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Mirvac embraces the public cloud

Mirvac is a leading, diversified Australian property group, with an integrated development and asset management capability. Mirvac has 45 years of experience in the property industry and an unmatched reputation for delivering superior products and services across its businesses. Mirvac owns and manages assets across the office, retail and industrial sectors, with over $18 billion of assets currently under management. The company’s development activities allow it to create and deliver innovative, high-quality commercial assets and residential projects for customers, while driving long-term value for security holders. Mirvac’s integrated approach allows a competitive advantage in the creation of quality assets across the entire lifecycle of a project; from planning through to design, construction and development, leasing, property management and long-term ownership.


Business Overview

To meet the growing needs of their business, Mirvac realised that they had to modernise the current technology landscape, and exit their current data centre. Additionally, because their workloads are Microsoft-critical business applications and commercial off-the-shelf products, a highly available cloud platform was required. AWS was selected for their stability, lower operational cost, and the ability to transform Mirvac’s technology operations. The new AWS Cloud Platform enables full optimisation all their workloads through an automated application stack.


The Challenge

Mirvac runs well over 100 workloads, including 180 Windows servers, from their headquarters in Sydney. These workloads range from business critical to services needing high compute and graphic intensive processes. A majority of these workloads are Microsoft SQL Servers and other Windows specific applications.

The migration needed to be completed quickly. The entire project was planned, implemented and migrated within seven months without business outage.

To deliver a more reliable infrastructure platform and one that could expand to the needs of their business, Mirvac chose to migrate all critical workloads to AWS. They identified 112 workloads which included 180 Windows servers hosting these workloads.

It was also mandated that the platform once delivered so that Mirvac would feel comfortable that the platform followed security best practices.

With a clear Cloud strategy in place, we identified that we needed the help of a strong and qualified partner to assist us in this ambitious and critical migration” said Swati Singh, Mirvac’s General Manager, Technology.

The Solution

“Through a consultative approach, Mirvac and Versent developed an ambitious but achievable plan to deliver a successful migration without any disruption to Mirvac’s business,” said Ms Singh.

Tim Hope, G.M. at Versent, added, “We put in place an Enterprise Native Cloud solution. This solution implements critical cloud security, compliance, and foundational controls on AWS to support the migration and transformation of workload into AWS. The solution was ratified by AWS Solution Architects, ensuring it aligns with the Well Architected Framework.”

Versent uses DevOps/Automation techniques to build an automated migration factory that utilises migration specific tools to deliver migrations of the workloads in waves into AWS. This approach enables rapid and consistent migration of Microsoft Windows-based servers and Microsoft SQL Server databases.

“By migrating our current Microsoft workloads into a secure, monitored and efficient AWS environment, we are able to service our customers and stakeholders more efficiently,” added Ms Singh.


The Benefits

Following the discovery phase of the program, Versent worked closely with Mirvac’s infrastructure team to ensure that they not only understood the solution but could provide their input into the Cloud Platform.

Versent put together a solution design which lay out the foundation for what would be implemented into AWS. The design was put through the Well Architected Framework to assure Mirvac that what was being implemented aligned with AWS best practices.

Versent implemented the Enterprise Native Cloud which put in place the building blocks for all workloads that would be migrated into AWS. This put in place the AWS account structure, security controls and integration into to provide an operational lens for Mirvac. Mirvac had targeted 180 servers, which included112 application workloads that would be the basis for the migration into AWS.

Versent deployed the AWS Discovery Service across the fleet of servers to allow for all inter-dependencies to be discovered. This meant that the team could understand all the inter-dependencies between each workload and understand how that would be migrated into AWS. This provided Versent with a key level of understanding of each of the complexities amongst the workloads identified. This gave Mirvac assurance that no integrations would be disrupted or missed during the migrations.

Versent partnered with CloudEndure, utilising their product, Live Migration, to facilitate data replication from all 180 servers. This was instrumental in ensuring the least amount of downtime for the workloads and provided Mirvac with confidence that all data would be replicated into AWS prior to any of the migrations that would take place.

Versent built a migration factory with automation at its core to orchestrate the migration of all on-premises servers into AWS. This ensured that the repeatable migration process was executed accurately and without error for all 180 servers.

For each server, Versent worked closely with Mirvac to ensure that they were both functionally and operationally accepted by all stake holders prior to any server being handed over. Once the workload was in AWS, Versent worked closely with the operations team to put in place workload schedules to optimise the usage and cost of these workloads.

Mirvac can now leverage by design the reliability and scalability of AWS to provide the business confidence that the platform will be able to scale with expected growth from the business. The platform will also be able to take advantage of new capabilities such as machine learning and AI.

Examples of workloads that were transformed and migrated include Render – a Windows/ Microsoft 3D video rendering workload which the Mirvac designers and developers use on a day-to-day basis. For Mirvac, this is a critical app that is at the core of their business– designing and building environmentally and sustainable properties.

Ms Singh concluded, “Mirvac’s technology team gained significant benefits from this program. We were able to leverage and grow our skillsets, provide confidence back to the business, and have an effective platform to deliver the technology and business priorities Mirvac. Leveraging Versent’s Managed Services to provide operational support, maintenance and optimisation of our cloud environment will enable a greater focus on core business initiatives.”