Case study: American Air Filters – Azure Landing Zone and migration
AAF had a multi-site, multi-system, multi-supported, static on-premise setup which needed transitioning to a single modern, agile and scalable instance that can respond to business requirements and changes with minimum effort and interruption.
Due to increasing costs (maintenance and support/licensing and upkeep costs), AAF tasked Trustmarque to help them with their journey to the Azure cloud.
By moving to the cloud, customers can remove the hassle of maintaining and updating systems, allowing them to invest time, money and resources into fulfilling their core business strategies.
To initiate the project, we introduced the Trustmarque team, actioned a review of dependencies and prerequisites, identified key personnel and agreed workshop scheduling.
We undertook application discovery to understand how AAF’s current virtual machines and application architecture worked and what Azure native services they could leverage to operate more securely and efficiently. This included the identification and creation of virtual machines and applications dependency mapping exercises and creating groupings.
Design workshops were held with the AAF IT team and business stakeholders to identify detailed requirements for the solution to be delivered. Workshops confirmed the non-functional requirements as well as identify any specific Azure Landing Zone requirements and potential issues.
We produced the Azure Landing Zone design using the requirements captured from the design workshops. The design proposed was subject to AAF approval before proceeding to build.
Based on the information Trustmarque learnt from the Application Due Diligence workshops, Trustmarque’s Azure Specialists worked with the client to create a migration plan adhering to their change management process.
Trustmarque then built the Azure Landing Zone using Infrastructure as a code as per the agreed solution design.
All Server migrations were performed in batches and subject to testing with backout plans in place. Trustmarque worked with American Air Filters to migrating their on-premises files stored on a Storage Area Network to Azure.
Trustmarque provided documentation and performed a handover to the American Air Filters operations team to ensure they had the information required for ongoing management of the Azure environment.
To close the project, a standard approach to project closure was followed, including a project closure report submitted to American Air Filters for formal project sign off.
Microsoft Technologies Used
The new Azure solution comprised of modern Microsoft technologies such as:
- Application Gateways, Azure Firewalls
- Azure SQL Database & SQL Server
- Azure App Service
- Azure Functions Apps
- Azure Application Insights
- Azure Backup, Azure Site Recovery
- Azure Virtual WAN
- Azure Virtual machines
“As a very traditional on-premises organisation, it was a huge undertaking to not only consider the move to Azure but to understand the process and benefits in the long term. Trustmarque helped us take baby steps to fully understand what this would entail and helped us uncover exactly the scale of the challenge. The benefits are plentiful, and I would fully recommend using Trustmarque. Just wish we had done this years ago!”
Gordon Walker, Global IT Projects Manager
Trustmarque demonstrated to AAF via workshops and an Azure cloud assessment that Azure is a more viable solution than on-premises due to its flexibility, reliability and security.
Having completed the Azure cloud assessment, Trustmarque designed and deployed an Azure Landing Zone and migrated chosen workloads to the environment.
AAF now spend far less time in managing and troubleshooting the day-to-day issues with their physical infrastructure. Operating in the Microsoft cloud datacentre, AAF can now focus their time and attention on improving their application experience and focus on upgrading other areas of their IT.
Being a very small IT team, the ability to operate on an IaaS, PaaS and SaaS model has greatly taken a lot of stress and pressure off the team. They can help deal with end user issues much faster resulting in a better end user experience for all employees of AAF.
By moving to Azure, AAF have made significant costs savings on hardware, maintenance contracts, energy consumptions, datacentre costs and greatly reduced their carbon footprint. With these savings, AAF are now able to invest this money into other areas of their IT as well as their business. AAF now operate on a model where they only pay for what they need. Operating in Azure has helped them to manage and control their costs with cost optimisation recommendations from Microsoft.
Trustmarque re-hosted two externally hosted and supported websites to the new Azure platform and allow the support of the websites to be brought in-house.
Trustmarque have demonstrated that Azure is a more viable solution than on-premises due to its flexibility, reliability and security, cloud removes the hassle of maintaining and updating systems, allowing AAF to invest time, money and resources into fulfilling their core business strategies.
The project assisted AAF with achieving a 60% Reduction in I.T. running costs by the end of the third year and provided a unified platform for the entire environment which is always using the latest Microsoft technologies.
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Building on this, our Managed Services build on our partner-led approach, giving you access to technical expertise, innovative solutions and best practice approaches that bring real benefits, not least cost optimisation.
American Air Filters (AAF) is a global air filtration solutions company. They provide air filters and related products for various applications, including commercial, industrial, and residential environments.