Jul 25, 2017 | 3 min read

How Greenheart's AWS Cloud Migration Improved Scalability & Security

By: Patrick Emmons

How Greenheart's AWS Cloud Migration Improved Scalability and Security

The Client & The Challenge:

Greenheart International

Greenheart International (GHI) is a global nonprofit that connects people and planet to create global leaders. Their mission is to bring communities together as agents of change for a sustainable future.

Like many non-profits, GHI’s rapidly expanding data needs were outgrowing its infrastructure. With storage space diminishing, they wanted to remove their dependency on energy-intensive on-premise disk drives. GHI needed to develop a new, more sustainable technological solution to manage their global projects with greater efficiency and data security. Their goals included:

  • Moving infrastructure to the cloud
  • Eliminating VM hosting SQL server by migrating to Amazon RDS
  • Upgrading their SQL server version from 2008 R2 to 2014
  • Migrating document file storage to S3 to solve disk space issues

The migration plan required a software team with extensive cloud experience and the precision skills to prevent errors. The heart of GHI’s online presence, mission critical data and infrastructure, had to be migrated into the cloud without interrupting normal operations.

The Solution & The Results:

The first step was to conduct a thorough analysis of GHI Online’s state of technology to determine how prepared they were for this multifaceted migration project. Next, DragonSpears mapped out data flows, established the component structure at a foundational level, and clearly delineated application dependencies. The DragonSpears team took extra care in investigating how to extend GHI’s existing application dependencies as they moved into the cloud.

This important groundwork put the comparative pricing and features of Amazon’s cloud offerings in perspective so GHI could make the smartest investment. The final proposal covered a total cost-of-ownership (TCO) analysis for a new cloud platform, outlining the scope of what GHI could expect from their new application platform.

In the end, DragonSpears implementation team migrated the entire GHI Online platform from their old on-premise servers to AWS cloud infrastructure.

Today, GHI can:

  • Store a functionally infinite number of files in the cloud without having to worry about capital investments to scale up their hardware going forward
  • Take advantage of the latest AWS features

Moving to the cloud has opened up mobile access, BI and analytics, backups, and disaster recovery for GHI. They have moved the organization into a position to explore and take advantage of the latest features of Amazon’s G3 platform as cloud offerings evolve.

With the help of DragonSpears, Greenheart International was able to achieve a more scalable solution for our ongoing storage and security needs.

- Kristy Boyer, IT Director at Greenheart International

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About Patrick Emmons

If you can’t appreciate a good sports analogy, movie quote, or military reference, you may not want to work with him, but if you value honesty, integrity, and commitment to improvement, Patrick can certainly help take your business or your career to the next level. “Good enough,” is simply not in his vernacular. Pat’s passion is for relentlessly pushing himself and others to achieve full potential. Patrick Emmons is a graduate of St. Norbert College with a Bachelor of Science degree in Computer Science and Mathematics. Patrick co-founded Adage Technologies in 2001 and in 2015, founded DragonSpears as a spin-off dedicated to developing custom applications that improve speed, compliance and scalability of clients’ internal and customer-facing workflow processes. When he is not learning about new technology, running a better business, or becoming a stronger leader, he can be found coaching his kids’ (FIVE of them) baseball and lacrosse teams and praising his ever-so-patient wife for all her support.