Learn how Towers Associates helped a large hosting business, headquartered in the UK, move out of their outdated datacentre to reduce costs and begin on a path to further modernise their infrastructure.
The customer needed to migrate all hosted customers and the supporting infrastructure (some extremely complex) quickly and safely from a legacy datacentre into a new target environment.
As part of the migration, hosted customers were required to be onboarded into new security, management, and operational platforms, provided by the new target environment. This meant this was not a simple “lift and shift” but would require some replatforming to take advantage of the new hosting environment.
This project had a hard deadline in which to be completed, resulting in a 4-month total duration.
- A UK headquartered hosting business needed to move out of an outdated datacentre to reduce costs, replace outdated hardware and begin to modernise their infrastructure.
- Towers Associates were engaged to bring control and predictability using our mature methodology for discovery, analysis, planning and high-volume execution.
- The analysis helped update and ensure an accurate picture of their disparate application landscape – critical to making migration decisions.
- The customer was able to build an optimal, accurate schedule and migration plan for the full set of hosted customers across their IT environment.
The customer needed to vacate an outdated and over-utilised datacentre to reduce costs. Our role initially was to conduct a small number of pilot events, while stepping through a thorough discovery process to assess the client’s environment, demonstrate our methodology and create the migration strategy for the full datacentre exit.
A successful discovery validation phase consolidates information from multiple available sources of information with focus on quality and speed. As with any data aggregation initiative, the information must be normalised, validated, and transformed into an actionable “single pane of glass” to allow for predictable change management.
For the pilots, the Towers Associates team inventoried all virtual assets and legacy network, firewall, NAT, and VPN configurations, and used an ETL process to ingest this data. The data was then normalised and analysed through both automation and brief, informative interviews with the subject matter experts (SMEs).
Exposing new information about legacy applications
Looking at the data collected through the lens of our tooling, the pilot events quickly showed the customer’s IT team the value of the Towers Associates discovery and analysis process. The rich visualisation tools revealed every required data point, application, server, network, etc. as well as – and this is vital – how they are interdependent.
As expected, it provided clear visibility into the inner workings and dependencies of all the applications. The SME interviews were key to ensuring the accuracy of the application status, as many were found to be out of date.
Once the pilot events were complete, Towers Associates worked with the customer’s IT team and third-party vendors to build an accurate schedule and migration plan for the full set of assets across their IT environment. Several migration events were planned over the course of the next few months.
Orchestrating the move events
With a trusted source of data and migration methods established, Towers Associates started to work with the customer to establish their bundling criteria for how the migration waves would be constructed. The team turned to the dependency data to model the different move groups to highlight dependency issues that each wave scenario created.
Working through different options, hosted customers, applications, and infrastructure components were re-distributed to more evenly sized move groups based upon identification of viable soft dependency breaks such as acceptable application latency, batch processes and file transfer dependencies.
In parallel to the application dependency analysis, Towers Associates worked with the customer’s technology team to develop low-level technical runbooks, automation scripts and methods. Towers Associates then worked with the customer through a conceptual design of the proper steps and task sequences required for the migration events based on Towers Associates best practice templates and tailored to the customer’s requirements.
After receiving an approved migration plan, Towers Associates developed the “Recipes” or custom scripts used to auto-generate the pre-migration (T-minus), execution and post-migration (T-plus) runbooks. Towers Associates reviewed event runbooks with the team during well attended dry-run review sessions for each event, validating the tasks sequence, ownership, and more importantly fine tuning the duration of these tasks to be able to confidently predict the time required for application migrations.
The team successfully completed the migration and full exit from the legacy datacentre, to which the hosted customers found measurable performance, security, and availability improvements. A job well done!