Before the year commenced, iSelect was running hundreds of virtual machines (VMs) on three VMware clusters across two centers.
Time and again, the company had made efforts to emphasize and work on the cloud migration technology. This time, post an investigation on how the company can leverage VMware Cloud (VMC) on Amazon Web Services (AWS) to modernize data center infrastructure, the company decided to hire a technology partner for the migration process.
iSelect’s Head of Technology Shannon Henwood had a goal to achieve efficiency and eliminate challenges. The company worked with technology partner CMD Solutions to implement an all-in migration as the broader goal is to be a complete cloud-native and quick proof-of-concept company.
“I didn’t want to do this to just move from X to Y, I wanted to add in more security, I wanted more reliability, I wanted to be performant … I said if I’m doing this, then I want those to be at least 50% better,” he told ZDNet.
Only within two weeks of drawing up initial plans, iSelect migrated more than 200 VMs onto VMC and deployed other AWS services such as Storage Gateway, CloudWatch, Identity and Access Management (IAM), and Direct Connect virtual interface. It initially migrated small and non-critical workloads, before moving to larger workloads. As an example of a larger workload, the company’s core website application is apt, which has about 30 TB data and custom-built CRM.
But migration was not the only concern for Henwood. It was about shifting from the desktop environment to working from home. Here the concern was to figure how the company’s contact center and on-premises CRM are going to make the shift.
Because of the changing environment, Henwood said he was “cognisant of not killing the network” during the migration process.
“There was a sense of urgency around that time too to make sure there we were extra resilient in everything, and that DR (disaster recovery) was factored in,” he said.
“It was always part of the plan to go cloud-native. The timing was everything. Had I had my time again, would I have done it then? No. But we just needed to do it, and everything fell into place at the same time,” he added.
However, the company remained on track while completing the cloud-first migration strategy.
“We did have a strategic goal and we still do have a strategic goal to move everything into cloud-first, cloud-native,” he said. “Some of our CRM is in Salesforce, part of our website is already sitting in AWS … and we’re continuing with that over the next 18 months to finish that off.”