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Category Archives: Azure Site Recovery

Syvantis Technologies Inc. was founded in 2000 as a managed services technology provider dedicated to helping small companies manage their complex system of servers and business programs.

Syvantis’ IT environment is supported by Microsoft Azure, a cloud computing platform and infrastructure, created by Microsoft, for building, deploying and managing applications and services through a global network of Microsoft-managed and Microsoft partner hosted datacenters.

Syvantis recently sought to upgrade its existing Azure environment by adopting the latest Microsoft-endorsed best practices. The company enlisted Microsoft and The Henson Group, a Microsoft Gold Certified Partner with extensive experience in Azure and a long history serving the IT needs of professional services organizations.

SOLUTION

The Henson Group commenced the Syvantis’ engagement by launching a comprehensive assessment of the current Azure infrastructure. Based on its experience supporting numerous professional services organizations, Henson Group Azure architects reviewed the environment and produced a detailed report with suggestive actions for optimization. For this process, Henson Group also leveraged the Microsoft Azure Virtual Machine Readiness Assessment tool, to scan both non-virtualized and virtualized assets and provide a report on Active Directory, SQL, and other components of the architecture with plan for improvements and scale.

Next, based on its analysis produced through the assessment process, Henson Group provided best practices for optimizing SQL Server performance in Syvantis’ Azure environment. With Syvantis running SQL Server in Azure Virtual Machines, Henson Group recommended database tuning options to enhance the performance of a relational database in Syvantis’ cloud environment, relative to many factors such as the size of virtual machines, and the configuration of data disks.

Henson Group then provided a detailed “Backup / Recovery Plan (within GEO) Assessment and Proposal.” This assessment and proposal process produced a plan designed to ensure the continuation of Syvantis’ vital business processes in the event that a disaster occurs. This included the development, maintenance and ongoing testing of a Disaster Recovery Plan, as well as addressing employee education and management procedures to insure provable recovery capability.

Lastly, Henson Group managed the migration of a sample set of three Virtual Machines (VMs), migrated from the current Azure subscription to a new subscription. Henson Group thoroughly documented the migration process, while providing knowledge transfer, to enable Syvantis’ support IT personnel to replicate the process for future migrations.

RESULTS & BENEFITS

The Henson Group provided a comprehensive scope of assessment and best practices knowledge transfer, as well as the sample VM migrations, achieving the objectives of this engagement for Syvantis to optimize and maintaining its Azure environment.

Syvantis is experiencing much better infrastructure performance with the Azure cloud solution. The client does not have to support or maintain hardware anymore as the modern hardware is maintained by Microsoft and kept up to date. The solution allows the VMs to grow as the business grows.

PRODUCTS

• Microsoft Azure
• Microsoft Azure Readiness Assessment and Planning Toolkit
• SQL Server in Azure Virtual Machines

To request a free consultation to learn how your organization can realize similar benefits and gains with Microsoft Azure deployment services provided by preferred Microsoft Gold Partner The Henson Group, please email Info@HensonGroup.com or call +1.800.980.1130.

The Humane Society of Missouri (HSMO) helps more than 85,000 homeless, abused and unwanted animals each year. Promoting animal welfare and providing public education on the proper care and treatment of animals, the HSMO operates from multiple locations including its Macklind Avenue Headquarters Center in St. Louis City, Chesterfield Valley Center, Westport Area Center in Maryland Heights, Longmeadow Rescue Ranch and even the Carol Gates Throop Memorial Park. These various facilities offer a diverse range of services, including adoption centers, veterinary medical centers, animal-themed gift shops, pet behavior and obedience classes, animal rescue and investigation departments, and receiving services for unwanted animals.

As a private, non-profit organization has a mandate to maximize its funding to serve its core mission, though still requires a secure IT infrastructure to support its increasingly complex operation. This environment includes a number of sensitive virtual machines on its existing on-premises infrastructure based on Microsoft Hyper-V.

To ensure security and availability of this environment, while minimizing the IT burden on its management, the HSMO sought to secure them on Azure, using the provided backup and disaster recovery services and using Microsoft Azure as a Hybrid cloud extension via a VPN connection.

As a leading Microsoft Gold Certified Partner specializing in cloud deployments leveraging Microsoft Azure, The Henson Group was selected by the HSMO to secure the existing on-premises IT Infrastructure to Azure through the implementation of Azure Site Recovery and Azure Backup.

 

Solution

HSMO has chosen Henson Group because they wanted an experienced partner to guide them through Azure best practices and help them with a seamless implementation of disaster recovery and backup on the Azure hybrid cloud.

HSMO sought to secure 16 Virtual Machines (VMs), including a mix of Web Servers, Database Servers, Mail Servers and File Servers.

After an initial assessment and comprehensive evaluation of HSMO’s Active Directory File Server (ADFS) configuration, Henson Group implemented a disaster recovery solution using Azure Site Recovery for 15 of the given 16 VMs. That choice guarantees to HSMO to be able, in case of local infrastructure failure, to switch to the Disaster Recovery Site in seconds.

 

For the file server, the Henson Group’s lead Azure engineer determined the environment was too large to be efficiently replicated to the cloud, and therefore adopted a solution based on the Azure Backup service to allow HSMO to restore any file on a two-week’s time window.

 

Results & Benefits

Henson Group leveraged Azure Site Recovery to establish a viable business continuity and disaster recovery (BCDR) strategy by orchestrating replication of HSMO’s on-premises servers and virtual machines to Microsoft’s Azure cloud environment.

This eliminates HSMO’s need to manage a secondary datacenter. Site Recovery can automate replication between datacenters, but it also provides the opportunity to forgo a secondary on-site location by replicating to Azure. Today, HSMO’s replicated data is stored in Azure Storage, with all the resilience that provides. Site Recovery handles the replication, and moving forward HSMO can engage failover and recovery with a simple click.

Azure Disk Encryption helps HSMO address organizational security and compliance requirements, by encrypting its VM disks with keys and policies that HSMO controls in its Azure Key Vault. Azure Disk Encryption enables you to encrypt your virtual machine disks, including the boot and the data disks. The solution uses Azure Key Vault to help you safeguard your disk encryption keys, manage key access policies, and audit use of your keys. All the data in the VM disks are encrypted at rest using industry standard encryption technology in your Azure storage accounts.

Azure Virtual Machines are certified for FISMA, FedRAMP, HIPAA, PCI DSS Level 1, and other key compliance programs—which now makes it easier for HSMO’s own Azure applications to meet compliance requirements and for the business to address a wide range of regulatory requirements.

Henson Group met HSMO’s core deliverables for this engagement, including:

  • Automated protection and replication of virtual machines
  • Remote health monitoring
  • Customized disaster recovery plans
  • Encryption of sensitive data
  • Security of network traffic
  • Achievement of internal compliance requirements

The project was completed within two months.

 

Products

  • Microsoft Azure
  • Microsoft Azure Site Recovery

To request a free consultation to learn how your organization can realize similar benefits and gains with Microsoft Azure deployment services provided by preferred Microsoft Gold Partner The Henson Group, please email Info@HensonGroup.com or call 1.800.980.1130.