Case Study: Microsoft Azure and Microsoft 365

 The Challenge of the Azure Case Study

In the following case study, we explore how Hentsu employs Azure, Microsoft 365, and Mimecast as a solution to host all on-premises infrastructure in public cloud and eventually adopt a serverless approach to productivity. This azure case study delves into specific client challenges that were resolves step by step.
An established US-based hedge fund firm contacted Hentsu to help them migrate to the public cloud. They had most of their infrastructure either on-premises in their office or in a datacenter.
The customer approached us to seek guidance on how they can migrate to public cloud and make the most use of its native features.
Our customer wanted to embrace the new technologies and ease of management that is being offered by public cloud.

REQUIREMENTS

  • Save costs for physical hardware.
  • Host email on a SaaS based solution.
  • Improved email security.
  • Improved SLA for Infrastructure availability.
  • Reliable disaster recovery solution.
  • Reliable backup solution.
  • Eventually replace servers and utilize SaaS offering.
  • A possibility of using VDIs as a solution for remote working.

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document icon Key Considerations

  1. Provide a solution that will migrate all on-premises services to a public cloud.
  2. Upgrade Operating Systems and software to the latest versions supported.
  3. Migration of services will follow a phased approach.
    • Phase 1 – Migrate all infrastructure to public cloud
    • Phase 2 – Utilize serverless solutions wherever possible.
  4. Backups should be readily available when required
  5. Disaster Recovery solution should require little to no effort.
  6. The Platform should support windows 10 virtualization
  7. Billing should be transparent and easy to understand with the ability to create custom reports based on usage, environments, ownership and so on.

 The Solution

Design

After careful examination of the existing infrastructure and a discussion session we had decided to leverage a few platforms to accommodate all requirements. Each platform used was carefully evaluated by us to ensure prior to recommendation to ensure it will be the best offering for our customers. Below are the platforms we used for their transition.

 

Microsoft Azure

  • Host all servers as Azure Virtual Machines
  • Use Recovery Service Vaults to provide both backups and a disaster recovery solution.

Microsoft 365

  • Use native email hosting to host email for the entire organization
  • Provided licensing for Microsoft Office applications
  • Use OneDrive and SharePoint as SaaS options to replace file servers.

Mimecast

  • Use email security features such as spam filters, anti-Spoofing, etc.
  • Use stationary features to provide a standard template for org wide signatures and emails.

 Roadmap

The migration was divided up into two phases with each phase involving multiple steps to complete.

 

Phase 1

  • Migrate the existing infrastructure to Azure.
    • All servers had their OS updated to Windows Server 2016 (latest at the time).
    • All App servers were updated to use the latest version of the respective app.
  • Migrate their emails to utilize Microsoft 365.
  • Set up Mimecast for email security and standard signatures across the company.

Phase 2

  • Identify all servers whose functions can be replaced with a SaaS solution
    • Domain Controllers would be replaced by Azure Active Directory.
    • File servers would be replaced by OneDrive and SharePoint.
    • Application servers were replaced with a SaaS equivalent. For example, Secret Server was replaced with LastPass.
  • Implement the required solution
  • Provide user training to accommodate to the new ways of working for users.
  • Decommission servers that are no longer being use.

 Impact of the MS 365, Mimecast, and Azure Case Study

The project allowed us to leverage the offerings of Azure, Microsoft 365, and Mimecast to provide an effective solution for our customer. The initial migration to Azure helped them shave off the high costs of renting space in a datacenter, upgrading hardware and software licenses. It also provided them a cheaper, yet equally effective option for backups and disaster recovery.

Few months after phase 1 was implemented, work on phase 2 began. Once it was completed and all the servers were replaced with a SaaS alternative. This helped them save even more on infrastructure costs. All users were provided training on how to use the OneDrive and SharePoint.

After the project was completed, they were given an environment that utilizes the power of public cloud, while meeting the needs of the organization.

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