Business Challenge

Diversified Lighting Associates (DLA) is a premier commercial lighting distributor. Prior to i2m migration, they faced the following challenges:

  • Headquarters, Branch offices and remote users suffered from weather-prone infrastructure and power outages
  • Slow performance of local legacy infrastructure
  • Connectivity issues with branch offices caused data syncing difficulties with headquarter’s applications
  • Legacy client machines at branch offices were running mismatched MS Office licenses and versions
  • Exchange email was hosted on a non-dedicated server, creating heavy bandwidth bottlenecks
  • A legacy back-up system was prone to errors and required frequent maintenance, as well as expensive physical storage space and servers

Recognizing that AWS would be an ideal fit for DLA, i2m implemented a plan to maximize the benefits of both, including the following changes to DLA’s IT infrastructure:

  • Consolidated multiple servers, including a few legacy NetWare servers, at each site into a MS Active Directory infrastructure.
  • Redesigned and migrated on-site infrastructure to a cloud-based Windows Active Directory infrastructure with File/Print/Application and Remote Desktop Servers, which are shared by their branch offices and remote users.
  • Designed to allow for high availability and redundancy.
  • Created IPSec VPN tunnels to each branch office and headquarters, ensuring a secure connection between the offices and the AWS Virtual Private Cloud.
  • Migrated mission-critical database applications from their local Database server to the cloud, while leaving the on-site Database in place to sync with the cloud-based database server. This allowed headquarters staff to connect to the cloud-based database server reducing local load and increasing performance.
  • Created a new Exchange based e-mail system, giving branch offices and headquarters direct access to the email system, which reduced traffic and increased speed.
  • Connected headquarters, branch offices and remote users directly to a cloud-based Remote Desktop Server using Remote Apps and full RDP desktops, allowing users to access their data and applications from anywhere.

i2m added additional DR and Business Continuity features for DLA’s new cloud environment

We implemented our managed i2mcloud Enterprise Backup solution which uses Amazon S3 as its cloud based storage and backup agents running on critical nodes in their infrastructure to establish DR and Business Continuity capabilities. We also took advantage of Amazon Glacier for long term-archiving and retention of outdated documents and data replacing legacy tape backups. This solution also took advantage of end-end encryption for data at rest and in transit.

Druva InSync for mobile device security and backup giving DLA new capabilities:

  • Self-Service
    • Users are able to control their own backup and restore operations.
  • Endpoint Data Protection
    • High performance backup, encryption, remote wipe and geo-location of laptops and smart devices
  • Data Compliance Monitoring
    • Identification and remediation at-rest sensitive data risks (PHI, PII, PCI)
  • Federated Search
    • Quick location of files across endpoints and cloud applications
  • Legal Hold Management & eDiscovery Enablement
    • Instantly preserve custodian data for investigative and litigation needs
  • OS Migration and Device Refresh
    • Centralized management for large-scale migrations and self-service refreshes Endpoint Data Protection

We designed a complete cloud based monitoring/alerting system for their on premise and cloud based resources giving us complete visibility and control into their environment.

CloudHealth for ongoing Cost Management, Governance, Security, Optimization.

The following AWS technology was used:

  • CloudFormation
  • EC2 – Windows and Linux
  • VPC
  • VPN
  • S3
  • Glacier
  • AWS Import/Export
  • IAM
  • Directory Services
  • Single Sign On for AWS Solution Architects
  • AWS Config and Cloudtrail

The following i2m managed technology was implemented:

  • i2m Monitoring/Alerting System – Nagios Check_MK
  • Antivirus
  • Active Directory
  • Remote Desktop Services
  • Remote Access VPN Services
  • File Sharing Services
  • Exchange Email with Antvirus/Malware, Spam Filtering and Ransomware Protection
  • cloud Enterprise Backup – CloudBerry Backup
  • Druva InSync Endpoint Protection
  • Disaster Recovery and Business Continuity Implementation
  • CloudHealth

i2m Solution Benefits

By migrating DLA to the cloud, i2m optimized their infrastructure, which allowed remote users, branch offices, and headquarters to connect seamlessly to the cloud environment anywhere and from any device. This connectivity increased DLA’s stability, availability, and redundancy, as well as increased performance gains for their critical business applications. Using Microsoft Office365 and i2m SaaS services made software compliance, deployment, and management simple and efficient. Migrating to a cloud-based infrastructure has had many benefits, including a 30% decrease in IT support calls and system problems, and added quick recovery in case of failure. Full recovery time was reduced from 1-2 weeks to just a few hours.

DLA is now able to focus on their core business, rather than their IT systems and applications. These solutions did not require any up front capital cost and give DLA the scalability and flexibility to meet for their future technology needs. Migrating to the cloud also gave DLA the power to quickly adopt new technology and to test and develop new software applications and services to meet their needs.

The success of this migration pushed DLA with the help of i2m to move their headquarters infrastructure to a complete cloud-based environment, making DLA a solely cloud-based business. All systems are cloud based if not minimal hybrid architecture for legacy systems and devices. We provided more security, availability, and DR functionality using AWS Best Practice methodologies. The Goal was to create a lean Active Directory and Windows Application Server Environment that is able to scale and be agile with DLA’s growth year over year.

Staff embraced the new cloud environment quickly as they required no additional training for using their applications in the cloud (very minimal access training for using RDP/Remote APPs and VPN) as they are using their applications and environment just as they were before with no perceivable difference. We had aimed to exceed performance of the existing on premise environment. DLA stake holders were happy with the results of the cloud migration and were proud to be one of the first commercial lighting distribution companies running in an all cloud native environment that was completely built, designed, managed and optimized by i2m year over for cost and performance efficiencies.