Cost-Savings, Azure CSP Migration & Region Expansion for Alphatec
Alphatec is an IT company, specialising in SaaS applications for the insurance sector and claims and case management systems for organisations. Established in 1996 in Edinburgh as a fintech consultancy company, Alphatec is now a global software supplier.
Alphatec had four key business objectives and was looking for a partner who would be able to provide a high level of technical knowledge, experienced Microsoft-accredited consultants, and ongoing support capabilities to implement them:
- Alphatec wished to migrate away from their incumbent PAYG (pay-as-you-go) subscription to a CSP (Cloud Service Provider) model.
- Currently its environment is hosted within UK South, but now Alphatec had a requirement to set up a matching environment within the West Europe region.
- Cost optimisation was also required and it had already been established that shutdown automation was not possible, therefore they wished to add reserved instances to all VM resources.
- With the management of an Azure Expert MSP they were looking for a brief overview of their Azure footprint. To better understand the current setup and hear recommendations on securing the environment and ensuring it meets Microsoft’s best practices.
This consultancy was carried out by one of our Azure Technical Consultants. After familiarisation with the Azure tenancy, understanding the resources deployed, and the current configuration, a migration task list was created.
Stage one: Migration from PAYG to CSP
First, a Transparity-managed CSP subscription was deployed for the virtual machines and associated resources. After this due diligence was performed on the PAYG subscription to identify resources that could be moved and resources that needed to be rebuilt in the new CSP subscription.
Once this was carried out, we used Azure Resource Mover to move the resources to the CSP subscription. Transparity kept the customer engaged throughout this process due to the nature of their application and customers and ensured that the service remained fully operational during the migration. Transparity also deployed a new Recovery Services Vault to enable ASR used for Cross-Region replication to provide Disaster Recovery and to continue backing up the VMs.
Stage 2: West Europe Region Expansion
In order for Alphatec to successfully expand into this new region, we created a virtual network stack within West Europe, then another in North Europe for ASR Replication. Next, we deployed a Windows Server virtual machine as the application front-end and a Windows Server SQL virtual machine for the back end.
Following this we deployed a suitable patch management routine for both virtual machines and deployed a recovery services vault and established a backup routine. Lastly, a technical handover to Alphatec was done allowing them to now deploy the application components.
Stage 3: Virtual Machine Cost-Savings
We carried out a review of the environment and the biggest cost-saving available was to purchase Reserved Instances for the West Europe and UK South Virtual Machines and so these were ordered and applied. The next step for additional savings would be a move to an Azure Savings Plan.
Stage 4: Landing Zone Recommendations
Lastly, we reviewed the subscription and used automation to export all the Resources and provide an Azure Advisor-based assessment on low to high/medium-impact items that could pose a security risk or could provide a cost saving.
Having achieved the required targets, Alphatec now has environments for its SaaS solutions in both the UK and West Europe. This has allowed Alphatec to service those clients who do not see the UK as an acceptable domicile for data (due to GDPR & Brexit).
“Through this consultancy, we have identified and implemented further cost savings in both regions and have identified additional opportunities for strengthening our Azure offerings within our applications thanks to advice and consultancy from Transparity. This is exactly the kind of expertise, support and partnership advice that we were hoping to gain when we moved to Transparity from our previous partner.
“We are looking to engage further with Transparity to ensure a Well Architected Framework Review is conducted and our solution continues to meet our ever-evolving requirements.” – Brian Boyce, IT Director, Alphatec