Your Azure Partner
Microsoft Azure offers an ever-expanding set of cloud computing services deployed on massive Microsoft-managed data centers. Its integrated services include analytics, computing, database, mobile, networking, storage, AI, web apps, and more – all featuring future-ready innovations, fast and powerful computing, and proactive security and compliance. Using Microsoft Azure cloud servers allows you to eliminate upfront capital expenditures and pay only for the computing resources you use.
But Azure is a monster, and can’t just be setup like a virtual instance of your local IT. It must be optimized and refactored to capitalize on the performance, security, and redundancy options it offers. If you don’t want the cloud to be a sunk cost, but instead a business driver with real ROI, you need a partner who has been there — a guide who has tamed this beast before. As a Microsoft Gold Partner, Accellis understands the Azure architecture, licensing, and payment models and can optimize your site to deliver on the full promise that public cloud offers.
Accellis & Azure
The Azure Solution
Whether you want to reduce your on-premise equipment expenditures, build and deploy powerful web apps, or serve up software across multiple continents, Azure has a solution. Most people don’t ask, “Do I need Azure?” They ask things like, “How do I get there? What will it cost? What needs to change with my IT to make this a success?” This page outlines our proven process. Since we know all the tricks, best practices, tradeoffs, and money pits, by following this process, your Azure project will be an absolute success.
Discovery & Assessment
When you partner with Accellis for your move to the cloud, we start with strategic planning that focuses on practical business needs and ROI. We will carefully monitor your site down to the disk IOPS and data egress which allows us to provide a comprehensive analysis of what data should move to the cloud vs. what data should stay on-premise. This culminates in report we deliver that outlines key risks, migration timeline, workload suitability, and a rough cost of the compute costs (i.e., servers, CPUs, RAM, disks) in a more or less apples to apples comparison of what you have today.
Architect & Design
After discovery, we perform architectural services to better understand what your new site needs to look like. Your migration to Azure can’t be a simple lift-and-shift where you just move what you have over and call it a day. This approach just moves the problem from on-prem to the cloud. To do public cloud right and to gain all the cost, performance, and security advantages, we need to refactor and rehost your workloads from the ground up so they are right-sized, redundant, scalable, and secure. At the end of this phase of your Azure project, we provide another report further outlining key risks and timelines along with our plans to upgrade systems and, if applicable, convert traditional and low-tech/IaaS systems to PaaS or SaaS systems. Finally, your previous compute estimate is revised based on this new information and all other Azure expenses such as networking, storage, security, BDR, etc. are included into an extremely accurate bottom line estimate. Our estimates are usually within 1-3% of what you actually end up paying.
Proof of Concept & Migration
Many firms want us to provide a POC for thorough User Acceptance Testing. We highly recommend this intermediate step between design and migration. By moving to Azure, you’re eliminating much of this work in the future so it’s worth it to make sure you’re doing it right. During a POC, we’ll replicate your resources and build a production-quality site that you test and optimize. Once proven, we proceed to full migration.
Most migrations work like this: we replicate all (or target) on prem equipment to various Azure vms and services. Each day changes are synchronized. We then setup Azure for how it will work once you go into production. Configured, we select cross sections of end-users to thoroughly all resources, apps, and functions in a multitude of ways and on multiple devices. Our hypercare bridge is open with our team standing by to support testers. To be sure your end users need to allocate real time, sometimes on the weekend, to make this project a success. Once approved, we train your staff, cut over, and provide a dedicated team for Go Live Support. If anything unexpected happens, we can easily cut back over to the old systems, tinker with Azure, and try again.
Solving Business Challenges
Organizations that are not in the cloud can no longer keep pace with the business trends and growth of a global marketplace. On-premise computing requires technical expertise to efficiently manage PCs, servers, software, user access, and policies. There is immense pressure to meet consistently evolving security and compliance requirements. Developing and deploying applications and services takes a long time, and even with fully optimized code, processing speed is limited by infrastructure investments. Microsoft Azure enables digital transformation to give you an intelligent edge. Its mission is to empower every person and every organization on the planet to achieve more. Coupled with the strategic implementation by Accellis, all of these challenges – and more – can be quickly addressed!
We’ve grown to appreciate Accellis not as a typical vendor or service provided, but truly a partner in our practice. I trust them completely with our most sacred asset other than our people: our technology. They are knowledgeable, dependable, and innovative. As someone who has a keen understanding of technology, I appreciate the level of skill and expertise that they contribute to our practice. Bottom line for me is that our success can be directly linked to the work Accellis has done. Our legal professionals, both staff and attorneys, can focus their entire day on the practice of law, as many of the things that Accellis has recommended to us or designed for us all makes our work easier, more efficient, and ultimately more profitable. As with every technology product, we have had our challenges, but they are always resolved. When I’ve needed them in the middle of the night, they’ve been there. I’m thankful each day that they are on my team, and they’ve never let me down.
On behalf of our firm, I want to extend our thanks and appreciation to Accellis’ tremendous efforts yesterday in responding to the virus/worm that infected our network and workstations. I was out of the office when the virus hit but from what David, Jeff, Brian and others have reported, Accellis identified the nature and the scope of the issue even before we knew there was a widespread problem of any type. Accellis responded immediately and in force to root out the problem and restore our systems to working order in just a few hours – if not for those efforts, even we could see that the virus had the potential to shut us down for a much, much longer period of time. As Jeff said, we’ve wondered what might happen in an IT crisis, whether because of a virus, cyberattack, disaster in the server room, or other issue. Yesterday afternoon, we faced just such a scenario and Accellis more than proved it was up to the task.
Wanted to thank you again for scrambling Jason and Dave to the office yesterday to help with the staff move... The move happened before I had expected it to. I’d planned to discuss a plan/strategy with you guys on Monday and then take care of the move with the on-site engineer on Tuesday. Obviously that’s not how it played out. It would have been understandable if you’d been unable to provide on-site assistance on the fly. After all, you had no notice. In fact, I was really calling just to see who might best walk me through some of the issues over the phone. But you rounded up a couple guys and they came and hammered it out without complaint, even staying late to make sure we’d have few issues for the following morning. They were terrific. ... You and the team have been fantastic over the years.