Olikka helps Local Government get cloud-ready with Azure SQL PaaS migration

February 15, 2021

About the customer

This local government customer is located in the west of the state of Victoria, Australia. The council plays a vital role in providing key administration and governance to a mainly urban population of more than 100,000 residents.

 

The Problem

After successfully migrating its on-premises data centre to Microsoft Azure, the customer was looking to become fully cloud ready by migrating its SQL Server databases to Azure SQL PaaS. At the same time, the customer also wanted to streamline its costs through consolidating application and database licences.

The organisation faced several key challenges prior to moving to the licence consolidation. Firstly, it needed to move out of its data centre and reduce on-premises hardware. During the initiation data centre migration and investigation phase, the organisation ran into challenges in moving certain third-party applications into the cloud.

Once these challenges were overcome, the organisation then needed assistance to identify and prioritise its application sand databases for decommissioning prior to the SQL migration.

The Solution

The customer predominantly sought Olikka’s assistance with its SQL Server (IaaS) to Azure SQL PaaS migration activities. However, aspart of its SQL database (DB) consolidation initiative, the customer required an Azure specialist to assist with analysing the current environment and prioritising the migration of databases.

Olikka’s project team suggested the customer follow a Cloud-First process, to ensure that all assessments started with a cloud-ready mindset. This meant each stage of the analysis – from application through to Managed Instances and IaaS – a cloud-ready approach determined the correct choice of technology or application.

Olikka approached this phase by breaking up the databases into different groups and identifying those that would need to stay as IaaS and those that could be moved to PaaS. There were some that needed tobe moved to a Managed Instance Model (MIM) and the remainder required a combination of IaaS and Managed Instance, for example SQL Server Reporting Services.

Once the consolidation phase was complete,Olikka then leveraged Microsoft's cloud adoption framework (CAF) for best practice guidelines to approach the migration. The framework recommend semploying a repeatable pattern to migrate SQL Server databases to Azure.

The final phase was achieved by setting up a migration pipeline using the SQL Migration Toolset as well as the Azure Migration Services components.

 

“Olikkahas once again assisted the customer streamline costs and improve the IT team’s Microsoft Azure skillset. Our experience with Olikka demonstrates their expertise in the Microsoft suite of products, combined with dedication in helping us achieve our goals.”
Head of IT

 

Benefits

By following a repeatable process, and documenting the approach as well as architecture of the migration, Olikka provided the customer with a process to manage future migrations in-house.

This includes a set of questions to use when discussing new technology purchases which involve bringing on new databases by third party vendors.

The documentation supplied with the migration includes an architecture diagram and step-by-step process that the customer can use to plan the migration of SQL Server Reporting Services to the cloud.

The outcomes included streamlining licencing costs, saving the customer and includes the upskilling in Microsoft Azure proficiency for the in-house IT team.

“Through our engagement with Olikka, the IT team was able to upskill and augment its Microsoft Azure Technical Expert skillset. We now have a systematic and documented process to migrate databases in future if required.”

Head of IT

 

What’s Next

The next phase of the project will be to investigate and change the application architecture and design of the older databases that need to be supported by a move to Microsoft Azure. Olikka will consult with the application vendors to support The customer.

In some cases, the alterations will need to change the underlying data structure of the database or the actual code of the application. In others it will involve working with the authentication profile of the application to determine a way to move it to a supported cloud methodology.

There are also several databases that had to be shut down and removed from servers. Once this has been done, Olikka will consolidate the remaining database servers to reduce the customer’s IaaS footprint.This will remove both CPU cycles as well as storage used by the system, thus reducing the costs further.

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