Northern Insulation Contractors - Case Study
NIC ON-PREMISE TO MICROSOFT CLOUD SERVICES MIGRATION
ABOUT THE PROJECT
The objective of the project was to migrate all of Northern Insulation Contractors, referred to as NIC, current on-premise services to the Microsoft Cloud. Despite being summarised in a sentence, the project presented numerous challenges as we migrated mail, data and custom-built applications; all built on a secure infrastructure, using cutting edge firewall security from WatchGuard, and all in a live production environment.
This type of process needs to be planned meticulously to ensure the process ran smoothly and with little to no impact on the end-users.
The first thing needed in the migration process was a leased line. A leased line provides a secure and private connection between two locations NIC’s local site and the Microsoft Azure data centre, and CCS IT Solutions would never recommend starting this project without it. Our trusted supplier M247 provided Northern Insulation Contractors with a 1GB/1GB connection. Once installed, CCS IT Solutions installed a WatchGuard firewall to secure the connection.
Once the firewall was installed, our IT technicians began migrating the mail to Microsoft Exchange Online, as part of NIC’s Office 365 licence. To minimise downtime CCS IT Solutions carried out all the migrations after hours and on the weekend. For NIC, the migration which had started on Friday was complete ready for Monday morning. All the data had been successfully transferred and all devices were back online and working as expected.
The use of Windows File Explorer has become an archaic method of data management in the modern business environment. For end users, the leading platform is now SharePoint due to it configurability, handling of data and ability to collaborate with other colleagues, teams and departments both internally and externally. A SharePoint migration was performed after our IT Specialists redesigned the architecture of the file systems.
Where does the main threat of email scamming come from? An email from your CEO, CFO or CIO or MD asking you to make a payment. If you only communicate using Microsoft Teams and this is company policy, that threat no longer exists, and your audit trail becomes consolidated. Microsoft Teams is a great way to communicate, collaborate and share data. It has replaced the previous method of in-chain email conversations between multiple correspondents which can rapidly result in hundreds of excessive emails. Microsoft Teams eradicates that.
Once all the services were migrated, we were able to power down the old on-premise server. Due to the development of SaaS products and cloud technology this process will become redundant within the next five years. Despite incurring a subscription cost, there will be no cost associated with the need for server hardware, server licenses and CAL’s, you will constantly be updated too so the requirement to do large migrations becomes a thing of the past. Cloud technology migration can be a big transition for some business’, but if planned correctly it can be achieved in production with very little downtime or impact on the live environment.
“CCS IT Solutions Ltd have been providing NIC with IT support and services for over 15 years. In that time we have always received an excellent services. I would highly recommend them”