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SoftLayer to Azure migration

Cleaning services company cuts costs with Azure App Service

Group of cleaners tidying and cleaning a small office to represent SoftLayer to Azure migration case study

Executive Brief

IBM SoftLayer to Microsoft Azure migration

Our client is a UK-based provider of cleaning services for business, schools, and vehicles. We helped them migrate their Java-based vehicle management application from IBM SoftLayer to Microsoft Azure. This Azure migration project achieved the following benefits:

  • lower app hosting costs
  • no more application downtime
  • flexible scalability
  • increased app performance

    The Challenge

    Application downtime and inflexibility

     At the time of this project, we were providing ongoing technical support for the company’s vehicle management application. This software was used to manage over 500 contractors serving 150 automotive clients every day.

    However, the Java-based application, hosted on IBM SoftLayer, was experiencing difficulties with downtime and lack of scalability. Due to growing demand, the company saw these technical issues as a barrier to onboarding new clients. They were experiencing the following issues:

    • any code changes required bringing down the whole app, meaning changes were not possible during business hours
    • we needed to update the app to meet changing demands in performance, CPU, memory, and hard disk space

     Due to these factors, SoftLayer was an unsuitable choice for the company, which wanted the application to flex and adapt quickly. Having identified these issues, our support team sought to present a more effective solution.

    The Solution

    A seamless Azure migration

    Our support team recommended that the company migrate the application to Azure App Service. Microsoft’s increased support for Java on Azure in recent years gave us plenty of options for migration.

    A major advantage of Azure App Service was the ability to deploy new code with zero downtime, during business hours. We achieved this through Azure deployment slots. These slots allow us to deploy to a duplicate of the live application and then swap the two environments seamlessly. This meant ensured uptime when rolling out updates.

    Another reason to choose Azure was the ability to scale each component of the application individually. This meant we could flex to meet demand quickly, without having to bring the whole application down.

    The Results

    Flexibility and stability

    Only days after the SoftLayer to Azure migration, we successfully scaled up the application’s hosting capacity without disrupting business hours. This has given the company the freedom to take on as many new clients and contractors as it desires.

    On top of the benefits mentioned, moving to Azure App Service also provides intuitive Application Insights for our support team. Rather than having to trawl through log files to find issues, we can see them faster in visualisations and alerts. That extra speed on our side provides the company with better value from the support hours they purchase from us.

    Overall, the decision to migrate from SoftLayer to Azure has brought increased app performance and reduced hosting costs.