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Bosa Migrates to AWS with Virtually Zero Downtime Using AWS Application Migration Service

To support its growing business, Canadian real estate development company Bosa Development (Bosa) needed to upgrade its legacy on-premises IT infrastructure. Besides needing to modernize its approach to storing and using data, the company wanted to consolidate its infrastructure, which was distributed across three geographic locations. Bosa decided to migrate to Amazon Web Services (AWS) and selected OpsGuru, a Carbon60 Company (OpsGuru), an AWS Partner, for the project. They opted to lift and shift Bosa’s Windows Server workloads using AWS Application Migration Service, which makes it simple to migrate applications to the cloud with minimal downtime. Bosa and OpsGuru then refactored and modernized the migrated workloads using various AWS services. After migrating to AWS, Bosa quickly achieved benefits, including improved service availability, resiliency, scalability, and security. 

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Since migrating to AWS, there is a significantly better and more consistent user experience.”

Maurice Lui
IT Manager, Bosa Development

Planning a Lift-and-Shift Migration to Amazon EC2

Bosa is headquartered in Vancouver and leads urban development projects throughout Western Canada and the United States. The company focuses on developing dynamic, sustainable, mixed-use environments that energize neighborhoods and inspire their citizens. As Bosa grew, its employees found that they were spending too much time maintaining the company’s legacy on-premises infrastructure. Therefore, the company decided to migrate to AWS to simplify scaling and to reduce system outages. Because Bosa did not have the extended team necessary to carry out a complex migration, it used Vancouver-based OpsGuru to assist with a migration to AWS so that Bosa could realize the benefits of the cloud, including improved reliability and scalability. 

Bosa and OpsGuru decided to start by performing a lift-and-shift migration to Amazon Elastic Compute Cloud (Amazon EC2), which provides secure and resizable compute capacity for virtually any workload. Bosa and OpsGuru chose AWS Application Migration Service as their lift-and shift solution because they wanted a highly automated block-level replication tool. Because AWS Application Migration Service automatically converts source servers from physical, virtual, or cloud infrastructure to run on AWS, Bosa and OpsGuru could use the service to minimize time-intensive, error-prone, high-risk manual processes. “Despite several challenges, such as an unstable network uplink with frequent network disruptions, the team was able to successfully migrate the data to AWS thanks to the reliability of AWS Application Migration Service,” says Paul Podolny, cofounder and principal consultant at OpsGuru.

Migrating to Improve Scalability and Availability

Following an initial pilot to assess risk, Bosa and OpsGuru rehosted Bosa’s Windows Server workloads from on-premises VMware virtual machines into Amazon EC2 instances. The migration involved installing AWS Application Migration Service agents on Bosa’s source servers to initiate the replication of each workload—a process that Bosa was able to track on a user-friendly dashboard. The replication process took place in the background and required just a few weeks to complete at each physical site. “There was no performance impact or service disruption during the entire sync process,” says Maurice Lui, IT manager at Bosa. 

When the replication was complete, OpsGuru and Bosa used AWS Application Migration Service to conduct nondisruptive tests and to verify that all the workloads operated as expected on AWS. The team then performed the final cutover during the weekend to minimize any business disruption, achieving virtually no impact on users. 

“We did the lift and shift first in order to get the data into AWS quickly and reliably,” says Podolny. Once the data was fully available on AWS, the team used Amazon FSx for Windows File Server to host the consolidated data. FSx for Windows File Server provides fully managed shared storage built on Windows Server and delivers a wide range of data access, data management, and administrative capabilities. “We used FSx for Windows File Server, which is highly scalable and available and has advanced capabilities for snapshots, audits, and integrations with AWS,” says Podolny. 

Bosa had initially predicted that migrating to AWS would take up to 1 year, so the team was pleased when migrating and refactoring took just 6 weeks—including replication, testing, and verification. The process also went more smoothly than expected, and business at Bosa proceeded as usual while the migration took place.

Focusing on Digital Innovation and Optimization

The Bosa team quickly recognized the results of the migration. “Since migrating to AWS, there is a significantly better and more consistent user experience,” says Lui. “It doesn’t matter where you are accessing the files from.” 

With a more resilient and reliable IT infrastructure, the Bosa team can now spend less time on maintenance and troubleshooting, and instead focus more on digital innovation and optimization.

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About Bosa Development

Bosa Development has been prominent in the real estate industry in Western Canada and the United States for over 4 decades. The company is headquartered in Vancouver, British Columbia.

Benefits:

  • Migrated to AWS in 6 weeks
  • Experienced virtually zero downtime during migration
  • Improved scalability to support business growth
  • Increased availability and reliability
  • Improved security
  • Reduced time spent on maintenance and troubleshooting
  • Empowered staff to spend more time on digital innovation

AWS Services Used

Amazon Elastic Compute Cloud (Amazon EC2)

Amazon Elastic Compute Cloud (Amazon EC2) offers the broadest and deepest compute platform, with over 500 instances and choice of the latest processor, storage, networking, operating system, and purchase model to help you best match the needs of your workload.

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AWS Application Migration Service

AWS Application Migration Service (AWS MGN) allows you to quickly realize the benefits of migrating applications to the cloud without changes and with minimal downtime. AWS Application Migration Service minimizes time-intensive, error-prone manual processes by automatically converting your source servers from physical, virtual, or cloud infrastructure to run natively on AWS.

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Amazon FSx for Windows File Server

Amazon FSx for Windows File Server provides fully managed shared storage built on Windows Server, and delivers a wide range of data access, data management, and administrative capabilities.

Learn more »


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