Datacenter migration to continue growing with flexibility and speed
Get to know the ViaCerta case
This case describes the Data Center Migration project of Via Certa Financiadora S/A, a traditional credit financial company with over 200 employees and more than 50 years in the market. The client’s business is in full expansion, being one of the main personal financing companies of southern Brazil.
With the headquarter in the city of SANTO CRISTO/RS, known due to its agile processes with reduced bureaucracy, Via Certa offers various personal financing products, being the main ones:
· Personal Credit;
· Consigned Credit;
· Agrarian Financing;
· Financing for Civil Construction – Refurbishment Credit.
The main challenge of this project was to design a Cloud solution which fulfilled the expectations of safety, availability and compliance with the directives of the Brazilian Central Bank. The client’s IT infrastructure used a Traditional Data Center with a history of several unavailability incidents. This IT scenario no longer fulfilled the company’s expectations, limiting the business development and bringing risks due to the non-fulfillment of the financial sector’s standards. It was necessary to change with urgency to continue in the market. It was fundamental to seek a more robust, safe and scalable solution.
In this project, two different solutions were analyzed: own investment in on premise environment and Microsoft Azure Cloud with Teevo S/A. With a fast approach, Teevo S/A was able to make an AZURE POC (proof of concept) with the client’s main systems and compose a technological solution of greater value with the Microsoft cloud resources.
Several challenges such as: adequation of legacy systems, compliance with standards of the financial sector, integration of suppliers and partners, brought a greater complexity to this project. Approximately 400 hours of planning and tests were necessary until we found a feasible migration scenario for Cloud Azure. All this activity was developed by Teevo S/A in a four hands process with the client.
The success of this migration project, it opened the possibility of transforming numerous other business processes with the Azure solutions, and this annual consumption has been increasing month after month since the migration.
Teevo SA, a Tier-1 partner for Microsoft’s Cloud solutions, was responsible for the design of the solution, architecture and migration of the environment from local data center to Microsoft Azure Cloud. All analysis, data collection and solution design involved a 4-people team for 60 days, and the migration occurred in a timeframe of approximately 90 days, with a practically inexistent impact on the financial operations of VIA CERTA.
Several Virtual Machines (VMs) were part of the migration from Traditional Data Center to Azure Cloud. A large part of the virtual machines ware reinstalled with more recent versions of the operational systems, which brought an extra workload to homologate the new environments. The rest of systems ware migrated in a transparent way with Azure Site Recovery resource. Concerning performance, the first validation tests were very satisfactory in the client’s perspective and this accelerated the decision for the Cloud Azure solution.
The project was already born with the necessity of high availability (HA) and disaster recovery (DR) of the productive environments. E-series machines were defined for the SQL database environment with SSDs for better performance. It was also fundamental to have Teevo contributed with the specialized DBA services to prepare and test of the SQL Server environment high availability solution.
The new Azure infrastructure counted with the Auto Scaling of remote access applications, and Azure Automation, for deployment of development environments and tests. The whole authentication architecture based on Active Directory Domain Services (ADDS) was migrated to a VM with Windows 2016 server Azure, and all external access were blocked, being possible only through VPNs managed by the Azure Firebox Cloud Firewall Watchguard.
Benefits and Impacts on Business:
In the traditional data center environment, the client was facing a series of problems related to resources availability. In addition to that, the IT security problems were frequent, which brought a scenario of lack of credibility to the whole IT team. With the Cloud Azure solution, we provide to the client a safe environment, compliance to the standards of the financial system; in addition they had access to new cloud resources allowing to choose among a very large variety of solutions and different machine types, adequating the productive environment to the actual business needs.
With these characteristics, the client was able to stabilize the systems’ availability and provide resources in a safe manner to partners and suppliers. Today, the system is accessed by over 100 business partners and is integrated online with approximately 12 suppliers (banks, other financing companies, regulating entities, sale posts, etc.).
Another important benefit was the fast and on demand provisioning of other IT infrastructure resources for the new internal projects, enabling and disabling on demand or in a pre-scheduled manner. That streamlined the homologation of new systems and brought a better management of ROI of the business projects contributing for the reducing the costs of new IT environments setup.
Regarding the productive environment of ERP ERCARD, the client noticed a significant performance gain in the main business routines upon migrating to Azure. That brought great credibility to the project and internal support of various stakeholders, allowing the analysis of new products and cloud solutions.
With the adoption of Cloud Azure, VIA CERTA began counting on access to advanced infrastructure levels which, otherwise, would not be available on a traditional Data Center, such as, the high availability infrastructure, machine learning and disaster recovery resources. As soon as the migration was completed, an analysis of the main business processes began in order to promote a Digital Transformation. The Cloud Azure solution opened new possibilities not perceived until then by the Client.
The Azure platform also allowed structuring an environment with high availability and full contingency at VIA CERTA systems. All productive systems were installed with HA resources of Azure in Brazil and with Disaster Recovery in Azure in the USA. Also, the DR environment is periodically audited by outsourced companies, according to a normative of the financial sector. In the last tests window, the productive environment in the United States was activated in production within a window of less than two hours, exceeding the business expectations.
However, one of the biggest gains in the project of migration to the cloud was to allow VIA CERTA’s IT department to resume the focus of their actions in the support strategies for the business areas, and less in IT infrastructure. That certainly allowed the IT area to resume a more strategic solutions, oriented to the company’s business.
Reference in Market
It is important to highlight that VIA CERTA FINANCIADORA’s Azure Cloud project opened doors to several new projects in other clients of the same segment. Given the company size and regional representativeness, the VIA CERTA Azure case opened new horizons to the Azure solutions in the industrial market in our region. Many of the migration techniques and technologies employed successfully in this project are being offered to other clients. Much beyond a mere case of Data Center Migration, the VIA CERTA case represented a milestone for Teevo and opened doors for offering Cloud Azure solutions in our region.
The #DesligueiMeuDataCenter started as a customer migration project from Teevo’s datacenter to Azure, but we understand that this is only the beginning of a great market movement and clearly signals to customers that it does not make sense anymore to invest on local infrastructure and datacenter.
The focus of IT managers should be on looking at business, how to add value to organizations and use the technologies available to ensure the differential in a market that is increasingly competitive. As long as IT areas are paying attention to infrastructure, there is no room to think about how to adopt platforms to effectively perform digital transformation.
We have no doubt that in a few years it will be very rare to find customers who still make efforts to manage on-premises environments. To ensure the survival of these organizations, the focus should be on the understanding of how technology can be used to transform business.
We are sharing a message to the market that the journey to the cloud is inevitable, even for companies offering datacenter services through local infrastructures, and Teevo was Brazil's first datacenter to carry out this movement.
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