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Luxury Brand Modernizes Infrastructure with Connectria’s IBM i and AWS Hybrid Cloud



The Client is a renowned 125-year-old business focused primarily on the manufacturing and retail space. This Client has a rich history of producing quality products under various brand names, catering to manufacturing, repair, and retail with locations across the United States.

The Client came to Connectria in search of opportunities to modernize its infrastructure. The decision to move to AWS was based on a thorough evaluation conducted by an external consultant, considering factors such as vendor capabilities, pricing, and the ability to migrate its IBM i system to the cloud. Connectria emerged as the preferred partner, providing cost-effective solutions along with the expertise needed to execute the migration seamlessly.

The Challenge

Ransomware Prompts Security Reinforcement and Push for Modernization

The Client faced a ransomware attack when hackers infiltrated its system. This incident highlighted an immediate need for increased infrastructure resiliency, reinforced security support, and vigilant monitoring. The Client also grappled with issues while maintaining its on-premises IBM i system, which ran on outdated hardware and an unsupported OS.

These hurdles, combined with the need to align with evolving business trends, prompted a shift towards reducing reliance on on-premises infrastructure. The Client aimed to centralize resources following a directive from its parent company to transition operations infrastructure to the cloud.

“Our system was hacked and asked to pay ransomware. Needless to say, we started putting wheels in motion. Our international cohort was cloud based which influenced the US team to explore cloud opportunities. Ultimately, our goal was to be more mobile and reduce our infrastructure footprint. ” – IT Manager.

The Client’s infrastructure is managed by a small IT group, which made it difficult to manage all the various components. Connectria is helping to reduce the Client’s risk by updating mission critical systems, migrating some infrastructure components to the cloud, and consolidating resources to effectively reduce its involvement with certain tasks from monitoring to security.

The Solution

Essential OS Upgrades and Comprehensive Cloud Transformation

The Client’s internal team embarked on a comprehensive cloud transformation journey guided by Connectria’s experts. The solution involved updating mission critical infrastructure components that started with Connectria performing a multi-level upgrade of the Client’s IBM i OS, bringing its environment to the current supported OS.

Next, Connectria performed a partial migration of its IBM i LPARs into a small AWS environment under Connectria’s management. Although the migration was uncharted territory for the Client, the Connectria team took time throughout the project to explain how the services worked, provide additional reassurance, and perform test cutovers. The migration was successful and Connectria provided post-migration support with AWS managed services.

“When we came under Connectria, the first project was to outsource our service center, repair and materials to an IBM i cloud hosted by Connectria. The second piece of the project was to outsource our network to the AWS cloud. Most of our network has been moved to AWS, with some servers remaining in house.” – IT Manager.

The Client also leveraged JD Edwards to power a homegrown application for its materials and service center. Connectria moved one piece of that environment off the IBM i into NetSuite using Connectria Professional Services.

The Results

Improved Business Continuity, Security, and a 248% Performance Increase

The most immediate benefit for the Client is the execution of its IBM i OS upgrade. Before coming to Connectria, the Client was limited by the available tools on its previous IBM i hardware. The Client was initially running on IBM POWER6 on an unsupported OS. Connectria was able to upgrade the OS and migrate the Client’s workload to IBM POWER9. The Client can now take advantage of new technologies such as virtual tape libraries for local copies of backups, secondary backups, and SAN-to-SAN hardware-based replication.

The Client is now running partially in AWS, with remaining IBM i resources supported by Connectria’s IBM Power Managed Services. Connectria was ultimately able to increase the Client’s IBM performance from a CPW of 4300 per core to 15,000 per core, a 248.8% increase. The Client’s environment is also more secure thanks to newly inherited AWS security controls and Connectria’s 24×7 security and monitoring to help mitigate future risks.

Managing our infrastructure in-house left our system at risk, with Connectria we’re able to reduce that risk considerably. We now have redundant backups, accessible cloud security expertise, and a more scalable system.

— IT Manager

Looking ahead, the Client now has the opportunity to scale with AWS and leverage many of the available services which will power new growth from a compute and modernization standpoint. The Client’s modernization represents a tactical move towards further enhancing its reputation for delivering both quality service and quality products.

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