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Independent Federal Regulatory Agency Goes All In on Azure


An independent U.S. government agency faced a large hardware refresh cycle and wanted to avoid the capital costs associated with upgrading their aging compute and storage resources and committing to another multi-year contract. They also faced reliability issues with their on-premises productivity applications. The Agency wanted to consolidate on the Microsoft Azure platform to maximize the benefits of their Microsoft investments and more easily adopt and integrate Azure cloud services. With 1,300 employees they wanted to move to Microsoft Office 365, to benefit from the increased reliability of a SaaS offering. Being new to cloud, the Agency sought a trusted advisor to guide them through the entire process of designing and migrating into a FedRAMP moderate authorized environment on the Azure cloud.


SMX worked with the customer and Microsoft to leverage the Azure Migration & Modernization Program (AMMP) to help provide the tools, framework, and financial support to accelerate the Agency’s cloud journey. SMX guided the customer through migration readiness planning, using data from Azure Migrate to accelerate the process. SMX then led the Agency through a complete application portfolio assessment and rationalization to identify migration paths for each of the estimated 120 applications and 400 underlying systems. Keeping in mind the priority of exiting the existing data center, the team chose to prioritize lift & shift migration paths for the majority of the applications. In some cases, lift & reshape paths were implemented as part of opportunistic modernization that helped the Agency begin to adopt container technologies. We then worked with the customer through the design and build out of the foundational cloud architecture and performed the initial migration of approximately 400 Windows and Linux servers, including SQL Server to the Azure cloud, including infrastructure components, data systems and databases, and security capabilities. Following the initial workstream came the migration to Office 365. Given the number of servers and capabilities to be migrated and the Agency’s strategy to develop internal cloud expertise, SMX recommended and executed on a squads and pods approach to increase velocity of migration and provide expert guidance throughout the process.

Results and Ongoing Support

By moving their workloads to cloud, the Agency was able to avoid a costly refresh of hardware in their existing data center, and instead, was able to focus on propelling their mission outcomes forward through the use of Azure cloud services. The Agency is now running those same workloads on cloud, saving an estimated $1.2M per year in operating costs. In addition, the Agency was able to reduce their overall costs associated with their Microsoft Windows and Office licensing, which helped greatly accelerate their migration to Office 365. SMX provides 24x7x365 managed services to the Agency, and as well as application migration and modernization support, through a pods and squads based delivery model, in their FedRAMP compliant environment. The powerful combination of the integrated migration team, along with SMX’s history as a leading Managed Services provider, continues to unlock greater degrees of success for the Agency.

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