Established in 1994, Morgan Richardson is an independent insurance broker that focus on providing business insurance solutions to the commercial retail and licensed trade industry. They offer tailor-made packages to suit their client's needs! With traditional on-premise solutions that had acquired a fair share of technical debt and the push in 2020 to move to more flexible and agile home working solutions; Morgan Richardson turned to AWS Partner 3Gi Technology Ltd to help with their transition to the cloud.
Knowing that Morgan Richardson had already incurred a particular amount of technical debt over the years, as well as a lack of agile high-availability combined with a need to offer an agile working from a home solution, made the decision to move to the cloud easily.
With a 6-month migration plan in mind, AWS was selected as an option as the platform allowed flexibility from both a technology and cost perspective and enabled them to meet the challenges they were faced with;
- A flexible testing environment to become available for pre-migration as to not affect the live environment.
- High availability and redundancy of key systems, alongside with corresponding documented disaster recovery tests.
- Flexible operational expenditure to change with business demands with a transparent view of where their costs were going.
- A secure framework to house sensitive information, with the ability to evidence this to any prospective customers.
- Ensure the business has a centralised and easy-to-use working experience, with a seamless transition into remote working.
- Remove the requirement of large capital expenditure.
Due to the complexity of the environment, 3Gi looked to re-build all servers within AWS from scratch. By working in conjunction with Morgan Richardson’s management and development team, we ensured all processes and functions were re-added, re-mapped and re-documented. EC2 and EBS shells were created to allow us to build from the ground up, using the flexibility of the system to create, decommission and roll back servers onto previous snapshots to allow for a rapid change in direction during the testing process. Unlike with a traditional server migration, we were not constrained by the time taken to build and rebuild the environment and could put the team’s efforts towards the development rebuilds.
Milestones were agreed with the business to allow us to simulate the live environment within AWS and troubleshoot any outstanding bugs, all while allowing the core business to continue to function. When each testing phase was complete and the team moved onto the next actions, any non-required servers were shut down until required. Once all systems had been tested within AWS and the business had confirmed everything was working as expected, several cut-over days were planned in migrate across to the new environment.
Due to the agile nature of this project, and the uncertainty that the bespoke applications could be rebuilt within the time constraints, it was greatly appreciated by the business to be able to see where costs were applied during the testing phase, and the efforts put forwards by the team to be conscious of their expenditure.
Outcome and Results
Through this process, all the requirements were tackled for Morgan Richardson within the desired timeframe. EC2 allowed for us to create flexible testing that allowed the business to feel confident in moving to the new solution, knowing that all aspects of their requirements had been tested, all with no downtime or loss of operational time to the business. By utilizing disk snapshots we were given the ability to roll back and replicate servers where required, demonstrating the availability with AWS to restore an environment with a greatly reduced RPO than was currently experienced.
The best practice laid out by AWS and the combined experience of our AWS Solutions Architects allowed for us to create a secure environment with total control and visibility over the entire infrastructure, whilst maintaining the complete total cost of ownership.