Microsoft Workloads on AWS

Redington Gulf: Scaling Microsoft on AWS assessments with distribution

We [Redington Gulf] negotiate on behalf of the customer with vendors, such as Microsoft, to achieve cost savings. The experience we have gained over the years working with these vendors has allowed us to help customers at any stage of their cloud journey.”

Redington Gulf, a value-added distributor for Amazon Web Services (AWS) in the Middle East, Turkey and Africa, has played a key role in activating its channel ecosystem to power the region’s digital transformation journey. Established almost three decades ago, Redington has evolved from a single brand, product category, and market into a $8.4 billion distribution and supply chain solutions provider. It supports over 290 global brands in the IT and mobility industries, serving 38 emerging markets. As an AWS trusted distributor, Redington helps AWS partners grow revenue by reselling AWS products and services. For instance, Redington has created a blueprint that discovers and optimizes Microsoft workloads on AWS to help its distribution channel partners accelerate their customers’ journey to AWS. The channel partners can use this blueprint to target the market and support assessments of Microsoft workloads. To understand more about how Redington is scaling these assessments through its distribution channel partners, we spoke with the leaders of this initiative: Amr Abdelshafi, Redington’s cloud migration lead, and Alam Shaikh, AWS practice lead at Redington. In this blog post, they share how these partners are using these assessments to help customers migrate and modernize their Microsoft workloads with AWS.

Q. To begin, will you give us an overview of Redington’s relationship with AWS?

We have been a key partner for AWS. We have launched an initiative to build an AWS practice across different products and businesses at Redington and to lead with a unified AWS strategy. Our recent strategic collaboration agreement with AWS further helps us march ahead in this direction. This allows us to advance the adoption of cloud solutions and services to AWS customers through our distribution channel.

We have doubled down on investments in personnel, partner enablement, trainings, and cloud-based services to empower our partner channel. We are committed to helping our partners build, market, and sell on AWS, and because of this, we have recently been awarded a Rising Star Distributor of the Year award from AWS.

Our vision is to continue being a true consultant that helps accelerate our partners’ AWS journey across the Middle East, Turkey, and Africa.

Q. What challenges do you see customers experiencing when it comes to kicking off their digital transformation journeys?

Cloud migration is never a straightforward task for enterprises and small medium-size businesses (SMBs) that are running either on a capital expenditure model for on-premises IT or in a private cloud. Customers often think of migrating and modernizing to the public cloud without defining a clear roadmap. They lack visibility of their workloads, associated costs, and different licensing models. This is a big challenge, especially in the case of Microsoft workloads, where licensing models vary between on-premises and the cloud.

They need to assess existing licensing agreements and their usage to justify the business case to migrate to AWS. Some of the pain points we have observed working with our customers looking to migrate Microsoft workloads to AWS include:

  • Recognizing the distinctions between license consumption, usage, and deployment options;
  • Software Assurance-related rights such as License Mobility, failover, and disaster recovery;
  • End-of-Support for Microsoft products and customer upgrade eligibility; and
  • Obtaining a complete purchase history and comprehending current licensing entitlements.

Q. How can customers successfully address these challenges?

Very often, customers’ cloud journeys start based on their existing workload configurations without rightsizing, which leads to higher costs. To take full advantage of migrating to the cloud, customers need to assess and optimize their workload sizes to save costs and reduce license consumption.

For customers, it is important that they have a better understanding of their Microsoft workloads before they migrate to AWS. The first step is to evaluate their existing infrastructure and applications and to outline a well-mapped strategy.

This will allow customers to maximize the advantages while they efficiently migrate their Microsoft workloads to AWS. The future scope of work also needs to be considered when they are assessing their workloads.

Q. What is Redington’s approach in helping customers overcome this challenge?

Redington’s distribution channel has extensive experience working with their partners in the region to help businesses address their key technology challenges. Together with our partners, we have helped various customers across different industries assess their existing technology needs. We negotiate on behalf of the customer with vendors, such as Microsoft, to achieve cost savings. The experience we have gained over the years working with these vendors has allowed us to help customers at any stage of their cloud journey.

Through our distribution channel reach, we are able to scale this offering within our channel ecosystem of partners. We work closely with our channel partners to help customers get an assessment that will analyze and re-evaluate workloads to rightsize deployments on AWS.

We do this by identifying workloads which are unused and underutilized that lead to higher costs for customers. We also provide rightsizing of workloads and license optimization to reduce our customers’ cloud spend.

It is important that customers select the right partner for their cloud adoption journey. The right partner not only increases speed to innovation but also brings operational stability, which is key for all businesses to thrive.

Benefits of Redington Offering 1. Rightsizing: Recommend right sizing of instances and help optimize cost. Optimal sizing guidance based on Savings Plans, Reserved Instances, On-Demand, or Spot Instances. Identify underutilized and unused workloads to reduce cloud spend. 2. Advisory: Provide transparent and trusted advise to our customers to modernize and migrate their Microsoft workloads on AWS. Understand application dependencies and customer goals and provide expert guidance in their migration and modernization journey to AWS. 3. License flexibility and optimization: Help customers optimize their existing license commitment and model different licensing options with license included or Bring Your Own License(BYOL).

Figure 1- Benefits of Redington Offering

This offering is only the start of the Microsoft workload migration journey to AWS. The assessment results feed into other workload migration and modernization offerings that Redington’s distribution channel provides to its customers to accelerate their cloud journey.

 Q. Can you dive deep into your offering to highlight its value proposition?

Through its distribution partner channel, Redington helps customers navigate their cloud adoption journey by running an assessment against their current workloads. The process takes about four weeks to complete. The assessment helps customers analyze and optimize their current on-premises and cloud environments, based on actual resource utilization, Microsoft licensing costs, and application dependencies.

Redington Gulf Assessment & Optimization Process Day 0 Prior Kick-off: Agree on the Scope of Work. SOW approval. Share Migration Evaluator tool pre- requisites, firewall requirements. Week1: Project kick-off with Redington/Partner teams and customer stakeholders. Environment readiness and validation. Tools installation. Initiate data collection. Week 2-3: Understand licensing requirements. Early Dev/Test & Production sizing and licensing preview. Data validation. Generate Optimization and Assessment report. Week 4: Present to customer Assessment and optimization report. Right sizing recommendations Licensing entitlements. Determine next steps and plan of action with customer.

Figure 2 – Redington Gulf Assessment & Optimization Process

The assessment also helps customers find the right licensing approach that will fit their use case. We help channel partners model different licensing scenarios to offer their customers the best value when making the move to AWS.

We look at three licensing options offered by AWS for Microsoft workloads. The first option is to buy license-included instances that move customers’ Windows Server and SQL Server licenses to a pay-as-you-go model. Two other options are available in the Bring Your Own License (BYOL) model, under which customers can either choose from the shared tenancy or dedicated host deployment options.

In addition, we perform a cloud Total Cost of Ownership (TCO) assessment that helps determine the best fit and lowest-cost placement for Microsoft workloads, including License Mobility benefits. We also create multiple scenarios for different payment plans, provide customers with a TCO analysis for their Microsoft workloads on AWS and a recommended migration roadmap. The overall assessment process takes about four weeks to complete. Some of our customers are able to achieve 29% cost savings by just rightsizing their instances. In addition, they can save about 65% with license-included reserved instances for their Microsoft workloads when compared to on-premises infrastructure.

Q. What can the market expect from Redington in 2023?

With the AWS UAE Region now open, we are looking forward to helping AWS partners and customers in the Middle East begin their cloud journey to AWS cloud using Redington’s unique migration and modernization approach.

Redington will continue to invest in building intellectual property and competencies to create an ecosystem that makes it easy for our partners and customers to have access to the latest solutions available from across the globe. We are continuing to develop in-house competencies around the metaverse, Industry 4.0 solutions especially around the Internet of Things, data and analytics, and Microsoft and SAP workloads on AWS. Our partners and customers can and will be able to take advantage of these solutions and offerings.

Q. Are there any resources where our readers can find more about Redington’s offerings?

Yes, we run monthly webinars to educate the market about our assess, optimize, and migrate program. Customers can register their interest in our offering here.

We also have our offerings for AWS Migration, AWS Readiness Assessment and Cloud Management Platform that our channel partners can take advantage of to help their customers in their AWS migration and modernization journey.

About the Microsoft workloads on AWS Partner Spotlight series

Please continue to join us in this blog series as we highlight our AWS Partners’ capabilities in migrating and modernizing Microsoft workloads on AWS. As you do, we hope you’ll also ask the question: “What’s my organization’s plan for moving off SQL Server or Windows Server or whatever technology is keeping us from modernizing to better care for our customers?” Let AWS Partners with their specific niche offerings help you assess how your company can get the most out of cloud.

AWS can help you assess how your company can get the most out of cloud. Join the millions of AWS customers that trust us to migrate and modernize their most important applications in the cloud. To learn more on modernizing Windows Server or SQL Server, visit Windows on AWSContact us to start your modernization journey today.

Saad Khan

Saad Khan

Saad Khan is a Senior Partner Solutions Architect with Amazon Web Services. He works with AWS partners to help build and develop their technical capabilities so they can be successful in helping customers transform their business with AWS.

Garry Singh

Garry Singh

Garry Singh is a Senior Solutions Architect with Amazon Web Services. He works with AWS customers & partners to provide guidance and technical assistance to achieve the best outcome for Microsoft workloads on AWS.