Prior to working with Claranet, one customer had administered the bulk of its database activities using an on-premise implementation. This had been the organisation’s modus operandi for a number of years, meaning that its database had grown to the point where the company’s IT hardware was reaching its limits in terms of capabilities and capacity.
Alongside this need for greater capacity and added flexibility, the fact that the database had expanded incrementally over a long period of time meant that detailed knowledge of the system had become fragmented, with no one person having full visibility of the workings of the entire database. This made full and accurate reporting of activity difficult.
Moreover, the customer’s internal IT department had not managed a database migration of this nature before, meaning that staff had limited awareness of the complexities of the project, and the time and effort that would be required to make a successful migration a reality. A key requirement was also to move the company’s database engine to PostgreSQL, of which the customer also had little experience.
Discussing the company’s challenges, Mike Fowler, Senior Site Reliability Engineer in Claranet’s Public Cloud Practice, said: “For a long time, managing the database through an on-premise solution had served the customer well. But their continued growth as a business had left them in a position where they needed to expand, so they had to think about how they could future-proof their database and associated applications. The customer knew that they needed to set the wheels in motion for database migration, but didn’t quite have the expertise in-house to manage this in the best way possible.”
After assessing its requirements, the business partnered with Claranet to carry out this project. As part of its Competitive Edge framework, Claranet embarked on an in-depth consultative process to assess the current state of play and identify the best possible future state for the customer.
This included detailed insight into the previous infrastructure configuration in order to discover how the database was being used. A deeper analysis phase followed, which identified the constraints of the previous system and areas where improvements needed to be made.
From this, Claranet and the customer established that moving the database into the cloud was the best course of action. Thanks to the discovery and analysis processes that had been carried out, Claranet was able to architect and mobilise a new solution that would bring greater capacity and flexibility to the customer’s database, while minimising downtime and managing any potential latency issues while the migration took place.
Mike Fowler added: “The business had built up fairly solid awareness of the day-to-day workings of their database over time, but there were a few holes in their knowledge when it came to moving to cloud, as well as working out how to quickly and efficiently switch to PostgreSQL. Claranet’s comprehensive consulting process brought peace of mind in this sense, as it was clear from the offset that we were deep-diving into the database and establishing the best course of action from there.”
Thanks to Claranet’s input, the customer was able to undergo what was a complex process with minimal hassle. Making full use of the Competitive Edge framework ensured that no stone was left unturned throughout the management of the project, and meant that the shift to cloud – and to a new database engine in PostgreSQL – was completed with minimum downtime.
Claranet maintained a consultative role from start to finish, working closely with the customer to make sure that the new database solution was exactly what was required. Claranet also continues to collaborate with the customer in the ongoing management of the solution, acting as a trusted partner for any ongoing queries or future projects.
Mike Fowler concluded: “It was only through working in close partnership with this customer that we could assess just how much work needed to be done to make the migration a success. We continue to work with the business as the new solution develops, and are looking forward to collaborating on additional innovative projects in the future.”