Skaylink and AWS - the model for success
Microsoft Workloads on AWS
Skaylink has many years of experience helping customers across a wide range of industries get the most value from their Microsoft workloads. We accompany the evolution of these environments by creating hybrid or cloud-first scenarios, optimizing cost, security, resilience, availability and performance.
Microsoft Workloads on AWS
Our comprehensive offering covers the entire spectrum – from consulting, guided coaching, project design, implementation to continuous operation. This means complete freedom for our customers if they want to do the migration themselves but need knowledge and architectural input, or if they want a fully managed service that removes all operational complexity, allowing them to focus on innovation and core business activities.
With our Microsoft Workloads on AWS practice, we analyze your Microsoft infrastructure services such as Active Directory, SQL Server, Windows Server, Exchange, and SharePoint environments and develop the best strategy to run them securely, cost-effectively, and reliably on AWS.
Our offer includes:
- Migration preparation: on-site analysis, identification of workloads and complexity of database instances, licensing and infrastructure analysis
- Target concept: In this phase we determine the best target solution for your SQL Server databases, for example:
- Migrate to AWS RDS (Relational Database Services), eliminating the need for licensing and reducing operational costs as this is a fully AWS managed service.
- Migrate to a different database engine: Depending on the use case, a different database engine (such as AWS Aurora or PostGreSQL) can be used if necessary, which can result in significant cost savings. If you are using AWS DBMS (Database Migration Service) as well as the AWS Schema Conversion Tool, there is no need for extensive application redesign.
- BYOL (Bring Your Own License): To leverage your current investment, you can also bring your own license to AWS and run your SQL Server from an EC2 instance.
- Service migration: Our certified experts have already migrated hundreds of SQL databases. Depending on the customer’s requirements, our team can only guide you through your migration or carry out the entire migration for you.
- Operation: We also offer a fully managed service. You only need to use the databases hosted on your AWS account. We take care of the rest.
For example, Microsoft Server from the cloud can be used for the following:
- Running .NET applications in secure, efficient and, if required, globally distributed Demilitarized Zones (DMZs) to take advantage of top Internet performance as well as Elastic Load Balancer (ELB), Content Distribution Network (CDN) CloudFront and Route53 DNS services.
- Test/demo environments or forks of the production environment for development. Low-cost and readily available cloud resources can be used for debugging or testing new features instead of taking up valuable computing power and storage space on your virtual server environments.
- More affordable and efficient hybrid high availability (HA) solutions for Microsoft server environments to save costs, reduce complexity, and improve performance.
- For all situations where you want to integrate a specific function into the corporate network, but not the server, operation and support.
Server on AWS
AWS supports a wide range of Windows Server operating systems and seamless on-premise virtual machine migration. This enables very fast migration as well as provisioning of new Windows instances.
We currently offer the following Windows services on EC2:
- Active Directory
- Windows Data Server / DFS
- SQL Server
- Internet Information Server (IIS)
- Microsoft Exchange
- Microsoft SharePoint
- Skype für Business/Lync
- Migration of business applications running on Windows servers
- Automated setup of multi-tier applications
References and case studies
Relocation of an agricultural data collection application to AWS.
Our customer, KWS Services North America, needed to move a legacy research and development data collection platform from an on-premises environment at a third-party vendor to one that was fully under the customer’s control.
Key factors for the project were flexibility in application relocation, cost optimization, proximity to users on the west coast of the USA, and stability. The case study consists of a traditional multi-tier web application, where the web tier is connected to a database tier running Microsoft SQL Server.
Here you can see the architecture in broad outline:
The decision was made in favor of an instance-based SQL Server. This was based on the results of a TCO analysis that showed that a BYOL model with Microsoft Software Assurance would deliver significant cost savings compared to an RDS-only or AWS EC2 environment with SQL licensing. This allowed the customer to leverage the existing Microsoft relationship and licensing.
The entire environment, consisting of both networks and EC2 instances, was deployed according to AWS best practices. That is:
- CloudFormation was used to provide an infrastructure code base for VPC and main instances.
- Security by design at every level using security groups, IAM minimums, and SQL Server security constraints to keep the environment secure
- Backup to S3 was implemented for SQL databases.
SQL Server Migration for Betaseed
Betaseed is the leading sugarbeet breeder from North America and a strong partner for growers and industry partners around the world. Betaseed aims to make sugarbeet growing easier and more productive by offering high-yielding sugarbeet varieties and tolerance packages of exceptional quality. In addition, customers will be supported with new impulses, tools and concepts beyond seed. Customers trust Betaseed to provide them with knowledge, improved varietal performance and timely answers to technical operational questions to achieve the highest possible yield for their operation.
Betaseed also supports its customers with a service and premium program called BetaPoint. BetaPoint was set up in a VPC in the Frankfurt AWS region and consists of a load balancer that provides the certificates, a .Net application running on Windows-based instances, and a Microsoft SQL Server RDS instance.
In addition to VPC and EC2 with load balancing and EBS, the following AWS services are used:
- Database Migration Service
- AWS Certificate Manager
- Simple Email Service
- Relational Database Service with MS SQLServer
- Identity & Access Management