Marina operator The Yacht Havens Group (YHG) has consolidated and migrated its IT systems to the cloud to simplify access to its data, reduce costs and add online functions for its customers.
YHG owns and operates eight marinas in the UK and has about 120 staff. Each site had its own server, and Ben Fox, YHG's IT manager, told Computing that the company decided to migrate its servers to the cloud after examining the business case.
"We had a look at where the business was going to go. We were running Windows Server 2003 on all eight of our sites and they were coming to the end of their lifetime. We then completed a cost analysis of replacing them or completing a move to the cloud. We chose the cloud based on the benefits it offered us," he explained.
Fox said that YHG chose Databarracks because it had built up a relationship of trust having used the firm for its online backup for six years.
"We were also in talks with other providers such as Rackspace but they weren't flexible on the contract, whereas any point could be discussed with Databarracks and amended for our specific requirements. This was a big bonus, as it meant both the IT and managerial teams were satisfied on a legal and technical basis," he said.
YHG started its migration to the cloud in July 2011and completed it in November.
Fox explained that initially YHG's head office could not see real-time or current data from remote sites due to VPN restrictions, but moving over to the cloud enabled access to live data from any location.
"We had an Active Directory domain spanning all eight sites running on Windows Server 2003. The DNS and Active Directory were replicated across each site through anIPsec VPN over our ADSL lines."