to work much more effectively for instance.

Find out how we can empower your business and guide you towards the cloud here

Windows Server 2003 End of Support

Windows Server 2003 End of Support

After July 14, Microsoft will no longer issue security updates for any version of Windows Server 2003. If you are still running Windows Server 2003 in your datacentre, you need to take steps now to plan and execute a migration strategy to protect your infrastructure. By migrating to Windows Server 2012 R2, Microsoft Azure or Office 365, you can achieve concrete benefits, including improved performance, reduced maintenance requirements, and increased agility and speed of response to the business.

What “End of support” means for you?

Once support ends, any remaining users of Windows Server 2003 will be exposing themselves to risks. The lack of support means:

No compliance

Lack of compliance with various standards and regulations can be devastating. This may include various regulatory and industry standards for which compliance can no longer be achieved. For example, lack of compliance with Payment Card Industry (PCI) Data Security Standards could mean that companies such as Visa and MasterCard will no longer do business with your organization. Or, the new cost of doing business will include paying catastrophic penalties and astronomically high transaction fees.

No updates

37 critical updates were released in 2013 for Windows Server 2003/R2 under extended support. No updates will be developed or released after end of support. Imagine what impact zero updates will have on your infrastructure.

No safe haven

All servers running Windows Server 2003/R2 are affected. Both virtualised and physical instances of Windows Server 2003/R2 are vulnerable and would not pass a compliance audit. Many applications will also cease to be supported, once the operating system they are running on is unsupported. This includes all Microsoft applications

No savings

Staying put will cost more in the end. For example, a Custom Support Agreement (CSA) requires an application and has a high minimum entry cost. The cost doubles each year. Maintenance costs for aging hardware will also increase, and customers will face added costs for intrusion detection systems, more advanced firewalls, network segmentation, and other security measures—all simply to isolate Windows Server 2003/R2 servers.

Because of these factors, migrating away from Windows Server 2003 is not a matter of choice, it is a necessity. Doing nothing will cost more in the long-run because of the risks involved.

We will walk you through every step for a successful migration!