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CASE STUDY

Credit reporting agency increases reliability & scalability with successful Azure migration

Through a strategic collaboration, Miles IT helps NCS modernize their outdated hardware and encourage future growth by migrating their servers to the Microsoft Azure cloud platform.

 
Going over credit report

MEET THE CLIENT

Full-service credit reporting agency

National Credit Reporting System, Inc (NCS) is a full-service credit reporting agency operating in the financial industry. They specialize in providing credit reporting services, Verification of Employment (VOE) services, and background screening services to companies in the lending industry.
 

NCS understands the critical importance of system uptime, reliability, and security in order to deliver success for their customers who rely on their services.

THE CHALLENGE

Address outdated hardware and promote growth

As their current contract approached its end, NCS faced a pressing need to upgrade their servers hosted in Rackspace. Recognizing the value of a more robust cloud platform, NCS sought the expertise of Miles IT.

Eliminate Reliance on Older Hardware

Although Rackspace provided a quote for upgrading the existing solution with new hardware, NCS envisioned a more significant infrastructure upgrade.

Enhance Business Continuity/Disaster Recovery (BCDR) Capabilities

To maintain business operations in the event of a disaster, NCS needed a platform with increased safeguards and availability.

Upgrade Operating Systems to Support Specific Ciphers

It was essential for NCS’s new solution to support their current business processes and facilitate future opportunities for advancement.

OUR PROCESS

Recommending & implementing Azure migration

To solve NCS’s challenges, our team proposed migrating to Microsoft Azure, which not only fulfilled NCS’s immediate needs but also provided a foundation for future transitions to Azure services. Our team devised a meticulous approach to ensure a successful migration while minimizing disruptions and maximizing the benefits for NCS.

Detailed Project Planning

Collaborating closely with NCS, Miles IT created a comprehensive project plan and scope of work, addressing specific requirements, timelines, and milestones.

Provisioning the Azure Environment

Miles IT began by setting up the Azure environment, configuring it to meet NCS’s unique requirements while adhering to industry best practices.

Enhanced Security

A virtual firewall, centralized log analysis, and secure VPN tunnel were deployed in Azure to bolster network security.

Staging and Testing Environment Migration

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A staging and testing environment was created in Azure, replicating the existing setup from Rackspace. Applications and files required for migration were installed and tested thoroughly to ensure optimal performance.

Production Environment Deployment

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Miles IT built a new production environment in Azure, focusing on the web, SQL, and file layers. Each layer was assigned dedicated servers and optimized for performance and scalability.

Data Replication and Final Migration

The SQL and file data were replicated to the new Azure servers, ensuring data integrity and consistency. Once the replication was validated, the final migration process commenced, transferring the machines from Rackspace to Azure over a dedicated weekend.

Stability Assessment and Ongoing Support

Following the migration, Miles IT conducted a comprehensive stability assessment to ensure the infrastructure was performing optimally. NCS’s environment continues to be supported by the Miles Assurance Plan, providing round-the-clock support for their Azure environment.

SOLUTION HIGHLIGHTS

Proven features for solution optimization

With the Azure platform, NCS can take advantage of essential components that offer increased availability and security while accomplishing their initial goal.

SOLUTION HIGHLIGHTS

Proven features for solution optimization

With the Azure platform, NCS can take advantage of essential components that offer increased availability and security while accomplishing their initial goal.

  • SQL Always On Availability Group (AOAG)

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    We implemented a highly available SQL cluster within the primary Azure datacenter, allowing for seamless failover and continuous availability of critical SQL databases. Additionally, a third node in a separate Azure datacenter serves as an asynchronous replica, ready to be activated at any time for added resiliency.

  • File Redundancy and Availability

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    The migration process included the replication of website files between the primary and disaster recovery (DR) data centers. By using technologies such as DFS Replication or Azure File Sync, NCS achieves active copies of files in both datacenters, ensuring uninterrupted access and optimal performance for end-users.

  • Azure Site Recovery and External Vulnerability Scans

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    Our team established Site Recovery on the platform for seamless failover and disaster recovery to the DR site. Additionally, we conducted external vulnerability scans on public IP addresses associated with the project to identify and mitigate potential security risks, enhancing NCS’s overall security posture.

RESULTS

Increased stability, accessibility, & flexibility

The successful migration of NCS’s infrastructure to Microsoft Azure yielded significant benefits and empowers NCS to deliver superior services to their customers.

Enhanced Reliability and Scalability

By leveraging Azure’s robust cloud platform, NCS experiences increased system uptime and performance. This ensures their customers have uninterrupted access to critical services and significantly improves the availability and growth potential of their technology infrastructure.

Strengthened Business Continuity and Disaster Recovery (BCDR)

With local redundancy and backup mechanisms in place, data stored in the primary Azure datacenter enjoys high durability and availability, ensuring minimal data loss and rapid recovery in the event of a disaster. This allowed NCS to establish a comprehensive BCDR strategy.

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Future Transition and Adaptability

Azure’s flexible and scalable infrastructure supported the gradual transition from server-based solutions to Azure services. NCS can now explore the adoption of Azure File Shares, Blob storage, Azure SQL Databases, and Azure WebApps over time, enabling them to leverage the latest technologies and drive further operational efficiency.

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MOVING FORWARD

Continual growth & innovation

Now, the Azure cloud platform provides NCS with a robust and secure environment, enabling them to successfully deliver services to their clients in the lending industry. The deployment of advanced security measures, such as virtual firewalls and centralized log analysis, further strengthens NCS’s infrastructure against potential threats. 

 

With the Miles Assurance Plan providing ongoing support and monitoring, NCS can confidently navigate their Azure environment, ensuring optimal performance and customer satisfaction. Azure’s future adaptability positions NCS well for continued advancement in their dynamic industry.

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Optimize system performance with a cloud migration.