How our Microsoft Azure Modernization team used Azure to manage a complex application and data cloud migration to the cloud for a business transition
Our client, Carbonite, is an online backup and recovery software service. In early 2017, Carbonite acquired a subsidiary of another company.
However, the subsidiary’s parent company needed to maintain and run the applications for the rest of its business while separating the subsidiary from its applications stack. Carbonite needed to stand up the infrastructure required to run its own instance of the subsidiary-only applications while creating minimal-to-no disruption for employees and customers.
Carbonite only had a few months to merge the systems so it could keep operations running smoothly. In addition to migrating databases, the company also needed to move and update the subsidiary’s complex internal and external web portal landscape and applications needed for licensing, product activation, case management, knowledge base, product downloads and documentation, and metered usage reporting.
With so many moving parts, Carbonite needed help figuring out how to “lift and shift” all the pieces and functionality as quickly as possible.
Enter Centric: An Innovative Migration Plan
Carbonite partnered with Centric Consulting to determine the best possible solution. One option was to stand up servers within Carbonite’s datacenter. But, given the complex nature of the migration and four-month turnaround time, we proposed a cloud migration as the quickest, safest and smartest solution.
Because Carbonite was already working off a .NET and Microsoft stack, we quickly determined migrating the data and applications to Azure, Microsoft’s enterprise cloud computing platform, would be the better option.
After selecting Azure, we began gaining a deeper understanding of each company’s varying processes, applications and business rules. For example, we learned both companies operated their financial systems off an ERP, but each had different business rules. So, we started by defining one set of business rules for all applications.
This enabled us to design, code, deploy and adjust applications based on the new rules. After making the changes, we copied data and applications from the subsidiary’s databases and pasted them in Carbonite’s cloud services (Azure Web Applications, Azure Load Balancer, Azure Application Gateway, Azure SQL, Azure Storage and Azure Functions).
The final step was testing the services to make sure we connected each appropriately and that they could handle the required tasks. We conducted user acceptance testing (UAT) of the subsidiary’s two main, customer-facing applications: one that allows customers to download and activate the product, and another that provides meter-usage reporting.
At least 15 more internal portals and applications supported those two applications. We updated, migrated and tested each before pushing them live.
The Results: Scalability, Speed and Security
Working closely with IT teams from Carbonite, the parent company and the subsidiary, we successfully managed a complex application and data migration to the cloud for a smooth business transition. Within the expected timeframe of four months. Without delays. And without business disruption – we deployed and tested all applications, databases and integrations over one weekend.
Carbonite can now point to the following benefits:
- Scalable Applications thanks to Azure Web Applications’ auto-scaling functionality.
- Cloud Security provided by the Azure Application Gateway, which provides a firewall that detects and blocks possible attacks.
- Databases that auto-tune themselves to improve query response. Azure SQL constantly monitors all queries and auto-applies indexes when needed.
- Faster Deployments resulting from data and apps now being in the cloud.
- Automation that quickly delivers transparency into results and needed code adjustments.
- Reliable Connections because all the databases and applications are in the Microsoft stack.
The Next Steps: Full Cloud Deployment
Carbonite is now considering a further cloud optimization project with Centric to move all its apps into one place using Azure Web Applications while developing new code to remove unnecessary, additional steps from its apps.
Because of Centric and Microsoft Azure, Carbonite is now ready for further growth and whatever comes next.
The integration of the subsidiary’s portal ecosystem into the Carbonite landscape was instrumental in not only retaining existing customer interactions for previous sales but also allowing Carbonite to extend and grow new customer interactions on our own independently managed portal landscape. Time was of the essence to transition from the previous parent company to Carbonite, and Centric helped to think creatively to meet aggressive deadlines, working within the constraints of the previous parent company’s architecture while scaling to work with Carbonite’s application and portal landscape. We truly would not have been able to achieve the results that we had without Jorge from Centric. Hats off!
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