ATCC

Windows Migration to AWS in One Day

Up against the clock to move its full infrastructure in just ten weeks, ATCC tapped Mission to lead a live migration with zero unexpected downtime.

Highlights

  • Mission leveraged CloudEndure to migrate ATCC’s Windows-based live production environment to AWS ahead of a sudden data center shutdown deadline.
  • Mission built ATCC a cross-regional Disaster Recovery environment in AWS, also using CloudEndure.
  • ATCC experienced no unexpected downtime or issues during the complex migration.

The Challenge

After years of using the same provider to host its servers, ATCC unexpectedly found itself with just weeks to migrate its entire Windows-based environment – and 8 TB of data – before the host’s data center shut down.

To maintain its massive inventory of more than half a million biological specimens and resources, ATCC utilizes a Windows environment featuring Active Directory, IIS 7 for its web server, and Microsoft SQL Server 2008 for its backend database. The company also relies on Sitecore, the .NET enterprise content management system (CMS) and e-commerce solution, to manage its website and massive product catalog.

The unanticipated challenge came when ATCC received notice that the host it had relied on for years would be shutting down its data center. This kicked off a race against time for ATCC to maintain business continuity by migrating its data and existing environment to a new home before its site went offline.

With digital orders accounting for an outsized percentage of ATCC’s business and with its inventory in need of receiving constant updates to stay current, any interruption to the site would have an instant and costly impact. Therefore, ATCC required a live migration of its data and Windows environment that – in addition to being timely – could be completed without any site disruptions. The migration and new home for ATCC’s data also needed to meet the stringent security safeguards required by PCI compliance standards dictating e-commerce functionality in its industry. Furthermore, it was critical that the disaster recovery capabilities in place at ATCC’s outgoing data center be ably recreated in the new environment.

“I would definitely recommend Mission. They provided us with the confidence to replicate our systems in real-time, with no interruption in service to our customers and our internal content providers. Amazing technology solving real problems.”

Keith Atkinson
Director, Web and eCommerce

The Solution

Tapped by ATCC, Mission leveraged CloudEndure to successfully execute a rapid and secure live-site migration, and to provide disaster recovery reassurance.

After putting the migration project to an open bidding process, ATCC selected Mission as its partner, citing the provider’s expertise in effectively managing customer data on AWS. ATCC favored Mission’s recommendation to migrate its Windows environment to AWS. Doing so could take advantage of AWS regions and availability zones for achieving greater redundancy, fault tolerance, and stability for critical data, while eliminating the threat of any future data center shutdowns.

Given the time pressure, both Mission and ATCC recognized that a traditional migration would be too slow, cumbersome, and carry substantial risk: the process itself would take a full weekend to complete, and would need to be repeated if issues cropped up or if the ATCC site changed during the migration. To add more certainty to the process, Mission used CloudEndure (recently acquired by AWS) for its rapid live-site migration and disaster recovery capabilities. Mission first demonstrated a successful migration of ATCC’s QA environment with zero downtime using CloudEndure, winning ATCC’s confidence to use the tool for the entire migration and disaster recovery project. The CloudEndure strategy also distinguished itself by being able to replicate ATCC’s entire application stack, include much-needed AWS components, and create subnets and routing rules.

With CloudEndure, Mission proceeded to successfully migrate ATCC’s entire Windows environment from data center hardware to the AWS Cloud, where all of ATCC’s development, QA, and production environments now utilize Amazon EC2 instances. Mission completed the migration in just one day – well ahead of the data center closure deadline. Moreover, ATCC’s site was able to remain fully operational with no interruptions in service during the migration.

Based on ATCC’s existing infrastructure and requirements, Mission also aligned the following AWS services: AWS Elastic Load Balancing, AWS Auto Scaling, Amazon Simple Storage Service (S3), Multi-AZ Amazon Elastic Compute Cloud Instances, Amazon RDS Deployment, Amazon CloudWatch, Amazon Virtual Private Cloud (VPC), Identity and Access Management (IAM), Elastic Block Storage (EBS), Amazon CloudTrail, Amazon DynamoDB, Amazon Simple Notification Services (SNS), Amazon Simple Queue Services (SQS), Amazon Route53, and Amazon WorkSpaces.

The Benefits

Mission’s cloud management took the stress out of the race to migrate ATCC’s Windows environment to AWS with no unexpected downtime, and has continued to serve ATCC well ever since.

Following the successful migration, Mission proceeded to build ATCC a new disaster recovery environment using CloudEndure. To safeguard the integrity of ATCC’s e-commerce operations and customer data, Mission went on to implement an AWS infrastructure based on AWS security best practices, and recommended adherence to an effective security solution for continually ensuring PCI compliance.

Mission estimates that smart use of CloudEndure saved ATCC tens of thousands of dollars by enabling a small team of engineers to handle the company’s large number of servers and complete an issue-free, end-to-end cloud migration. ATCC now has cloud infrastructure and disaster recovery capabilities in place that will serve the company’s data requirements well into the future. Mission has also supported the company’s needs by setting up ATCC’s servers to use AWS’s NTP service when it was introduced. Having its Windows environment on the AWS cloud has also enabled ATCC to utilize Amazon RDS as a quick pilot system for application development.

Going forward, Mission is standing up Amazon WorkSpaces for use by ATCC’s developers, and is leading the company through a new series of migrations to updated versions of Microsoft SQL Server and Sitecore.

About ATCC

ATCC serves and supports the scientific community with the world’s largest and most diverse collection of biological materials – including human, animal and plant cell lines, molecular genomic tools, and microorganisms. ATCC is a trusted biological resource for the worldwide research community, providing more than 600,000 biological products and services for use across laboratory and research settings.

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