Cloud infrastructure for a business in 5 days

Learn how SIM-Networks experts transferred the systems of our partner company ITSG, a system integrator, to the cloud. We will share how we deployed the company’s corporate tools in private cloud infrastructure in 5 business days.

What tasks did the client need to solve?

The company had 40 employees who had been working with 2 outdated physical services. The client had relatively few basic corporate services: an ERP system, an email service and a file exchange server.

Client’s requirements:

  • carry out the migration of corporate services to the cloud to increase performance;
  • leave room for scaling the infrastructure;
  • set up reserve copying for the data;
  • ensure compliance with modern requirements towards security;
  • increase the availability of the email service.

We used VMWare ESXi, a hardware-based hypervisor, to create virtual machines on a physical server. The infrastructure had to be built based on specialized high-performance equipment that can handle heavy workloads. We offered the client to deploy 6 VMs based on Windows Server 2016 with the following roles:

  • domain controller for user & access rights management;
  • MS SQL 2016 data base server + ERP server;
  • terminal server for access to the client part of the ERP, the files and the Microsoft Office 2016 apps;
  • file server for setting up the data storage structure;
  • Microsoft Exchange 2016 email server for organizing corporate emails and maintaining a company-wide schedule.

The configuration of virtual machines in the cloud:

Infrastructure scheme proposed by SIM-Networks technical experts

How did SIM-Networks engineers implement the project?

The terminal server based on Windows Server 2016 functions as the employee workspace. Each terminal was given access to the corporate resources: the ERP, the files and folders according to the access rights, the email client and the package of office apps. We also set up a separate virtual server for the company’s documentation. The folder structure was created from scratch and each employee was given their respective access rights.

All virtual machines are located in the same local network. The servers are accessed from the company’s office using a secure encrypted L2TP+IPsec VPN tunnel. The tunnel connects the router in the company’s office to the cloud router. External connections are available through client L2TP+IPsec VPN connections.

We transferred the data base of the company’s ERP to MS SQL and deployed it on a separate virtual server with SSD drives. Microsoft Exchange 2016 was chosen as the base for the email server to enable additional features (schedules, email archiving etc). The entire server part of the infrastructure was built based on a Microsoft platform using the Active Directory domain controller, which is why we chose to use a product from the same family.

Reserve copies of the servers are created every night with no delays or failures. The data or the entire server can be fully restored regardless of the period with a storage depth of 14 days. The estimated recovery time for a server ranges from 1 to 6 hours, depending on the volume of data.

The stability of the corporate servers is achieved through the use of the best practices of server architecture and cloud deployment. The cloud itself is stored in a reliable Tier III data center in Germany. The guaranteed availability of the services is 99,9% thanks to the use of redundant components in the data center.

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What kind of infrastructure did the client get?

We chose the hardware configuration based on our evaluation of the company’s average workloads, the need for scaling in the future, as well as our own experience with such projects. If necessary, the amount of resources can be easily increased or decreased by adding nodes to the private cloud. Some servers, such as the terminal server and the data base server, use SSD drives for increased performance. The project was deployed in just 5 business days with negligible effect on the company’s day-to-day operations. After the cloud was fully set up, the administration and management duties were given to the client’s system administrator.

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