After July 2015, W2k3 fell out of extended support – meaning Microsoft no longer provided updates for this operating system. This change left organisations open to both security breaches and significant costs for running and maintaining old operating system and hardware.
In one leading UK bank, this posed a significant challenge. They engaged ECS to help modernise their IT infrastructure.
Over a period of 18 months, ECS worked with the bank to analyse applications hosted on their Windows Server 2003 infrastructure.
The aim was to identify and recommend applications to be either:
- Re-platformed via a simple lift and shift – or in more complex cases –
- Replaced entirely, and the best route to doing so.
Throughout the project, ECS developed tools and processes to support their analysis, Management Information (MI) and reporting. The client was provided with a complete analysis of each application, which could be easily communicated to employees at any level, both internally within the client’s technical design authority and governance team, and externally.
The level of detail provided the client with a 360-degree view of each application. This helped them to understand the implications of each recommendation, including hardware and operating costs, and provided a current snapshot of their entire estate.
The development of additional tooling to record and support application compatibility analysis for each application component, and the automation of remediation documentation to feed into client governance processes, resulted in excess of 400 application submissions in just 8 months.
The practices developed by ECS introduced efficiencies for the client when presenting analysis on a document by document basis. By helping the client implement a consistent approach, standardised into a factory process, both client and partners involved in projects can churn through high numbers of applications quickly and efficiently. The client’s Governance team now only has to deal with applications relevant to the particular project.
Since beginning their engagement, our client has seen:
- ECS analysed over 600 applications: this equated to more than 50% of the programme’s entire scope
- Team analysis accounted for over 6700 W2k3 servers: which was more than 30% of the full scope of servers that require remediation.
Analysis was delivered at pace whilst minimising the impact on the client’s limited organisational resources. The high quality output produced helped to minimise any rework, and de-risk subsequent programme phases.
Twice during the overall engagement, ECS was pitched against competitors as part of the client’s procurement process. And on both occasions, ECS was able to deliver the analysis quickly, and with less rejections or reworks, than the competitors. This only served to build the client’s confidence in ECS’ capability.
ECS has taken many steps during the ongoing project to apply these practices to other areas of the estate.
One example includes another project which focuses on the re-location of a number of devices identified as hosting production applications and services, supporting critical business processes. These were located in technology rooms (historical comms or server rooms), leaving the business open to risk. The devices were analysed to support a relocation to the Client’s managed data centre, where they would be maintained and monitored to the highest level.
Using knowledge and experience from the W2K3 project, ECS enabled this other client project to progress at pace within best practices, and to ensure quick and efficient delivery.
In less than two months ECS analysed and delivered remediation paths for this additional project covering:
- 70+ applications, across multiple IT systems
- 300+ Windows servers, firewalls, and mainframe devices
- 50+ tech room locations
To find out more about how ECS can help you harden your estate, please contact our experts today.