Cloud has become an important cog in the digital transformation wheel and companies have realised the potential that cloud offers. Based on a Forbes prediction, 83 per cent of enterprise workloads will be on the cloud by the year 2020
Confidence in the cloud is growing with companies overcoming their reluctance to relinquish on-premise control over their IT systems and acquiesce to the cloud. Amongst them is Wonderchef Home Appliance – a powerhouse in the home appliance industry, created by two enthusiasts, Ravi Saxena and Chef Sanjeev Kapoor in 2009. The company, in collaboration with Intelegain Technologies, recently accomplished a successful transition of its ERP solution from an on-premise data centre to the cloud.
Intelegain is a Mumbai-based leading provider of IT services and is helping brands transform their business, reduce costs, streamline processes and introduce new services with cloud computing. “We at Intelegain strive to offer solutions to the business problems irrespective of the technology being used. Technology itself cannot be an answer to a problem, but a proper conglomerate of technologies can do wonders,” says Neeraj Gargi, CTO, Intelegain Technologies.
The need for a cloud-based solution
Wonderchef’s primary focus was to have a solution that managed all facets of customer relationship and supply chain efficiently. The company had an estimated 20-50 in-house users on their AD (Active Directory) on-premise Navision Server. With its exponential growth in business, Wonderchef was facing challenges with its ERP solution hosted in an on-premise environment. Some of the challenges included data centre security, hardware elasticity, hardware refresh, multi-location access, etc.
Therefore, there was an immediate need for the seamless transition of their data centre from its current facility to the cloud in order to reduce the maintenance cost, effort and time. Meanwhile, also allowing office and remote employees to connect and run business processes efficiently while using the device and interface they are most comfortable with.
Moving from AD on-premise Navision Server to Azure
Intelegain, in collaboration with Wonderchef, implemented a solution to migrate the data centre to the cloud in order to handle backup and disaster recovery. Since the business was moving to a new space, Intelegain’s solutions team faced challenges with the migration of the data centre to a new facility during a period when the volume of billing transactions were the highest. The challenge was the transition of the entire data centre from on-premise to the cloud within a week, due to the approaching deadline on the existing lease at Wonderchef’s current facility.
After appraising Wonderchef’s current infrastructure, Intelegain proposed a ‘fail-safe hybrid cloud solution’ for the ERP application with virtually zero downtime. Meanwhile, considering a few important factors like cloud elasticity, Tier 4 level data centre, GDPR, HIPPA, ISO 270001 compliance, no hardware refresh requirement, global accessibility, hybrid compatibility and seamless migration process, etc.
Consequently, a detailed migration plan was drawn and implemented. Most of the activities were executed concurrently while production environment was kept unaffected till the last mile while actual data migration activity happened over the weekend (non-business hours) during a four-hour shutdown.
Intelegain implemented a traditional hybrid solution with an improvised fall-back option guaranteeing continuity of business in case of disaster. Microsoft Azure services were used to provide high availability of the application. VPN level security was implemented for data security. Intelegain being Microsoft Gold Partner and CSP Direct Partner, Wonderchef had the assurance of optimal product migration support from the Microsoft team in case of post-deployment issues.
Intelegain executed Dynamics NAV Migration to the Azure cloud following Microsoft’s best practices. A highly available and scalable architecture was implemented which includes components like high performance VMs, security, VPN Gateways, storage services, backup and DR plan. Thus, in collaboration with Wonderchef, Intelegain was able to migrate its client’s data centre to the cloud, all the while avoiding any downtime during the productive hours and providing consistent access to the system, offering mobility to the Wonderchef sales offices and warehouses from multiple locations via desktops, web and mobile site, etc.
Successful execution and pay-off
Prior to the deployment, Wonderchef was fraught with connectivity issues from remote locations like warehouses and issues with data centre security and compute/storage elasticity. It had incurred high expenses due to the hardware refresh and maintenance cost of on-premise data centre as well as for manpower employed for data centre administration. Furthermore, there was the threat of a downtime requirement for migrating the data centre to the new facility along with an absence of Disaster Recovery support.
Kapil Chopra, CEO, Intelegain, said, “Both teams deserve to be credited to pull off such a migration with zero defect. Intelegain has been pretty hands-on in meeting such critical technology challenges for several years. This migration will eventually help Wonderchef with a 30 per cent cost reduction on infrastructure costs. This certainly helps to build a case study for other companies to follow.”
Post implementation of this hybrid cloud solution, the threat of a potential downtime during the data centre migration activity was eliminated. The cloud’s inbuilt scale capabilities helped in reducing cloud consumption by not creating additional capacity upfront, therefore there was no need for advanced capacity planning. The cloud transition will help Wonderchef achieve seamless access to their ERP from multiple locations. “Hybrid is the future. No system can work in isolation,” commented Gargi.
Wonderchef also gets business continuity in case of disaster with two hours RTO (Recovery Point Objective) and 30-minute RPO (Recovery Time Objective) with Intelegain’s cloud solution. “We are working towards creating an elastic fail safe IT ecosystem at Wonderchef to support exponential business growth. I appreciate Intelegain team for supporting our vision,” said Sandiip Kothari, CIO, Wonderchef.
On the whole, the cloud solution implemented was unique and successful due to its multiple failover strategies which helped to achieve business continuity and migration with zero business impact and only a couple hours of downtime during the weekend to complete the transition. Its capability of running independently on the cloud will prove valuable in case of a disaster.