Business Challenge

Equity Retail Brokers provides comprehensive retail real estate services through the company’s four divisions of Investment Sales, Leasing, Tenant Representation, and Asset Management in Pennsylvania, New Jersey and Delaware before the i2m migration project, the on premise systems and applications were prone to power outages, slow performance and included outdated local legacy infrastructure. Staff was not able to do work efficiently with constant disruptions from the main server and loss of connectivity to their Customer Relationship Management program (Sage Act!). The site was using a legacy backup solution that was error prone and required a lot of maintenance/management and expensive physical/cloud based disk space and servers to operate. With no Remote Access to their systems and applications. File Server was at capacity and overwhelming folder disorganization and with no archiving solution to clean up expired data.

i2m Solution

i2m cultivated a plan to make the following changes to Equity Retail Broker’s IT infrastructure. We consolidated their Active Directory Infrastructure from on premise servers. We designed and migrated their on premise infrastructure to a cloud based Windows Active Directory infrastructure with File/Print/Application/DNS Services. Secure and redundant VPN Tunnels were created to the office to create a secure connection between their branch office and AWS Virtual Private Cloud. We also migrated their mission critical database application running on MS SQL Server Express (Sage Act!) to the cloud. We developed a Semi-Hybrid cloud deployment for their Marketing and Creative team (Using Adobe Acrobat and Creative Suite) allowing them for super-fast access to their creative files by using a redundant Local Network Storage that gets backed up to S3 for durability and disaster recovery. We archived expired non-active data to Glacier and re-organized their cloud based File System to support growth and ease of navigation and use. We also added a VPN Solution to their environment so staff had the ability to work from home securely and efficiently when needed. All remote users connected directly to their desktops using VPN and RDP to access their data and applications in the cloud. We also implemented our manged i2mcloud Enterprise Backup solution that uses AWS S3 as its cloud based storage and light client on each server or and other critical nodes. We designed a complete cloud based monitoring/alerting system for their on premise and cloud based resources giving us complete visibility and control.

The following AWS technology was used:

  • EC2 – Windows and Linux
  • VPC
  • VPN
  • S3
  • Glacier
  • IAM
  • AWS Config and Cloudtrail

The following i2m technology was implemented:

  • Enterprise Backup – CloudBerry
  • i2m Monitoring/Alerting System – Nagios Check_MK
  • Antivirus
  • Active Directory
  • Remote Access VPN Services
  • File Sharing Services

i2m Solution Benefits

When Equity Retail Brokers (ERB) migrated to the cloud, this gave ERB increased stability, availability, and redundancy and increased performance gains for their critical business applications. That allowed ERB to focus on their core business while not worrying about their IT systems and applications failing due to physical causes or network outages. This saved ERB a great deal on their IT operations and expenses, not requiring any front end capital to renew and upgrade their technology. This gave them scalability and agilty with there business growth. Being on the cloud also allowed magnitudes faster recover time (RTO) of their applications and systems in case of any failures. Time frame to recover went from a risky 1-2 weeks to a just few hours to fully recover their environment in the cloud. Moving to the cloud also decreased the amount support calls and system problems overall making ERB more efficient and able to focus on their mission. Moving to the cloud also gave ERB the power to quickly adopt any new technology with ability to test and develop new software applications and services that would best fit their future needs.