Cloud Migration in Salisbury for Charity Plantlife
Date: Aug 12, 2020
A Little Bit About Plantlife
Plantlife, based in Salisbury, Wiltshire, is a British conservation charity working nationally and internationally to save threatened wildflowers, plants and fungi. They own nearly 4,500 acres of nature reserve across England, Scotland and Wales. They have 11,000 members and supporters and HRH The Prince of Wales is their Patron.
Understanding the Clients Needs
Hardware and software infrastructure needed to be refreshed, Plantlife wanted to understand the financial difference between retaining on-prem servers and purchasing software versus cloud migration where the bulk of services consumed (email, file storage, security etc.) would be moved to the cloud. The Silver Cloud Business helped Plantlife understand the financials of both solutions from which they decided it was a better to go with a cloud migration strategy using a Cloud First approach. Not all their servers are at the end of their economic life and some are running software that needs to be kept on-premise to get the best return on the investment in these assets. Plantlife also need to maintain compliance with legalisation and be able to manage GDPR data subject access requests (DSARs) which has been improved by moving to Microsoft 365 and Azure.
Plantlife also wanted to move away from a dependence of on-premise servers and replication between sites that was being used for disaster recovery purposes. The main problem with the approach was that the secondary site that would be used to host servers in a disaster situation does not have sufficient bandwidth to service all the users and it would take a long time to increase the network bandwidth if a disaster was ever invoked and a cloud-based approach would remove this issue.
Why Plantlife Chose Silver Cloud Business for their Cloud Migration
Plantlife has had a relationship with ABC Networking also based in Salisbury, Wiltshire, (now trading as Silver Cloud Business) since 2008. The Silver Cloud Business has been retained by Plantlife to provide high level IT support, advice and expertise when required.
Cloud Migration Whilst Utilising the Existing Assets
The Silver Cloud Business designed a solution that provided all of the benefits of cloud migration with still being able to sweat the existing assets that are not being migrated yet.
The cloud migration element was achieved by rolling out Microsoft 365 to all users, migrating email from the on-prem Microsoft Exchange server to Microsoft 365 and building and populating SharePoint and Teams sites. The data has been migrated to various targets based on the usage with personal data being migrated to Microsoft OneDrive, departmental data being moved to team sites and company wide data being migrated to SharePoint online.
Microsoft Teams has also been used for teams to collaborate as well as use the chat, voice and video calling both internally and with third parties externally.
OneDrive has also been configured to backup each users’ documents folder, pictures folder and desktop which means that in the event of a machine having a hardware failure, or being lost of stolen, the data can be recovered to a replacement machine.
All machines with a TPM chip have had Bitlocker encryption enabled to protect the data stored locally.
Plantlife is a registered charity which means they are eligible to greatly reduced Microsoft licence subscriptions, which are purchased through The Silver Cloud Business.
- All staff can now access all email and files remotely, Microsoft 365 allows each member of staff to run the software on up to 5 different devices.
- Plantlife is no longer reliant on investing significant sums in internal server hardware assets.
- Departmental data is now stored in Teams, allowing each department to collaborate effectively.
- Plantlife is able to respond to data subject access requests far more efficiently.
- The cost of migration was 35% less than the cost of the cost of replacing all the servers and migrating to new on-premise servers and hardware.
- Taking a server hardware and software replacement cycle as every four years, migrating to the cloud is saving Plantlife £5,000 per year, every year, good news for subscribers and the environment.
- Data indexing and discovery.
- Ability to work securely from anywhere there is an internet connection.