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Henson Group Migrates Environment to Azure for Backlash Solutions

Based in New York City, Backlash Solutions™ provides solutions designed to meet the needs of today’s independent music community, delivering business and technology services to more than two hundred internationally recognized independent record label brands, distributors, publishers and PR firms. This includes end-to-end business solutions marketed as affordable, secure, reliable, and always available; the type of services that until now have either been unavailable or financially out of reach for small music companies. Essentially, Backlash Solutions has positioned itself to provide the critical tool necessary to enable today’s music companies to merge the traditional business models that the music industry was built on with the new and evolving business models of the digital age. As such, Backlash Solutions must ensure its technology environment is state-or-the-art, enabling it to deliver the level of service flexibility and high availability that are the inherent hallmarks of its business model. With its IT infrastructure built primarily on Microsoft and related technologies, Backlash Solutions approached Microsoft to migrate its environment to a cloud-based platform, based on Microsoft Azure technology. Microsoft enlisted the assistance of The Henson Group, a Microsoft Gold Certified Partner with a proven track record achieving the technology objectives or professional services and IT type businesses, such as Backlash Solutions. Solution Microsoft Azure is an open, flexible, enterprise-grade cloud computing platform. From small dev-test projects to global product launches, Azure is engineered to handle any workload. More than 57 percent of Fortune 500 companies rely on Azure, which offers enterprise grade SLAs on services, 24/7 tech support, and round-the-clock service health monitoring. Specifically, Backlash Solutions sought to migrate a disparate environment comprised of two separate data centers, one located in the United States, while the other was located in the United Kingdom. Adding to the complexity of the migration was the fact that the existing environment was supported by two separate hosting providers, namely Rackspace and Hostnet. Henson Group initiated the engagement by assigning a seasoned Azure architect to lead a team of Azure migration specialists. To facilitate a methodical migration, the project commenced with a thoughtful Azure Assessment and Planning phase, where the Henson Group team reviewed the existing environment, ultimately proposing Azure settings and providing an extensive array of recommendations based on established best practices. The exhaustive review evaluated elements such as connectivity, performance, disks, availability, monitoring, Virtual Machines, and more. Henson Group recommended against a simultaneous migration of both environments, instead advocating for a staged migration, initiating the Rackspace-to-Azure migration in United States first, before turning their attention to the migration overseas. That first migration included Virtual Network configuration and design, storage configuration, cloud service creations, upload of Virtual Hard Disks (VHDs) to Azure storage, provisioning of five Virtual Machines, a load balancer configuration and availability sets configuration for Azure Virtual Machines, and more associated tasks. With the United States migration nearing completion and critical deliverables for that phase concluded, Henson Group launched the next stage, the United Kingdom migration from Hostnet to Azure. Though many of the deliverables in this stage were obviously similar in nature to the initial migration, and Henson Group’s gained familiarity of Backlash Solution’s technology environment helped expedite the subsequent migration, there were some marked differences. Major deliverables of this migration featured Virtual Network configuration and design, storage configuration and Cloud service creations, as well as other similar tasks from the first migration, but now also included Storage-to-Storage account migration of Azure Virtual Machines for provisioning, a total of eight for Hostway. Henson Group also had to provision eight Windows Virtual Machines. Results & Benefits As a leading technology provider to music industry companies, Backlash Solution has a strong, well-organized internal IT organization with proven leadership that was engaged and informed. This provided an exceptional level of partnership and communication that ultimately aided Henson Group well, as it achieved all of the client’s objectives for this complex migration. To ensure Backlash Solutions had the post-migration support it needed in place moving forward, Henson Group assigned a resource associated with the migration and therefore knowledgeable of Backlash Solutions’ environment to provide as-needed support and remediation services. 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 or call +1.800.980.1130.

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