Direct Marketing Support Limited (DMS), are a Cheshire-based marketing agency with 25 years’ experience of providing a comprehensive range of services in a variety of marketplaces, with an objective of adding value and unrivalled professionalism to their clients’ sales and marketing departments. The marketing activities currently undertaken include Campaign Management, Data Management and the provision of Contact Centre operations.
DMS clients include Pilkington NSG, Siemens, Knauf, Vaillant and Aqualisa; and they place great value on working in partnership with clients, with the goal of developing business whilst retaining a strong level of mutual trust.
The challenge facing DMS was that they had a locally hosted infrastructure that was at the end of its natural life combined with an imminent office move. Additionally their hosted servers were proving expensive and inflexible. Taken together these factors provided DMS with the opportunity to look at alternative solutions, including migration to a fully hosted Amazon Web Services (AWS) Cloud solution.
AWS & Partner Solution
Ubertas undertook a period of due diligence with DMS in order to gain a full understanding of the requirement, allowing the most effective technology solution to be implemented. As a result DMS selected the Ubertas proposal to migrate the existing infrastructure to a fully provisioned AWS Cloud solution that included:
File server migration
Migration of multiple web services
Task scheduler migration
The Cloud migration included:
Migrating five (5) privately hosted servers to five (5) dynamically provisioned AWS servers
Moving to a single domain allowing the decommissioning of a hosted domain controller
Switching from standalone MS SQL Server to an AWS MS SQL server
Automating of postal address updates rather than manual reliance on a local machine
Archiving old unused customer databases to AWS Glacier
The Ubertas design considerations for the dynamic Cloud provisioning solution on AWS were:
- Security The primary requirement around any Cloud hosted service should always be security, and this was no exception when architecting the AWS solution for DMS. Its combination of VPC, public and private subnets, security groups and network access control lists ensured a robust design with more controls in place than the incumbent hosting provider
- Cost The design took cost into consideration with the goal of providing comparable performance to the existing solution, at a much reduced price. This was accomplished using the on-demand pricing model, and a database provisioning that includes the SQL server license cost
- Virtualised Hardware & Storage To ensure comparable performance and meet customer requirements - the virtual compute and storage hardware was specified as closely as possible to the currently hosted architecture. The hosted infrastructure had been over provisioned as is commonplace for static allocation leaving an opportunity for future optimization in a dynamically provisioned environment
- Reliability AWS compute resource has a reliability of 99.9974 % and the block storage that provides the OS and file system is automatically replicated to increase durability and availability. The design benefits from further backup beyond those that AWS provide automatically to protect from any critical failures
- Flexibility Compute resource and storage can be dynamically provisioned on AWS allowing the ability to either grow or shrink the infrastructure according to business needs. Cloud metrics are being monitored and analysed for future optimization opportunities.
DMS chose Ubertas, a member of the AWS Partner Network (APN), to help them migrate to the AWS Cloud, and also upgrade to Office 365. "Ubertas had the expertise with both AWS and Microsoft that we needed for this complex deployment," says Damien Fogg, Managing Director at DMS.
“DMS is focused on delivering great marketing solutions to clients; it’s not an IT shop. We’re able to spend less and get more innovation by working with AWS and Ubertas”, added Damien.
Once the Ubertas proposal was accepted the migration to AWS took only three (3) weeks to complete, allowing DMS to meet the timescales for their move to new premises, as well transition to their new AWS Cloud solution.
Damien says, “The ability to go from a system architecture design and capacity requirements to an online and working production system in very little time is fantastic”.
DMS now have a World-class Cloud solution based on AWS technologies that provides more flexibility, security and reliability for their IT infrastructure. By switching to AWS, DMS have consolidated its entire hosting under one provider and also driven significant savings in overall hosting costs. They also no longer have to purchase new equipment to accommodate future growth. With AWS flexibility is unparalleled.
“We didn’t want to worry about infrastructure or scaling. We just want to be able to ask questions and get answers. AWS and Ubertas helps us get answers quickly”, added Damien.