Customer: National Natural Gas System Operator DESFA S.A.
Organization Size: Large
Products & Services: Azure IaaS, Azure Site Recovery, SQL Server, SharePoint Server
The National Natural Gas System Operator (DESFA) S.A. is responsible for the operation, management, exploitation and development of the National Natural Gas System and its interconnections, in a technically sound and financially efficient way, in order to best serve its users with security, reliability and adequacy.
Possessing extensive experience and having a highly skilled staff, DESFA is a reliable partner in the framework of the ongoing international energy projects in Southeastern Europe.
Over the past few years, DR and Business Continuity planning have become more affordable and easier thanks to cutting edge technologies. Office Line has an extensive experience in DR projects implementations, having designed and deployed complex Disaster Recovery installations by using innovative software solutions that ensure continuity within business operations.
DESFA’s choice to implement the Disaster Recovery Site on Microsoft Azure has been benefited by the most up-to-date and innovative technologies available now. The Disaster Recovery plan considers various unpredictable events, such as Covid-19, natural disasters, fires, cyber attacks and several external threats. This process guides organization in identifying threats, designing responses, implementing a strategic plan and measuring effectiveness, while basically it’s an ongoing process to continually build and improve organizational resilience, enhance brand image and goodwill among clients and stakeholders. Office Line ensured numerous benefits associated with cost reduction, data security, and time savings.
DESFA’s IT Team addressed to Office Line S.A., the 2019 Microsoft Country Partner of the Year for Greece with great experience and globally acknowledged knowhow on Microsoft’s product and cloud service offerings.
To provide the National Natural Gas System Operator with the modern technologies on the Azure platform, it took several changes to give the on-premises infrastructure the form required to support these technologies.
The most important of these were:
- Hyper-V Cluster Migration from 2012 OS to 2016 OS on main HQ Site
- Upgrade All Virtual Machines configuration version on main HQ Site
- Migrate all SQL Databases that hosted on SQL 2008R2 FCI to SQL 2016 Availability Groups at synchronous mode on main HQ Site
- Migrate SharePoint 2013 to SharePoint 2016
For the disaster recovery implementation, Office Line’s solution architects designed a combination of tools and processes. For the main workload migration, Office Line’s team utilized Azure Site Recovery, while for the Active Directory replication, an Active Directory Site on Azure with a Domain Controller in Azure IaaS has been created. As far as, for the databases Azure SQL Always on Availability Groups has been used with a secondary copy on Azure IaaS. Finally, Office Line Technology experts, performed a planned failover and failback scenario and provided DESFA with the “proof of concept” documentation and step-by-step guidance.
The main benefits for DESFA are:
- Long term cost savings – Operational (TCO) and IT costs were decreased per 70%
- Business Continuity plan implementation, as the vital function within the Organization
- Security for publicly accessible organization’s applications.
- Data loss protection and down time risk elimination
- Enhancement of backup plan effectiveness and cost reduction of DR plan
- IT Compliance Standards deployments
The Azure Disaster Recovery service is the most cost effective, since the Virtual Machines on the DR site are not charged, as long as they are not active. The service charges a standard fee per VM for the replication. The data on Azure platform are saved in the most resilient storage system and are stored in three copies. At any time, the customer can perform a test failover to an isolated environment and check the availability of the whole infrastructure or even test a bug in a development environment that is exactly like the production and get charged only for the time that the VMs are active.
According to the implementation, the critical infrastructure, such as: the virtualization platform operating system, database platform, SharePoint, has been modernized by Office Line Technology experts.
For Office Line, this is an emblematic and challenging project, as it ensures business continuity in a national Organization that manages a critical national infrastructure, proving once again that a secure information infrastructure on Azure plays an essential role in the development of every size of businesses.
With so much complexity in today’s computing environment, Office Line brings a new era in DR planning, ensuring that your business is protected while meeting its most critical needs.