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Case Study

Bosa Development Quickly Gains Benefits of the Cloud with “Lift-and-Shift First” Migration Strategy

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Background

Bosa Development has been a leader in the real estate industry in Western Canada and the United States for over four decades. With headquarters in Vancouver, British Columbia, Bosa Development combines functionality and aesthetic excellence to develop dynamic, sustainable, mixed-used environments that energize neighbourhoods and inspire their citizens.

When Bosa Development, decided it was time to consolidate and upgrade their legacy IT infrastructure, they turned to Amazon Web Services (AWS). Together with AWS Advanced Consulting Partner OpsGuru, a Carbon60 Company, they decided on a “lift-and-shift first” migration approach. The OpsGuru team leveraged AWS Application Migration Service (CloudEndure Migration) to rapidly re-host Bosa Development’s Microsoft File Server workloads into Amazon EC2 instances. Then, once the data was fully available on AWS, the team utilized Amazon FSx to host the consolidated data. This highly effective method of initial workload migration followed by modernization enabled Bosa Development to start benefiting from improved service availability, resilience, scalability, and security within just a few months.

The Challenge

Bosa Development’s legacy IT infrastructure, which was distributed across three geographic locations, could no longer keep up with the growing demands of its rapidly expanding business. As such, Bosa Development decided to migrate its IT infrastructure services to the AWS Cloud for its elasticity, scalability, security, and reliability. Maurice Lui, IT manager at Bosa Development, spearheaded the cloud migration project. Because he did not have the extended team required for a complex migration, Lui reached out to a Vancouver-based AWS Advanced Consulting Partner: OpsGuru.

Our Solution

In order to best meet their business needs, Bosa Development decided to use a “lift-and-shift first” migration strategy for their Windows File Server workloads: initially rehosting the workloads from on-premises VMware VMs into Amazon EC2 instances, and then refactoring the platform, leveraging an AWS managed service solution, such as Amazon FSx, to modernize the workloads.

Bosa Development in collaboration with OpsGuru chose AWS Application Migration Service as their lift-and-shift solution because they wanted a highly automated block-level replication tool that would enable them to get data quickly and efficiently into AWS. AWS Application Migration Service automatically converts source servers from physical, virtual, or cloud infrastructure to run natively on AWS, minimizing time-intensive, error-prone, high-risk manual processes.

After conducting an initial pilot to validate and de-risk the overall migration process, OpsGuru and Bosa Development embarked on the migration. The process involved installing AWS Application Migration Service agents on Bosa Development’s source servers, which initiated the replication process into AWS. Lui was able to clearly track the replication progress of each machine on a user-friendly dashboard. The entire replication process took a few weeks to complete for each physical site. According to Lui, “there was no performance impact or service disruption during the entire sync process,” which takes place in the background.

Paul Podolny, co-founder and principal consultant at OpsGuru, explained, “Despite several challenges such an unstable network uplink with frequent network disruptions, the team was able to successfully migrate the data to AWS thanks to the reliability of AWS Application Migration Service.”

Once the replication was complete, OpsGuru and Bosa Development used AWS Application Migration Service to conduct non-disruptive tests and verify that all of the workloads operated as expected on AWS.

The team then conducted the final cutover over the weekend in order to minimize any business disruption. According to Lui, there was virtually no impact on end-users.

After the Windows File Server workloads were running on Amazon EC2 instances, Podolny and his team refactored them with Amazon FSx. “We did the lift and shift first in order to get the data into AWS quickly and reliably,” reported Podolny. “Then we leveraged Amazon FSx, which is highly scalable and available, and has advanced capabilities for snapshots, audits, and integrations with the AWS ecosystem.”

The Result

Lui and his team at Bosa Development were pleased that their first cloud project proceeded smoothly and took less time than expected. Initially, the Bosa Development team had presumed that the migration process could take up to one year.

In the end, OpsGuru was able to migrate and refactor the workloads from each of Bosa Development’s three physical sites within just six weeks. This included not only replication but testing and verification as well.

The timing couldn’t have been better. As Lui pointed out, “Since migrating our File Server workloads to AWS, there is a significantly better and more consistent user experience. It doesn’t matter where you are accessing the files from.” This was especially important this past year with so many people working remotely due to COVID-19 regulations.

With a more reliable and scalable IT infrastructure, Lui can now stop spending so much of his time troubleshooting on-premise outages. Instead, he can support his company by focusing on digital innovation and optimization.

As a result of this migration project, Bosa Development has a more resilient, available, scalable, and secure IT infrastructure – an infrastructure that finally meets its dynamic business needs.

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