ClickCease

UK Retail Manufacturer

Task

Azure File Services

Challenge

The customer had an ageing on-premise infrastructure platform in both of its offices which has come to the end of its functional life.  The customer had started to implement Microsoft Teams utilising SharePoint and OneDrive as their primary file storage system.  However, following the migration of all their data is became clear that the architecture was not fit for purpose and their inetrnal IT team had not performed any pre-migration planning and subsequently had a single SharePoint site for all folders and files with not enough granularity for permissions causing widespread security issues.  They wanted to move away from Microsoft DFS as they were unhappy with performance issues and could not fix or support the system.

For the CTO, the key challenges had been remote working, maintaining file synchronisation across offices, security to ensure that their data is safe and GDPR compliant and end-user confidence in the IT services and department.

Performance has been a challenge, especially because the technology was ageing and could not be in place upgraded and the nature of their business meant that end users were sharing extremely large design files.  During peak-times, the customer suffered from periods of severe transactional bottlenecking causing delays to all systems and file corruption.

The badly implemented SharePoint document store meant that all files were being systnchronised across the entire estate down to end users computers which crashed due to volume of data and were unworkable as OneDrive schronisation used all available CPU.

A lack of architectural planning including security implications meant that the project had been a failure and damaged the reputation of a good IT department. The CTO stated that his team  did not have the experience or skill set to perform the necessary design or due dilliengece.

Solution

Lanmark’s provided a senior cloud architect and compliance advisor to the customer to rearchitect the solution and implement the necessary security concerns.  The issues were resolved with a combination of Azure File Services for the design departments large files and a correctly implemented SharePoint/OneDrive architecture for the rest of the business. Both solutions would have integration with full backup and distater recovery options.  .

  • Consultancy and design solutions with pilot test groups
  • Implemented Azure File services with utlising existing hardware as local cache servers for the design department.
  • Designed, implemented and migrated all data to a series of internal facing MS Teams sites broken down by function and access management rights.
  • Designed a security process for site creation and content sharing and management.
  • Implemented Document Rights Management with auditing and alerting.
  • Provided guidelines for end users on how and when to use either AFS or SharePoint.
  • Implemented a training solution.

Lanmark then designed a Managed Service support matrix for the customers storage systems which incorporated security processes for site creation and content sharing, ,  with documentmonitoring, service desk, maintenance schedules and recommendations with a joint task force between Lanmark and the customer’s Management team.

Partnership

The Lanmark team was quickly able to understand how the customer operated their business and defined the important elements to provide a trouble-free file storage solution and service to end-users.

Lanmark designed the new architecture and completed a Proof of Concept using subsidised Microsoft Azure credits. The proof of concept also included security features and test processes so the customer could feel confident in the the solution.

Results

Once implemented, the solution has allowed the client to move away from its existing on-premise servers, remove a failing DFS and SharePoint system and dramatically reduce performance issues, single points of failure and bad service with the added advantages of scalability, easy to maintain, reduced latency and happy end-users.

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