Under pressure to meet rising expectations from citizens and employees, CSH Surrey is always seeking new ways to improve operational performance.
When the organization saw an opportunity to drive greater efficiency by moving its IT systems (running on a mixture of VMware and physical servers) into a shared data center facility and private cloud infrastructure based on Microsoft Hyper-V, it did not hesitate – but the migration presented a challenge.
David Snelling, director of information management and technology at CSH Surrey, said "Our employees need to be able to access a host of IT systems – such as our electronic patient record software – around the clock. Any interruptions to our services can be, at best, inconvenient to the citizens we serve and at worst, dangerous."
Feeling a traditional "lift and shift" data center migration presented significant risk, CSH Surrey sought an alternative approach that would enable it to test systems in advance for performance and compatibility.
The organization soon found the answer to its migration challenges in PlateSpin Migrate.
"We did not look much further than PlateSpin Migrate as it is a leader in the market for a reason – it ticks every box," said Snelling. "The ease of use and reasonable price point of PlateSpin Migrate appealed to us; it provided everything we needed to plan and run a successful migration."
"Once PlateSpin Migrate was in place, we were able to handle the migration completely remotely, which streamlined the process considerably," said Snelling.
With PlateSpin Migrate, CSH Surrey was able to take a copy of each of its 25 physical and virtual servers and use it to model and test the migration process, utilizing diagnostic tools to determine how best to allocate capacity. When it came time to go live on the new Hyper-V environment, the organization could be confident there were no unknowns. "PlateSpin Migrate allowed us to run extensive testing and perform a dry-run before we undertook the actual migrations," said Snelling. "We were able to put links between our systems into place and check on the compatibility to ensure that when we went live, everything would work seamlessly. As a result, nothing was left to chance: we knew exactly what was going to happen and were not disappointed."
"With PlateSpin Migrate on our side, we were able to complete the entire data center migration from VMware to Hyper-V in under an hour – an estimated 35-hour downtime saving on a physical lift and shift approach," said Snelling. "PlateSpin Migrate enabled us to significantly minimize the downtime and risk associated with a business-critical data center migration." By automating and streamlining the migration process, PlateSpin Migrate also helped CSH Surrey save time on planning. Moreover, taking advantage of the transparent testing features allowed the organization's IT team to demonstrate to the business such a major change was not taken lightly. "PlateSpin Migrate is designed for a hassle-free migration, and that is what it delivered," said Snelling. "It was important for us to communicate to management just how thoroughly we planned this migration, and PlateSpin gave us an easy way to do so." CSH Surrey achieved what it set out to do: a low-risk migration with minimal impact on IT service. "The solution does exactly what it says on the tin, taking the stress and risk out of complex migrations so that you can enjoy the benefits sooner rather than later," said Snelling.