Moving your business-critical workloads to remote servers is a big decision; it can be time-consuming and stressful which is enough to put anyone off at first glance but the long-term benefits and savings can make it all worthwhile.
We recently carried out such a migration for one of our customers so I’m going to use that as an example here.
What they had
The business in question is primarily based at two sites, with manufacturing at one site and administration at the other. They also had some employees working flexibly from home.
At the manufacturing site, on a server in a side room, they had a business-critical application. The application was used across the business at all sites and was critical to the company’s day to day operations. It had started as a small application with basic functionality but as the business has grown so has the application and importance of it.
The setup they had in place had some major downfalls;
1) The application was reliant on a single server, if that server went down the business stopped
2) If the site where the application was based experienced either a power outage or internet outage the application would be unavailable
3) Backups were antiquated, relying on a manual tape backup process
4) Security was becoming an issue with the server sat on a busy site in an easily accessible side room
5) Improving performance was difficult, the ageing hardware no longer met the needs of the application but it was difficult to upgrade and would require prolonged outages
6) Space was an issue; the company had grown and they needed every square inch of office space including the room where the server was sat in
7) Remote access was complicated and often a cause of frustration
The remote desktop solution
The application was migrated to a virtual server in a data centre. A second virtual server provided remote desktop access, protected behind remote desktop gateways with two-factor authentication.
The business still needed a server on-site at their two locations but these could be scaled down to simple file and print servers.
All the company’s data was setup to replicate between their two sites and the data centre servers.
Overnight the business was modernised, giving them greater flexibility and resilience;
1) The servers were all virtualized and highly available, no longer reliant on a single piece of hardware
2) Now hosted in a data centre, the application was highly available with backup power supplies and internet connections to ensure it is always available
3) Data was replicated across all the sites offering great resilience in the event of an issue at one site, geo-redundant automated backups keep their data safe
4) Physical security was no longer an issue, their data is now protected behind multiple layers of security
5) Performance can be improved; extra resources can be made available very quickly in the virtualized environment and in quiet periods can be scaled back to reduce costs
6) Space was made available in their offices so they can continue to expand and grow
7) Remote access was simplified and security improved with two-factor authentication, staff can now work easily from anywhere
8) Long term costs savings were achieved as the on-site hardware no longer needed to be maintained, upgraded or replaced
The benefits are easy to see and, in this particular case, allowed this business to focus on its core objectives. To find out how a remote desktop could benefit your business, get in touch with the SpiderGroup team by calling us on 0117 933 0570 or fill in our contact form and we will get back to you.