Amazon Web Services – AWS

Fordway AWS Consultancy  helps organisations leverage AWS, and associated services such as Workdocs, Workmail and Workspaces. We will design, deploy and manage your AWS services allowing you to focus on business priorities.

Moving all or some of your services to the public cloud services like Amazon Web Services AWS is not trivial, particularly if you currently provide your IT services in house.  Fordway has significant experience and expertise in cloud solutions that will ensure your transition will happen with minimum disruption to services.

Migrate to AWS using the Fordway Proven Process

Fordway are specialists providing high quality solutions to complex IT problems. We work to our ‘Proven Process’ to ensure our customers realise their business goals.

Fordway helps organisations leverage AWS, and associated services such as Workdocs, Workmail and Workspaces. We will design, deploy and manage your AWS services allowing you to focus on business priorities.

Step 1 – Engage

Before any cloud migration is undertaken it is important to understand and map out the existing environment and clearly define your business objectives. Not all workloads are candidates for a public cloud migration. Fordway’s first step in the proven process is ‘Engage’. Here we assess and identify suitable workloads and begin to shape your cloud strategy.

Step 2 – Analyse

Our discovery workshop will enable Fordway to perform a high-level review of the current environment. Our qualified architects will analyse the current baseline and produce high-level target architectures to meet your technical and business objectives. Our findings will be presented and options analysis undertaken working through our opinions and recommendations which will inform the High Level Design HLD required by your organisation.

Step 3 – Plan

With the HLD agreed we will get into the detailed planning. There is a general misconception that public cloud is insecure, however by leveraging AWS features like VPCs, Virtual Private Gateways, Elastic IPs, AWS Web Application Firewall (WAF), AWS Shield, Security Groups, IAM and more, Fordway will build and deliver a highly secure network hosted in AWS. These can be standalone or connected to your on-premises environment using traditional IPSEC VPN or AWS Direct Connect.

Creating virtual machines in AWS requires informed planning to ensure there is no impact to cost management and billing further down the cloud journey. AWS Reserved Instances can provide big savings to customers if planned correctly. Storage type EBS General Purpose SSD (gp2), Provisioned IOPS SSD (io1), Magnetic and VM maximum throughput plus encryption are all that factors that need to be considered during the design phase. Availability be it within a datacentre, a zone, a region, or globally affect how the solution is designed, how the networks function and the cost implications.

Incorporating services like Autoscaling, Elastic Beanstalk, Cloud Formation and OpsWorks virtual machines will horizontally scale your application based on day, month, and year or as demand increases, delivering additional capacity for busy periods. Leveraging AWS Cloudwatch and Lambda Fordway can also instruct VMs to shutdown overnight reducing spend.

When designing your AWS Windows AD, Fordway will consider features such as AD Connector and AWS Identity & Management. These features allow AWS resources to work with your on-premise AD solution, or using AWS Windows AD you can use your AWS environment as a resource domain.

Developing the correct backup strategy also requires an understanding of how the appropriate technologies work. AWS storage gateway, S3 and Glacia are all available options. Policies data is moved to S3 before begin archived to Glacia for longer term retention. Data policies enable automatic transition of your archive backups to AWS Glacia minimising cost of long term storage. Virtual Tape Library mode offers your existing backup suite the ability to back up to S3 either locally or in the cloud. These can also be moved to Glacia for long-term storage.

AWS provides a number of feature that can improve your security posture.

  • AWS Trusted Advisor provides an in depth view of your AWS infrastructure for optimisation opportunities and helping to improve security.
  • AWS Inspector can review your deployments in AWS for best practise and security vulnerabilities.
  • AWS Guard Duty gathers threat analytics and threat intelligence across the entire AWS account.
  • AWS CloudTrail audit management provides governance across operational activity within the AWS account.

AWS System Manager can provide aggregated monitoring. Using pre-configured service offerings within System Manager, Fordway can track, monitor, and report on events, change and environment health. Within System Manager, compliance rules can be applied across not just one but all AWS accounts. We can use resource groups within System Manager to record application and service dependencies and map connectivity between service components to better understand application and solution architectures.

Step 4 – Transform

A dedicated project manager will managed all aspects of the migration though industry standard project controls and providing reporting through an agreed shared communications plan.

Our Project Managers are supported by our highly experienced client facing and backend consultants. The team will implement an agreed approach that includes phases such as test, Proof of Concept and migration.

Step 5 – Realise

With the migration successfully completed we move into the Realise phase, the final phase of the ‘Proven Process’.

If instructed Fordway will transition the migrated service to your internal staff. We will provide comprehensive documentation and perform detailed knowledge transfer workshops to ensure your teams are equipped to support all aspects going forward.

If Fordway will manage the service our backend teams will be primed ensuring the transition to steady run state is as frictionless as possible. All our services are underpinned by industry standards such as ITIL, ISO20000 and ISO27001 and ISO9001.

Fordway will also configure your costs in AWS which have many facets. Whilst AWS provides Trusted Advisor to help provide advice on how to optimise costs and services, we know from experience that these are not always applicable for certain workloads. We will review your configuration to ensure that your service is fit for purpose and that custom alerting is implemented allowing reporting and management on key performance criteria and thresholds.

Fordway can observe and manage billing in a number of ways including per service and per environment. Expected spending can be predicted in line with how individual AWS accounts are utilised. Tags can be used to group your resources into logical units and AWS Master Organisations with Sub Accounts provide greater granularity.

Fordway will provide ongoing subscription management such as financial spend and access control. In addition Fordway can provide end user support through our 24×7 Service Desk. Other service add-ons available from Fordway are:

  • A nominated Fordway Service Delivery Manager to provide internal escalation, service management and scheduled Service Reviews.
  • Ongoing AWS features, license and upgrade advice.
  • Customised service reporting to individual customer requirements.
  • Integration of Fordway’s service management toolsets with a customer’s service management applications.
  • Additional service desk services including end user support and incident management for 3rd party suppliers.
  • Problem management, rectification co-ordination and implementation planning.
  • Change management planning, co-ordination and delivery.
  • Service monitoring and reporting of third party services.
  • Asset management of customer devices and infrastructure.

Public Sector clients can order IaaS and other Fordway Cloud services through the G-Cloud Framework on the Digital Marketplace

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