The client’s needs
The client—which prefers to remain unnamed—was anticipating the end of their hardware lease and wanted a cloud transition plan. The company had already established a Cloud-First Policy, under which all new investments had to be dedicated to cloud solutions whenever possible. Their goal was to free themselves from infrastructure management responsibilities so that they could focus on their core business.
However, since many of the food processing giant’s critical business applications ran on IBM Power Systems, they needed a cloud provider that could support IBM Power. Neither Google nor Amazon Web Services offer this option, and the client realized they’d either have to make a major capital investment or go with a boutique cloud provider like R2i.
The client also knew the migration would be quite involved and require specialized expertise that they didn’t have in-house. Plus, it made more sense for their corporate IT team to focus on more strategic aspects of their business.
Why choose R2i?
The client already had a solid business relationship with R2i. For the past year and a half, our team had been managing their machines and offering them 24/7 support. Thanks to our solid track record, the client was confident we would offer the best possible solution without over-promising or overselling them on any aspects.
Of course, they also considered practical issues. One important factor was that we could migrate their existing IBM Power systems to the R2i public cloud. Another was that R2i has the most certified cloud offer in Quebec, with ISO 27001, ISO 27017, ISO 27018, SOC 2 TYPE 2 and TIER III certifications. We also have a continuous improvement process to ensure the cloud environments under our responsibility always meet the latest security, compliance and maintenance standards.
What we did for the client
The project lasted nine months in all, from the initial consultation through to the actual migration of their on-prem environment to R2i’s public cloud. Our core responsibilities included:
- Cloud IBM Power IBM i and AIX
- Dark fiber private network implementation and management
- Comprehensive managed services for Power environments
- Back-up and disaster recovery management
- Governance and security
We had to rethink the client’s architecture, as well as plan the design and materials for the complex telecommunications network. In addition, our team was particularly careful about planning the migration. There were roughly 40 environments to be migrated over a three-month period, with the most critical systems needing to be done last, but before the December rush.
A key project challenge
The biggest challenge was planning a telecommunications network that would efficiently connect the client’s existing datacentres and R2i’s datacentres, as well as their various sites across North America. We set up a dark fiber private network with five distinct connections linking the infrastructure at the four datacentres. We also added an interconnection to the existing MPLS network, while supporting operations through the VPN networks. This allowed us to ensure communication between the client’s distribution centres and administrative offices.
Because of the unexpected challenges with the telecommunications system, R2i brought in a specialized telecommunications partner. Working with a complementary firm ensured that our client got the best possible solution, delivered on time.
Benefits for the client
The client now has a highly effective cloud infrastructure that will enable their company to add capacity on demand, as their needs grow. This choice also means they no longer have infrastructure to manage, freeing up time and resources to dedicate to their core business. These benefits mean a lot to the company’s management team, especially the Senior Manager of Infrastructure and IT Services. With the migration complete, he confided: “Now I sleep well at night.”
For our team, this is a sure sign of a job well done.