Impact Services Corporation is a large non-profit organization with over 200 employees. Prior to their cloud migration, they faced the following challenges:
- IT infrastructure difficulties due to weather and power outages at branch offices
- Slow performance of local legacy infrastructure
- Connectivity issues between headquarters and branch offices
- Exchange email hosted on a non-dedicated server, creating heavy data bottlenecks
- A legacy backup system, which experienced repeated failures and required frequent maintenance, as well as expensive local physical storage space and servers
- An unreliable on-site monitoring/alert system
i2m designed and implemented a plan to maximize the benefits of both Amazon Web Services (AWS) and i2m. The implementation included the following changes to Impact Service Corporation’s IT infrastructure:
- Consolidated and migrated on-site IT infrastructure to a cloud-based Windows Active Directory infrastructure with File/Print/Application/DNS and Remote Desktop Servers, which are shared by headquarters, branch offices and remote users
- Designed to allow for high availability and redundancy
- Created IPsec VPN tunnels to each branch office, ensuring a secure connection between the offices and the AWS Virtual Private Cloud
- Migrated and upgraded mission-critical accounting application, Microsoft Dynamics GP (Great Plains), from a legacy Windows 2003 MS SQL to Windows Server 2012 R2, utilizing RDS/Remote App for access
- Created a new Exchange based email system, giving branch offices and headquarters direct access to the email system, which reduced traffic and optimized performance to headquarters and all branch offices.
- Connected branch offices and remote users directly to a cloud-based resources, file sharing services on EC2 Windows across branches Remote Desktop Server using Remote Apps or full RDP desktop, which allows 24/7 access to data and applications. Connect
- We designed a complete cloud based monitoring/alerting system for their on premise and cloud based resources giving us complete visibility and control.
- Used CloudHealth for ongoing Cost Management, Governance, Security, Optimization
i2m added additional DR and Business Continuity features for Impact’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.
The following AWS technology was used:
- EC2 – Windows and Linux
- AWS Import/Export
- 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
- 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
- Disaster Recovery and Business Continuity Implementation
i2m Solution Benefits
Migrating to the cloud optimizes IT infrastructure, which allows headquarters, branch offices, and remote users seamless connectivity 24/7, from any device. Cloud migration increases stability, availability, and redundancy, as well as increases performance gains for critical business applications.
Impact Service Corporation users noticed immediate performance improvements with the implementation of a cloud-based Microsoft Dynamics (Great Plains). The application was quick and stable, and users easily adapted to the new version. With the Remote App Setup, processing now occurs in the cloud, but it performs for the end user as if it is a local application.
Migrating to a cloud-based infrastructure decreased IT support calls and system outages by ~40%. Full recovery time was reduced from 1-2 weeks to just a few hours.
An updated IT infrastructure allows for more efficient and effective personnel, which lowers operating expenses. Impact Services Corporation is now able to focus on serving their community. These solutions did not require any significant upfront capital expenditures, and they give Impact Services Corporation the scalability and flexibility to meet their future technology needs at a low monthly rate. Migrating to the cloud also gave them the power to quickly adopt new technology and software applications to meet their needs.
Further projects include replacing legacy workstations with Amazon Workspaces. The cloud desktops will extend the life of Impact Services Corporation’s infrastructure, and convenient pay-as-you-go billing options eliminate the need for upfront capital.