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Yamaha joins all-in migration to the public cloud

Thor Olavsrud | Nov. 25, 2014
Seeking to shift IT staff away from maintenance tasks to focus on innovation, Yamaha has dropped its hosted data center in favor of AWS.

"We don't focus on refactoring or the latest-and-greatest technology," says Kris Bliesner, co-founder and CTO of 2nd Watch. "Our real focus has always been around running production applications on the platform. We help enterprises migrate their infrastructure into the public cloud and then manage them."

The two companies began working together in October 2013 and there was already a time crunch. Thomas wanted to have the migration behind him and done so he could focus his staff on upgrading the Oracle ERP system to R12.

"The cloud migration had to be completed just in time so we could go ahead with Oracle 12," Thomas says. "They had to take us from start to finish without any hiccups. Any hiccup would have interrupted a much bigger project."

2nd Watch has a standard cloud migration and management methodology (CM3) that starts with assessment of the infrastructure and determines which applications and workloads are ready to move, which aren't, and the effort required to shift the latter into the former (configuration changes, updates, upgrades, etc.).

"Yamaha was pretty typical," Bliesner says. "It's a good mix of Windows and Linux; that's pretty common in the enterprise these days. And it's got several different kinds of environments."

Everything but Oracle and Cicso Voice Moves to the Cloud
The development and testing systems were the first to migrate, but production workloads followed soon after. And there were no hiccups. By August 2014, all production systems aside from Oracle and Cisco Voice had been moved to the cloud. There were some uncertainties about how Oracle would run on AWS, so Yamaha decided to keep the ERP system running internally, though Thomas hopes to migrate it as well within the next year or so.

The Cisco Voice over IP system will stay on-premises, Thomas says, noting the need to provision telco circuits for voice to work.

With the environment otherwise fully migrated, 2nd Watch is now providing ongoing services to Yamaha, including configuring AWS availability zones for data replication and disaster recovery, designing file system backup, designing scripts to automate the shutdown and startup process of non-production systems, identifying AWS management tools for hosts, networks, security and storage, network design and security and overall design/configuration of AWS EBS and AWS Elastic IP.

For its part, Yamaha no longer has to worry about server maintenance or hardware rotation, and IT can scale resources up and down as needed. Altogether, Yamaha has projected an annual savings of $500,000 through both AWS and 2nd Watch. But for Thomas, the cost savings pales in comparison with the ability to get his team away from maintenance tasks and focused on initiatives that bring value to the business.


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