The client is a public sector organisation that acts as the UK regulator for work-based pension schemes.
Business Needs and Objectives
The client had a requirement to move their current infrastructure to a cloud-hosted solution. This involved the migration of 76 business applications and 47 Infrastructure Service Servers over five migration phases from an on-premise, dual site solution to a newly commissioned, cloud-based Infrastructure as a Service (IaaS) environment.
Their current operating model supported 550 staff members from a virtualised VMware environment, hosted on a handful of physical servers, SAN Storage and Compute Services, which were managed by their in-house Infrastructure team. Their target operating model was an IaaS solution that delivered:
- Server Compute
- VDI Compute (Desktop as a Service)
- All Compute storage
- Networking services including firewalls and load balancers
- Machine and file level backup
- Disaster Recovery/Business Continuity
The QualiTest Solution:
Our senior consultants provided consultancy to our client to support them in defining a phased approach to compete the IaaS Migration and appropriately align the environments and the relevant testing and assurance at each stage. The five migration phases were:
- Phase A: Standalone Applications and Infrastructure Services (to be divided into 4 sub-phases)
- Phase B: Finance
- Phase C: Automatic Enrolment
- Phase D: Exchange
- Phase E: SharePoint and unstructured data
We assessed the available test environments and recommended that the migration process follow the high-level approach below:
- A clone of the current production environment be taken on premise, to carry out the necessary remediation to ensure the applications and services are ready for migration. This clone would then be used to create all non-production environments.
- A single Commercial Off the Shelf (COTS) and In-house application should be deployed into the development environment (DEV) to test the IaaS deployment process
- The current system integration test environment (SIT), containing a significant set of key applications, would then be deployed to the IaaS platform. This would allow our client to gain wider confidence in the deployment process
- Once the SIT migration has been completed, everything from the current Production clone should be deployed to the user acceptance test environment (UAT) to fully test the deployment/migration process into the IaaS platform
- The Live migration would then follow the successful completion of the above UAT process.
We performed a risk assessment of the current environment being migrated. We consulted with our client and agreed a targeted test approach, which aligned to their preferred approach to risk of “medium tolerance”. We recommended focusing on assuring the following key aspects of the infrastructure migration:
- Infrastructure Build Test Assurance: verification that the Cloud hosted IaaS Platform has been built correctly and user access and security is consistent with the on-premise solution
- Application Functional Regression Test: manual and/or automated verification that existing functionality works post migration at a user journey (as opposed to a data) level
- Non-Functional Testing
o Performance benchmarking of the current solution and performance testing of the new infrastructure to ensure network and application performance had not been degraded
o Verification of Business Continuity processes to prove Disaster Recovery capability as a result of IaaS connectivity failure.
o Penetration/Security Testing of the new infrastructure
QualiTest then provided ongoing consultancy support for the delivery of the project as well as managing a mixed team of client business users and specialist QualiTest infrastructure and performance test consultants.
“QualiTest’s expert consultancy and hands-on support have been crucial to the successful delivery of this major programme of work!”
- QualiTest provided extensive experience and senior consultants who know what it takes to achieve a successful infrastructure migration from inception to go live
- Our client was able to approach the migration with a clear understanding of their risks and an approach to assuring the technical solution that gave the business confidence and that helped to inform their choice of IaaS provider
- Our client was able to call on expert consultancy in areas of performance, security, environments through the 15-month programme.
- Ultimately our client was able to transition to the Cloud with no impact on their end users, future proofing their infrastructure for years to come.