About the Client
The client delivers mail from the United States of America to people living overseas. The client is known to serve more people with their mail forwarding needs than any other company in the US. Since 1999, the client has helped around over 80,000 expats get their mail and packages from the US.
The client wished to diversify its service offerings within the mailing segment by enabling delivery of packages focused on online shopping. For this, client engaged Silicus to develop a web-based application that was intended to run on the Microsoft Azure Cloud platform. The client wanted the infrastructure to be managed by a competent Microsoft approved Azure Managed Service provider who could offer 24*7*365 services. The key Managed Service requirements were:
- System Monitoring
- Back-Up Monitoring
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Looking at the requirements, Silicus offered the client its “Linux Server Management Plan” standard service offering, which included OS Patch Management, Performance Management and VM Back-Up Management.
Right Sizing the Infrastructure
Before deploying the application on Microsoft Azure, Silicus right sized the Azure infrastructure by analyzing the following key parameters:
- Web pages
- Expected web traffic
- Expected CPU utilization
Silicus installed the complete backup of the client’s system on MS Azure and leveraged its in-house application -Enable, to create automated alerts and generate tickets in case of any system issue.
Managed Services Process
- In case of an alert, Silicus L1 team generates a ticket within the Enable application, which is automatically communicated to the client and L2 team via E-mail
- L2 team immediately works on the issue, fixes it and notifies the L1 team. In case of any back-up related issue, Silicus’ L2 team directly contacts the Microsoft Azure team and gets it resolved without involving the client
- Once, the issue is completely resolved, L1 team notifies the client and sends a detailed report on incident
OS Patch Management
Silicus helped the client keep their environment continuously updated and secure by performing the following actions:
- Plan and schedule for VMs per customer instructions
- Application of patches
- Smoke test servers post Patch
- OS Patches only
- OS Security Patch
- Communication of task completion
- Follow up and fix post Patching issues
Silicus leveraged a 3rd party Automation Framework – Chef, to automate the above-mentioned tasks within OS Patch Management, executed every third week of month, and reports were mailed to the client.
Being on Online business, the client had to be prepared for variable loads on its server, resulting from a rush during holiday season or peak hours. Silicus helped ensure applications were always available irrespective of the traffic on the website. This was accomplished through constant monitoring and proactive infrastructure management, including:
- CPU usage monitoring
- Memory usage monitoring
- Hard disk space utilization
- File system consistency check
If there was an indication that above-mentioned parameters were leading to a deterioration in website performance, the Silicus L1 team pro-actively raised a ticket that alerts the L2 team to take corrective action. Silicus leveraged a 3rd party tool – Labtech, to monitor application performance daily, and reporting the same to the client.
The client’s application included critical information such as customer’s financial data and other business critical information, to be protected against data loss and theft. For this, Silicus implemented VM Back-Up, which included the following:
- Back-up Monitoring
- Client notifications on the back-up status
Silicus leveraged a 3rd party tool - Recovery Service Vault, for back-up monitoring activities on daily basis and mailed the report to the client.
3rd Party Integration
Chef, Labtech, Recovery Service Vault
In-house Managed Service Tool
Better Customer Engagement
Continuous monitoring resulted in improved application performance and decreased downtime, creating more satisfied and engaged customers.
Cost Effective Application Monitoring
By working with a certified Microsoft Cloud Solution Provider (CSP), the client could offload the non-strategic, non-core part of its business operations to a competent solution provider, at a fraction of the cost it would have taken to accomplish the same in-house.