Helicon Company LLC, established in 1997, is one of Russia’s largest suppliers of integrated solutions for research and medical laboratories. Its customers include pharmaceutical and food companies, research institutes and universities.
Up until 2012, the customer’s IT infrastructure had been based on its own physical and virtual servers. They provided such services and applications as Active Directory, 1C:Accounting, Microsoft SQL-based database servers, a corporate portal, internal communications service, file and FTP-servers, telephony and others.
As corporate staff expanded, alongside the regional network, the company was faced with the problem of insufficient performance of its servers. The existing hardware and software could no longer cope with the increased load. The regional offices were dissatisfied with the low speed of work with the services provided by the company from the head office.
The company chose its cloud supplier based on two main factors: value for money and level of support. ActiveCloud by Softline’s offer proved to be the most valid option.
“We needed to increase the level of fail safety of the systems, while uniting local IT services into a common structure, as well as to be able to manage the capacity depending on current requirements,” says Sergei Gorinov, IT Director at Helicon Company LLC. “The only option that managed to address all of our tasks simultaneously was to transfer the company’s IT resources to the cloud. We considered numerous cloud solutions and were most satisfied with ActiveCloud by Softline.”
The project for the services to migrate to the cloud envisaging transition to new software was implemented by technical specialists of ActiveCloud by Softline in several phases. First, an audit of the existing infrastructure was conducted, which resulted in the design of the architecture of the cloud solution. The customer’s requirements regarding updates and optimization of the company’s services were also accounted for. The next stage envisioned the migration of services to the cloud, as well as software updates and introduction of a number of new services. Thorough planning of the migration process made it possible to move all of the main systems of the critical applications to the cloud overnight: in the morning the company’s employees began to work in the ordinary and usual course.
This phase was followed by the introduction of the internal SaaS DeskWork portal, as well as the Windows Server 2008R2-based remote desktop service that provided efficient and easy access to applications through a web-based interface, load balancing and scalability.
The remote desktop currently allows users to work with applications by connecting via a secure gateway. Services are available from any place in the world with Internet access. Connection is via the secure HTTPS protocol; all connections are encrypted. If the session is interrupted, all previously launched applications and edited documents will be automatically opened without any loss of results on reconnection.
Currently there are 15 servers in ActiveCloud’s cloud environment, which ensure the customer’s operations. The main services of the company have also been transferred to IT outsourcing: Active Directory, corporate email, the portal, the backup service of network, domain and file infrastructure, and the email system. This allowed a significant reduction in the organization’s costs and ensured proactive monitoring of the IT systems.
In the course of the project, several levels of backup were implemented: with the help of built-in Windows and ActiveBackup tools (a simple and affordable solution for data backup) and snapshots (which instantly capture the file system status at a certain point in time).
“The project was very interesting and indicative for us because it involved moving all of the customer’s internal services to the cloud. The company’s willingness to move to the most advanced technologies indicates its high level of maturity. I am sure that many companies will be able to apply this approach to address the challenges of equipment and software upgrade and increase in the reliability of services,” says Evgeny Zhiltsov, Lead Project Manager at ActiveCloud by Softline (ActiveHost RU LLC).