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CRU


Moving from a traditional data centre to gain the benefits of the Azure cloud platform.

The Challenge

CRU is a privately owned information services company. It focuses on the global mining, metals and fertilizers markets and provides consultancy, market analysis, commodity pricing and conference services. The company’s main aim is to help its clients make improved and more profitable business decisions.

CRU wanted to migrate their existing IT estate from a classic data centre architecture. The data centre provider was unable to innovate and provide the flexibility of service that CRU required. CRU’s estate consists of both internal and external web applications with database backends, common environment components such as Domain Controllers, CI/CD Deployment tools and File Servers.

Typically CRU would engage the traditional SI’s for help, however, following a meeting with Nordcloud, CRU saw the benefits of working with a local, cloud-native & multi-cloud consulting and managed service provider. CRU appreciated the depth of knowledge and attention that Nordcloud was able to apply to support their needs.

Following a number of workshops with Nordcloud and a Proof of Concept, CRU saw the benefits of the Azure cloud for their IT infrastructure needs. Due to CRU’s existing software estate, Azure proved to be advantageous as the applications and databases could run on PaaS and their CI/CD deployment tools inherently integrated to Azure.

The Solution

CRU wanted to migrate their Development and Test environments ahead of their Production environment to ensure a smooth migration from the Data Centre provider to the Azure cloud. They also stipulated that they did not want their developers to develop on a different platform from production but wanted the possibility to start testing their applications on PaaS infrastructure, as the end goal is to run all applications on PaaS.

A Proof of Concept test was carried out and it was agreed that the Azure platform provided a very strong case for itself due to the fact that the CRU applications run on .NET which is ideal for Azure's PaaS offering, Application Services, as well as Azure integrating with the existing CI/CD deployment tools. Initially the database backend will run on virtual machines while the database developers adjust but they are looking to move to Azure SQL in the near future.

Templated environments for all flavours of IaaS and PaaS allows CRU to deploy complex infrastructure with one click. This way they can smoothly migrate what they have today and start enabling their applications for running production environments on PaaS infrastructure.

The Results

The smooth migration from an inelastic data centre to the Azure Platform as a Service means the CRU team no longer need to worry about their infrastructure. They can deploy an arbitrary number of environments quickly, easily, and consistently when using Azure’s ARM Templates feature.

CRU have moved from a long-term contract of static infrastructure to an elastic ‘pay for what you use’ model. Licensing and management are also included in the cost of the infrastructure with even more savings, both in terms of cost and administration. Applications now run on a future-proof infrastructure, which enables development on the latest technology.

The migration has empowered developers to provision infrastructure stacks quickly and easily, speeding up their development process and letting them innovate instead of waiting for resources, whilst at the same time segregating development and production stacks in a rigid permission structure. 

“The word transformational is often used in IT, however, in my experience it is rarely delivered. Nordcloud, however, have delivered a transformational service. Server hosting in the past has involved system integrators who operate remotely and can leave you with the feeling of being divorced from your own infrastructure. Nordcloud turn the traditional model on its head. They collaborated extensively through the design stage and architected a solution that is efficient, responsive, cost-effective and transcends our entire technology stack. Gone are remote implementation teams – Nordcloud come in and build your infrastructure sitting on a desk next to you and then iterate it until it runs as planned and delivers the promised benefits. That is what I call transformational and innovative. I will happily recommend Nordcloud to other companies who are looking for a trusted partner to change their infrastructure to the latest cloud architecture.”

-Will Blake, Director of Technology & Analytics, CRU

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