Hanu lowers operating expenses with Microsoft Azure

Hanu’s latest client was founded on core values and principles such as giving back and providing opportunities. Partnering with local charities is not a byproduct of their business—it’s how they do business. They are a privately held for-profit thrift store chain offering secondhand shopping. An international company, with several hundred locations throughout the world.

Goal: Lower Operational Costs

Microsoft Azure helps to lower operating expenses

The IT team was challenged to substantially reduce their operating expenses.

Their selected strategy for achieving truly significant cost reduction was to cut the number of data centers they operated in half by moving much of their IT operations to a cloud-based service.  To assure reliability and consistent availability, the team determined to choose between two of the largest and most well-reputed leaders in the industry, Amazon Web Services (AWS) and Microsoft Azure.

Comparative evaluation of the two would be accomplished by putting both through an identical Proof of Concept (PoC) project.  This would enable their IT department to evaluate both platforms, assessing the effort required to successfully migrate their applications, preferably with minimal platform-specific coding.

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Hanu Solution

The Hanu team worked closely with the Development , Networking , Application Support and DataBase Administration teams to capture key test requirements, also training two lead members of their IT team in how to use the Azure Management Portal.

Working together, the teams created Storage Accounts, moved files from on-premise servers to Microsoft Azure, creating disks, virtual machines and provisioning Cloud Services.

Hanu also scripted the entire test lab infrastructure using PowerShell, including automation of ten Windows Server Virtual Machines to support the Web Tier using Microsoft Internet Information Services (IIS), the Middle Tier using Microsoft MapPoint, and the Database Tier using Microsoft SQL Server with AlwaysOn failover clustering.  Once complete, their Donation application was loaded.  Hanu then assisted with their user acceptance testing (UAT) protocols.

Customer Benefits

Migrating their three-tiered Donation application to Azure was much easier than the IT team had anticipated.  In fact, their Donation application easily passed test cases for usability and performance.

In the end, the Senior Director was so impressed with the way the Hanu team’s implementation of Microsoft Azure had passed that they didn’t need to perform any further testing with Amazon.

The key takeaway from this test case is that it is important not only to select the right platform, but to select the right team to implement your applications on it.  In this case, failure to do so could have resulted in selection of an inferior platform.

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