Business Needs and Challenges:
There were numerous challenges associated with this client:
- Keep the existing compute stack running: a mix of “bare metal” Oracle database servers running compound and simulation databases with web-based front-end and Java-based application servers.
- Additionally, the existing storage stack needed to remain active: a mix of NetApp and EMC filers with over 200 terabytes of storage, along with their associated backup systems.
- Identify the workloads to be offloaded to the AWS cloud (and define solution for un-migratable workloads).
- Manage the technology components of the facility move, including the migration of key infrastructure.
- Fully-Managed IT Department with Service Desk
- As a global firm, client had an existing “Tier-1” off-shore service desk. The capabilities of this centralized Tier-1 service desk were very limited, and they were not able to support the day-to-day operations of the compute infrastructure supporting the company’s world-class scientists.
- Infracore’s management of the department freed the client from the need to hire, train, onboard, cover for, develop and manage IT department personnel.
- Infracore deployed a full-time, on-site dedicated IT team to act as the local IT Department for the US West Coast headquarters. The team consisted of an IT Manager, a Senior Linux Systems Engineer and a Systems Administrator, handling escalations from the centralized Tier-1 team, and managing the compute and storage resources for the client.
- This team was onboarded, backed up and overseen by an Infracore VP.
- New On-Premises Storage Infrastructure
- Infracore developed a modern VMWare-based virtualization solution backed by solid-state storage to replace the aging “bare metal” systems and out-of-support NetApp filers.
- Infracore then developed an AWS-based backup approach, replacing the legacy tape library and implemented AWS DirectConnect to ensure sufficient bandwidth for backup replication, and to set the stage for a migration to cloud-native versions of the old applications.
- Facility Move Planning and Execution
- The IT Manager and VP built a project plan and identified all the key dependencies required to successfully move the company’s 450+ employees to the new 60,000 square foot headquarters and lab facility. The new facility was a brand new building, and ensuring the IT systems would be ready on day one required close coordination with the general contractor overseeing the new build.
- With so many staff working critical experiments, planning for the migration of both people and IT services for minimal downtime was essential. Infracore engineers connected the networks at both the old and new buildings and ensured that each IT service was available at either facility, and from the remote-user VPN.
- As each IT system was ready for migration, Infracore coordinated the transition of production services from the legacy infrastructure to the new infrastructure running at the new facility, and did so in a seamless manner.
- Ultimately, all of the users and all of the IT services were moved to the new facility, and the old facility was decommissioned. Infracore also managed the removal of cabling, destruction of data on old systems, and the e-waste generated by the disposal of the old infrastructure.
The client’s move was a major success, with company executives flying in from international headquarters for the dedication of the new facility. Our team received high praise for the skill and diligence displayed during the move and the company’s premiere scientists.