Project

Standard Wool – Remote Desktop Service

  • Sector: Manufacturing
  • Partners: Standard Wool

Standard Wool – Remote Desktop Service

Standard Wool are a traditional (founded in 1864) but forward-thinking Wool Trader which has a customer base spanning 30 countries. Much of their core infrastructure was reaching end of life and they approached us to recommend a secure cloud infrastructure solution.

Challenge

Standard Wool had data centres in Dewsbury and Bradford with servers that were reaching end-of-life. Their key requirements from this infrastructure migration project were to:
• Create a Virtual Desktop solution so that end users could access core line of business applications from a standardised desktop image
• Provide a more resilient, secure and future-proof solution
• Reduce their long-term total cost of ownership

Additional requirements were to:
• Implement Single Sign On (SSO) for use with Office 365 and Dynamics CRM
• Allow access to the Wool Trading System and Dynamics GP from remote locations
• Provide an offsite file backup and recovery mechanism
• Provide enhanced DR provision
• Minimise use of on-site IT resource to manage desktop computers
• Introduce best practice design for the Standard Wool network/infrastructure
• Consolidate all SQL database applications on to a single host
• Support common desktop roaming within site and across group companies

What we did

We initially analysed the complete set of requirements and then created a solution design which was largely based on the following AWS components; EC2, RDS, S3, IAM and CloudFormation. An assessment of this design was made against the AWS Well Architected Framework to validate adherence to best practice.
Following completion of the design, the migration focused on:
• Port of Dynamics GP and Wool Trading System to AWS
• Port of SQL Server DB (GP, Wool Trading, SUN) to AWS
• Setup of Remote Desktop Services
• Domain Controller / Active Directory Setup
• SSO Integration with Office 365
• File and Print Server migration to AWS
• Review DHCP setup and providing recommendations

Results

The solution allowed users to use a Remote Desktop (via Remote Desktop Services) to access core line of business applications (Wool Trading System and Dynamics GP) from remote work locations.
The solution also improved Disaster Recovery provisioning with backups of EBS volumes and the SQL Server database being written to S3 on a regular schedule.
The solution has removed the reliance on old servers falling out of support, allowing the performance of the new cloud infrastructure to be regularly monitored (via CloudWatch). Two Domain Controllers (a resilient cross availability zone pair) have been created which allow for seamless SSO with Office 365, Dynamics CRM and Active Directory.
Martyn Wren, Head of IT at Standard Wool was delighted with the result. Martyn remarked that “Alscient continue to exceed my expectations. Their work has removed our reliance on onsite IT resources, reduced our total cost of ownership and makes it much easier to consider new developments on a platform which we know will support our ongoing needs”.

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