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Microsoft Workloads on AWS

Skaylink has many years of experience in supporting customers in the most varied industries in extracting the greatest possible benefit out of their Microsoft workloads. We will guide you through the development of these environments by creating hybrid or cloud-first scenarios and optimizing costs, security, availability and performance in the process.

Microsoft workloads on AWS

Our comprehensive range of offerings covers the entire spectrum – from consultation, coaching, project design and implementation all the way to continuous operation. This means complete freedom for our customers when they want to perform the migration themselves, but need knowledge and architectural input – but also when they want a fully managed service that removes all operational complexity, allowing them to focus on innovation and core business activities.

With our Microsoft workloads on AWS method, we analyze your Microsoft infrastructure services such as Active Directory, SQL Server, Windows Server, Exchange and SharePoint environments and develop the best strategy to run them securely, cost-effectively and reliably on AWS.

SQL Server

We support your DBAs and your technical team during the migration from on-premises to AWS and concentrate on minimizing downtime and costs while maintaining operative excellence.

Our range of offerings includes:

  • Preparing for migration: On-site analysis, determining the workloads and the complexity of the database instances, licensing and infrastructure analysis
  •  Target concept: In this phase, we determine the best target solution for your SQL Server databases, for example:
  • Migration to AWS RDS (Relational Database Services), which eliminates the need for licensing and lowers the operating costs since this is a service that is completely managed by AWS.
  • Migration to another database engine: Depending on the use case, another database engine (such as AWS Aurora or PostGreSQL) can be used. This can result in significant cost savings. If you use AWS DBMS (Database Migration Service) or the AWS Schema Conversion Tool, you do not need to significantly redesign the application.
  • BYOL (Bring Your Own License): To make the most of your current investment, you can also bring your own license to AWS and run your SQL Server from an EC2 instance.
  • Service migration: Our certified experts have already migrated hundreds of SQL databases. Depending on the customer’s requirements, our team can simply guide you through your migration or carry out the entire migration for you.
  • Operation: We also offer a fully-managed service. You just need to use the databases that are hosted on your AWS account. We’ll handle the rest.

Field of application

Microsoft Server from the cloud can be used for the following, for example:

  • Running .NET applications in secure, efficient and, if required, globally distributed demilitarized zones (DMZs) to take advantage of top Internet performance as well as Elastic Load Balancer (ELB), Content Distribution Network (CDN), CloudFront and Route53 DNS services
  • Test/demo environments or forks of the productive environment for development. Cost-effective and readily available cloud resources can be used for debugging or testing new features instead of taking up valuable computing power and storage space on your virtual server environments. 
  • More affordable and efficient hybrid high availability (HA) solutions for Microsoft server environments to save costs, reduce complexity and improve performance 
  • For any situation where you want to integrate a specific function into the corporate network, but not the server, operation and support. 

Server on AWS

AWS supports a wide range of Windows Server operating systems and a seamless migration from virtual machines on-premises. This allows a very rapid migration and provision of new Windows instances. Currently, we offer the following Windows services on EC2:

  • Active Directory
  • Windows File Server/DFS
  • SQL Server
  • Internet Information Server (IIS)
  • Microsoft Exchange
  • Microsoft SharePoint
  • Skype for Business/Lync
  • Migration of business applications that are running on Windows servers
  • Automated setup of multi-tier applications

References and example cases

This list provides a quick overview of the topics on which we work (for data protection reasons, no customer details will be listed).

Relocation of an agricultural data collection application to AWS

Our customer, KWS Services North America, needed to move a legacy research and development data collection platform from an on-premises environment at a third-party vendor to one that was fully under the customer’s control.

Flexibility in application relocation, cost optimization, proximity to users on the West Coast of the United States and stability were key factors in the project. The case study consists of a traditional multi-tiered web application, where the web tier is connected to a database tier running Microsoft SQL Server.

Here you can see the broad architecture:

They chose an instance-based SQL Server. This was based on the results of a TCO analysis that showed that a BYOL model with Microsoft Software Assurance would provide significant cost savings compared to a pure RDS or AWS EC2 environment with SQL licensing. This allowed the customer to leverage the existing Microsoft relationship and licensing.

The entire environment, consisting of both networks and EC2 instances, was deployed in line with AWS best practices. That meant:

  • CloudFormation was used to provide an infrastructure as a code basis for VPC and main instances. 
  • Security by Design at every level using security groups, IAM minimums and SQL Server security constraints to keep the environment secure
  • A backup to S3 was implemented for SQL databases.

SQL Server migration for Betaseed

Betaseed is the leading sugar beet breeder in North America and a strong partner for growers and industry partners around the world. Betaseed’s goal is to make sugar beet growing easier and more productive by offering high-yielding sugar beet varieties and tolerance packages of exceptional quality. In addition, it sets out to support the customer with new ideas, tools and concepts starting with the seed and beyond. Customers trust Betaseed to provide them with knowledge, improved varietal performance and timely answers to technical operational questions to achieve the highest possible yield for their operation.

Moreover, Betaseed supports its customers with a service and premium program called BetaPoint. BetaPoint was set up in a VPC in the Frankfurt AWS region and consists of a load balancer that provides the certificates, a .net application running on Windows-based instances and a Microsoft SQL Server RDS instance.

Alongside VPC and EC2 with load balancing and EBS, the following AWS services are used:

  • Database Migration Service
  • AWS Certificate Manager
  • Simple Email Service
  • Relational database service with MS SQL Server
  • Identity & Access Management‎
  • S3
     

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