SYS3 Helps International Charity
Move to the Cloud and
Simplify IT Management.
How It Started
SYS3 were approached by Lepra to assist with a major shake-up of their IT systems. Lepra were aware that their servers were near end of life and, along with very dated hardware, they had the option to purchase new on-premises servers or migrate to the cloud.
How We Did It
"The process of migrating to the cloud is actually fairly simple, providing processes and due diligence is followed. While Lepra were left to continue working on their old systems, providing as much support as we could in this interim period, SYS3 built and configured their new cloud server on the Microsoft Azure platform.
Once built, we setup a secure VPN connection between Lepra's offices and Azure. The new cloud server was added as a member server on their network and promoted to domain controller. Once this was completed, we were able to demote the existing legacy server.
The crucial next step was, of course, to migrate Lepra's data to the cloud server and finally decommision the old on-premises server."
- Luke Doherty, SYS3 Director
How SYS3 Achieved a Successful Migration
Successful migrations are achieved when both the old and new servers remain available until the process is complete and has been fully tested for stability.
As standard, SYS3 always perform the data migration stage out of hours, usually across a weekend. This not only minimises impact on staff but allows us to speed the process by maximising available bandwidth.
Cloud Computing vs. Traditional Systems
The "cloud" needn't be as daunting as it seems. Not only is it scalable (great for businesses with fluctuating resources and staffing numbers) but it is very secure and easy to monitor.
It's tempting to stick with what you know, but with the high capital outlay for new on-premises servers comes the knowledge that, one day, they will need to be replaced all over again.
AN INTERVIEW WITH
Nick Avery - Director of Finance & Support Services, Lepra
Why did you initially approach SYS3?
"We wanted to undertake a fundamental review of our IT provision, including our architecture and staffing. We were looking for solutions from a series of vendors to assist with our thinking and ultimately to implement the changes. I sought word of mouth recommendations and received a strong recommendation for SYS3.
The proposal from SYS3 was the one which seemed to make most sense bearing in mind the scale of our operations, but also felt like they understood the need for us to minimise costs and have an infrastructure that met our needs without being over-engineered - rightsizing if you like."
Why did you decide to go forwards with a
migration to the cloud?
"There were a range of onsite legacy systems, software and hardware, which needed significant upgrade. Much of our software was out of support and hardware past the end of life. The only logical approach for any organisation of our size was to move to cloud services and turn our server room into a communications room."
Do your IT systems work better for you post-migration?
"Actually, the migration of our data to the cloud was barely noticed by our staff, which is how it should be, The biggest benefit for all the staff is that we have a reliable and available expert team who can deal with problems without any need for me to intermediate.
Two of our legacy servers have failed since we migrated to the cloud but the real impact on the charity has been very small."
Do you feel that SYS3 helped ease the transition? Any further comments?
"Absolutely, they've provided exactly the right level of technical support and where necessary have been only too happy to engage with other cloud suppliers to make it all work for us. Very few IT related problems now come across my desk and the bill from SYS3 at the end of the month is always very reasonable. In contrast to some other companies that we have had to work with, we always feel that we are getting only what we need and that giving the right advice and solutions is what SYS3 do rather than revenue maximisation."
Established in 1924, Lepra are an international charity working to beat leprosy. Affecting the most vulnerable people in the world, due to fear and a lack of knowledge, there are over 3 million people living with undiagnosed leprosy.
Lepra work directly with communities in Bangladesh, India and Mozambique, to find, diagnose and treat people affected as well as to educate and raise awareness.