WE HELPED PHAROS MARINE CONSOLIDATE THEIR SYSTEMS TO THE CLOUD
ABOUT PHAROS MARINE
Pharos Marine Automatic Power is a global leader in providing marine aids to navigation, aviation obstruction lighting, and remote monitoring and control systems. The company specialises in the design, manufacture, and supply of a wide range of high-quality products and services to support marine safety and navigation, including marine lanterns, buoys, foghorns, radar beacons, and remote monitoring systems.
With multiple office locations in both the UK and the US, remote access became essential for this business to maintain its operations. The company had also been utilizing a database solution to manage sales and purchasing, which was hosted on a local server. Their experience with this solution was very frustrating for both remote users, as it had performance and connectivity issues, and required a secure VPN. Additionally, the environment was aging, not optimally configured, and becoming difficult to maintain. As a result, it no longer suited the client’s business needs.
Pharos Marine were aware that they needed to adapt their approach to their technology. The core system consisted of 1 physical server which hosted 3 virtual servers. The company was also hosting resource-intensive applications that required a significant investment in infrastructure and hardware, including an Exchange server, a file server and an app server for application deployment across its user systems.
Due to the nature of the business uptime is essential, so in addition to the Exchange solution, a robust backup and disaster recovery solution was also necessary. Initially, the systems were managed by an internal staff member, but there were several challenges related to the management and maintenance of their system.
help4IT took over the management of the IT solutions and services in November 2018 and immediately developed a strategy to migrate and consolidate their systems to the Cloud. Several options were explored and reviewed with the company to outline what the new system could look like.
The next step was to execute the plan, initially the Exchange solution was migrated to Office 365. As a part of this project, the infrastructure was configured as a Hybrid solution using Microsoft Integration to the local hosted domain controller to effectively kickstart the process. Exchange Online, SharePoint and OneDrive were leveraged to replace the users’ network drives and email services. This reduced the amount of data being stored on the servers and allowed remote users to easily access their user data through Microsoft’s Cloud solution.
In conjunction with the use of Office 365, help4IT implemented a disaster recovery solution for the data stored in the cloud. The local hosted servers were then migrated to Amazon Web Services (AWS) as this aligned with the company’s requirement for remote access to their core applications without the need for a VPN to the head office. This was also acceptable and in line with security standards. Additionally, specific access controls were implemented to protect the Office 365 data stored in the SharePoint platform from unwanted access. The existing file structure had was redesigned and user access control was deployed to reflect this as the access permissions on the file server had become disorganised and fragmented over a long period of time.
Pharos Marine have since adopted the new systems and have greater autonomy and ease of access to their core business systems as a result. Users were quick to adapt and help4IT was available to support them via our helpdesk both during and after the deployment.