Ed Jones from Firebrand is sitting in a meeting room which was once a series of server racks, to discover how Firebrand continues to adopt Microsoft’s cloud first policy with Bevan Miller, the Head of IT.
Guest blogger Firebrand discuss; why migrate your systems to Microsoft Azure and Office 365?
By Ed Jones, Technology Writer, Firebrand.
Transitioning business critical systems to the cloud
Over the past twelve months, Bevan and his forward-thinking IT team have migrated virtually all business critical systems to Microsoft Azure. The team attained MCSA: Office 365 and MCSA: Windows Server 2012 certifications to ensure they had all the skills required for a smooth transition.
Across Firebrand’s server estate and database systems, the following software and applications now operate within Microsoft’s public cloud platform:
SQL server and database services
Legacy CRM platform
File Servers & Directory Services
Skype for Business
Windows Deployment Services
Unleashing the benefits of Microsoft Azure and Office 365
BYOD – through Office 365, employees can now access business applications from wherever they are, on any device. The IT team can also utilise authentication via Azure and Federation services, thereby maintaining corporate security protocols.
Third Line Support – operating via the cloud, Dot Net Solutions (now New Signature) manage all of Firebrand’s third line support – using System Centre Operations Manager for security and update patches, monitor, maintain and triage system issues before they impact business applications.
Real-time scalability of resource – through System Centre Operations Manager the team are able to automate the provision and de-provision of system resource in real-time. For example, Firebrand can now create a server capacity threshold of 75%. If the threshold is breached, an additional instance of Windows Server 2012 is brought online. Through load balancing, workloads can then be redistributed, maintaining optimal performance.
Unlimited resource without the hassle – at the click of a button the team can order more server cores, RAM, storage or even additional servers and databases. This resource is available immediately without the need to consider housing, power, networking, back-up, redundancy, build times and postage.
Complete view of Server Estate – using Server Manager in Windows Server 2012, it’s possible to get a complete view of your server estate both on premise and in Azure. This visualisation allows for ease of management and rapid response to system requirements.
Energy efficiency – the absence of almost all physical servers and specialised AC has cut energy consumption by more than 85%. This upholds Firebrands ongoing commitment to going green. It also translates into real cost savings.
Streamlining Classroom Operations – Firebrand’s accelerated cloud courses including MCSE: Private Cloud and Implementing Microsoft Azure Infrastructure Solutions now run via Azure. Complex classroom setups that used to take days, can now be setup in 20 minutes.
Disaster Recovery/Availability – through Microsoft Azure, all IT systems are disaster resistant. Hosted in the cloud, via separate stacks, throughout global locations our systems can remain online. Through real-time failover and back-up delivered through the cloud, critical business systems should never go offline.
Increased office space – The most noticeable difference? Getting rid of physical servers has made space for an additional meeting room which the whole London office can benefit from.
All the above combines to free Bevan and the IT team from the server room. Instead, they work on IT projects using their skills and knowledge to enhance the business through technology. Embracing the Microsoft’s cloud first policy could transform your business. So what are you waiting for?
Ed Jones works for Firebrand Training, a Microsoft Gold Learning Partner. He has worked in the IT training and certification industry for the past 3 years. He is a tech enthusiast with experience working with SharePoint, Windows Server and Windows desktop.