Opportunity for Modernization
Ankura Consulting, LLC (“Ankura”) is a global expert services and advisory firm consisting of more than 1,500 professionals in more than 30 offices around the world.
In 2019, Ankura was at an IT crossroads with its London data center, which serves as the primary regional data center for all locations globally—hosting client data, corporate file shares, various analytics and eDiscovery applications, and other data used by its experts to analyze trends and provide a full range of services to its clients. As a data-intensive organization—with several petabytes of data in total under management—Ankura faced a major decision about its future IT strategy.
“Our London data center was due for a major upgrade,” said Prashant Lamba, Ankura’s Senior Managing Director responsible for all Cloud Services, Platform, Data Centers and Network IT. “We could either move ahead with the upgrade and continue investing in our on-premises footprint or use the refresh as the impetus for IT modernization by migrating to the public cloud. After evaluating the benefits that we would gain, including flexibility, elasticity and cost transparency, the decision was an easy one.”
Selecting the company’s public cloud provider was also simple. Since much of Ankura’s infrastructure is Microsoft-centric, Microsoft® Azure® was a natural fit for the company.
Finding a Trusted Partner
Migrating off-premises to Azure required a trusted partner to help with the next stage of transformation. Prashant’s team needed the cloud capabilities and knowledge augmentation of staff to guide the migration, and they had to be out of the London data center and running on Azure within a few months. After evaluating several providers, Prashant knew Navisite was the right partner for the job.
According to Prashant, Navisite stood out in three significant ways: its flexible approach, commitment to partnership and deep expertise in hybrid-cloud deployments that could support Ankura’s complex enterprise environment and multiple business units.
“Rather than forcing us to follow a strict migration framework, Navisite provided a flexible strategy that would adapt and align with the needs of each of our business units,” said Prashant. “From day one, their team made us feel like working with them would be a genuine partnership: their team was focused on ensuring our success in the cloud.”
A Successful Migration
The Navisite team conducted a pre-migration assessment to gain an understanding of Ankura’s London data center ecosystem and determine its migration objectives. Based on the findings, Navisite provided a set of architecture recommendations and migration roadmap to the cloud.
“Navisite optimized and then moved our entire data center environment, including Microsoft SQL servers, hundreds of virtual machines and data to Azure VMs—and implemented a range of next generation security and storage services to enable secure, flexible, easy access,” said Prashant. “The migration was not only successful, but also completed ahead of our deadline.”
Following the migration, Prashant had the Navisite team continue to provide post-launch support for several months. “Navisite served as a trusted advisor throughout every phase of the migration journey, and we wanted their continued guidance to help us stabilize and optimize our new Azure environment,” he said.
Reaping the Rewards
Since the migration, Ankura has been able to easily meet demand for new and increased workloads. “If a customer wants to expand to a different region, we can accommodate their request with pre-built templates and cut down the launch time drastically, rather than having to spend time and money procuring and provisioning new hardware,” Prashant said.
Another benefit: Prashant’s team no longer has to spend time managing complex on-premises hardware, and they are able to get a quick and accurate view into their cloud spend, which helps control cloud costs.
“Navisite made it easy to get to the cloud,” said Prashant. “The team’s expertise, support and guidance were second to none. They were proactive, reliable and always available any time we had questions, concerns or issues.”
Moving forward, Prashant has a number of initiatives on the horizon that he expects will benefit from his strong partnership with Navisite. “I look forward to working with the Navisite team on future projects,” added Prashant. “In the near term, Navisite will help us move our disaster recovery data center to Navisite’s data center in Santa Clara, California. But this is just one of many projects to come.”