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Staffordshire County Council Azure Application Migration Discovery & Design

A4S Cloud Solutions have worked closely with Stafford County Council IT to prepare for their first applications migrations into Azure as part of their ongoing cloud journey by performing application discovery and design.

Stafford County Council (SCC) IT are already well advanced in their Azure and Office 365 journey, recently A4S delivered assisted SCC in their cloud journey by delivering a new subscription, assisting in SSPR delivery and improving their AADC implementation.


Working with the IT team at SCC is easy because of several key factors; 1) the IT team is excited and willing to learn more about Azure 2) the organisation has stated they have a cloud first strategy 3) the IT team are collaborative and enjoy working in the A4S online project management portal.


The Need


SCC have decided to begin migrating some of their on-premise IT systems into the cloud for several reasons that include:

  • Improved performance

  • Improved security

  • Reduced support overhead

  • Improved scalability and flexibility

  • Greater control over deployments using tools such as deployment slots

In order to prepare for migration firstly a small selection of lower risk applications have been chosen, these would represent applications that present good value at a lower risk profile, this means the SCC IT team can prepare and learn at lowest risk whilst getting ready for further migrations.


Discovery


A4S worked closely with the SCC application development team to perform a deep dive on the applications in question, this involved reviewing existing documentation and accessing each system to run the recommended tool sets against to provide the necessary migration reports and assurance.


Once discovery was completed; A4S reviewed the discovery output with the necessary team members to make any final amendments, all discovery is shared online using the A4S online project management tool.


Design Considerations


A4S designs are the culmination of a detailed understanding of our clients needs combined with many thousands of hours of experience delivering and support various hybrid cloud solutions, to that end we often include elements such as:

  • Deployment slots

  • Azure DevOps

  • Use of DevTest subscriptions before moving to a production subscription

A4S produced design documents for the applications in scope and included designs for both non-production and production instances, where needed there was consideration for a cloud native approach and also approaches that strategically retained traditional elements of technology.


Our designs take into account the scalability and resilience needed, we also factor in security and will recommend various Microsoft Azure security technologies as best fit for the client need.


Security


A4S want to ensure our clients are secure, we will include security elements in our designs ranging from Azure Front Door, integration into the necessary anti-virus infrastructure, backup & recovery, disaster recovery, data privacy, logging.


Monitoring & Alerting


We enjoy giving our clients proper visualisations to show their solution performance and usage, this design is no different where we have recommended the use of Azure dashboards that will use graphs, charts and tables to present IT administrators with the necessary information to manage their new cloud based solutions.


Output


Using our online project management portal A4S posted the expected design documents for our client, through here the outputs were reviewed, revised and signed off as needed by the responsive SCC development team members.


Conclusion


A4S hugely enjoyed working again closely with the SCC IT teams to support their journey into the cloud, on this occasion we worked closely with Rob Stevenson who is the SCC IT Development & Solutions Manager:


"We found working with A4S Cloud Solutions a positive and engaging experience, their team performed a thorough discovery and produced what we regard as a high quality design document that can be relied upon.
We appreciate that A4S take into account the use of our new DevTest Azure subscription that they also helped setup and configure to keep non-production costs to a minimum and will ensure our applications function correctly before moving into a live environment."

Rob Stevenson, SCC IT Development and Solutions Manager


A4S would like to again thank the SCC IT teams for the opportunity to be part of this project and we look forward to further opportunities in the future.


Thanks


The A4S Team


If you would like to learn more about this project or would like to find out more about A4S Cloud Solutions and our approaches to cloud application migrations then you can get in touch via email or Teams on jason.birchall@a4scloud.solutions, ring me on 07415 897953 or check out this link: Work With The Experts!