Business Challenge

Building a Stronger Workforce in Philadelphia. Real People. Real Career Help. Philadelphia Works, Inc. develops and manages workforce solutions that respond to business needs and increase economic opportunity for all Philadelphians. i2m helps support these function with cloud services powered by AWS. Prior to their cloud migration, they faced the following challenges:

  • Active Directory Domain environment for the PA CareerLink’s Philadelphia 9 total sites supporting and servicing approximately 3,000 clients and staff/day.
  • Philadelphia Works wished to consolidate shared technology functions and services between the sites.
  • Multiple domains for the PA CareerLink’s into a single centralized domain forest that would serve all 9 sites.
  • File/Print and sharing services into the centralized environment which all sites could access.
  • Microsoft Systems Center Control Manager (SCCM) to be managed centrally with local distribution points at each site.
  • Centralize anti-virus management system.
  • Restructure monitoring systems and nodes at each site.
  • Consolidating expensive local physical storage space and servers at each site.
  • Required frequent maintenance and onsite visits to replace failing hardware.
  • DR and Business Continuity planning.
  • Required to create an offsite backup of critical data in case of a local disaster scenario.

i2m Solution

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

  • Created new centralized Windows Active Directory Domain Environment connecting each of the 9 distinct sites and locations throughout Philadelphia.
  • Created IPsec VPN tunnels to each site, ensuring a secure connection between the headquarters and all 9 sites and their new AWS environment.
  • Migrated part of their existing on-site infrastructure to a cloud-based architecture for each site. Specifically SCCM and Symantec Anti-Virus Management Systems using AWS Server Migration Service which simplified and expedited the migration of these critical components.
  • EC2 Instances were created using CloudFormation templates and configured for File, Print, Application, Security and other services which are shared by each site.
  • File Systems and Domain Controllers span multiple availability zones which ensures high availability and redundancy for these critical components.
  • We made use of Amazon Windows FSx which help save cost over EBS volumes for File Sharing and took advantage of its automated snapshot features.
  • Centralized monitoring & alerting for all sites and their cloud-based infrastructure.
  • Help Desk and On-site Support (level 1-3) to address user and system issues.
  • Network WAN/LAN management.
  • Client machines migrated to the new AD forest gradually.
  • DR and Business Continuity features for new cloud environment.

i2m DR and Business Continuity features for the PA CareerLink’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:

  • CloudFormation
  • EC2 – Windows and Linux
  • Server Migration Service (SMS)
  • VPC
  • VPN
  • S3
  • S3 Infrequent Access
  • Glacier
  • IAM
  • AWS Config and CloudTrail
  • CloudWatch

The following i2m technology was implemented:

  • cloud Enterprise Backup – CloudBerry
  • i2m Monitoring/Alerting System – Nagios Check_MK
  • Antivirus
  • Active Directory
  • File Sharing Services
  • Disaster Recovery and Business Continuity Implementation
  • CloudHealth

i2m Solution Benefits

When Philadelphia Works & PA CareerLink’s migrated to the cloud, it gave them increased stability, availability, redundancy and performance gains for their critical business applications.  i2m migrated and consolidated all of the PA CareerLink Sites to a new AWS Hybrid Environment that supports Active Directory Domain Services and includes functions for MS SCCM, Office 365, AV Protection Management , Storage, File and Print Services that will be shared between the 9 sites in the most optimal HA Configuration required. Minimizing the local hardware presence/environment with only sub-system distribution nodes at each site.

By utilizing Amazons Server Migration Service, we were able to simplify the migration process of SCCM and the Anti-Virus system without any downtime. We were able to reduce wasted space on physical disks and rightsize EBS volumes to be more economical.

New Servers in the cloud environment took advantage of our i2mcloud Enterprise Backup solution using S3, S3 IA, and Glacier to meet their file backup and archiving requirements.

We had a tight deadline to meet and we planned to finish the project in 2 week or less for the production environment on AWS. We were able to get project completed by the proposed deadline without any downtime for users or client. We received great feedback about the performance of the new cloud environment. Philadelphia Works & PA CareerLink’s required an AWS partner to make sure security policies were adequate, best practices followed and to provide support services for their AWS Hybrid Environment.  i2m now maintains AWS Security, Governance, Support and Optimization for all their systems onsite and in their new AWS environment.