David Phillips Furniture: Azure Infrastructure Transformation
November 21, 2019
David Phillips Furniture
David Phillips Furniture
Acora DPF Partnership
DPF are mid-way through a 5 year contract with Acora. Acora maintains DPF’s core infrastructure server and datacentre in Burgess Hill.
Internal IT set up
Team of 5, including 3 NAV developers
No of locations
4 office locations – including Manchester and Acton
No of users
260 desk top users & 110 E1 licences, 360+ in total
Established in 1998, The David Phillips Group (DPF) is the UK’s largest and most resourceful furnishing and specialist services provider to property professionals nationwide. They have a deep understanding of the UK property market and work with PRS funds, individual investors, developers, estate and letting agents, property managers and institutional investors to help them make the most of their investments.
Faced with an ageing architecture and urgently needing to upgrade their NAV ERP solution and infrastructure to host this, DPF needed a solution that was future proofed.
DPF’s Head of IT Infrastructure Wayne Vosges knew that he needed to adopt a “cloud-first” strategy. Having made the decision to move to Azure and with not enough resource or know how to implement the solution inhouse, he approached Acora to put together an infrastructure project plan. It was important that the migration was done right from the onset and he knew from previous experience of working with Acora that they would be the best ones to take them through the process.
DPF took the opportunity to not only migrate the NAV servers to Azure but migrate everything from the Acora data centre to the Azure platform. They wanted to commission new domain controllers at each control site.
DPF had already migrated users to Office 365. As part of the Azure project they asked Acora to implement Azure AD Connect to give Office users access to the Office 365 portal to ensure single sign on – one password.
Acora applied a phased approach to the project delivery.
The first phase of the project was to get all the offices “Azure ready”. That meant getting the backbone infrastructure in place – building firewalls, upgrading the internet and ensuring better resilience. At the same time Acora commissioned all virtual machines in to Azure and set up the NAV servers.
The next part of the Azure project was to make the environment as secure as possible. Knowing that Acora were experienced with Palo Alto firewalls, DPF instructed Acora to set up each office with a Palo Alto next generation firewall. This offered better protection and enabled DPF to set up Global Protect to cater for home workers who needed to VPN into the office. This is essential, as many of DPF’s team are based overseas.
The final part of the Azure project was the migration of roles and services from the existing infrastructure (located at Acora data centre and on premise) to the new infrastructure (hosted in Azure and on premise) as well as the full decommission of all legacy infrastructure at the Acora datacentre.
Wayne Vosges Head of IT Infrastructure at DPF says: “The whole process – from the design and costing phase through to the project management – has been fantastic“.
“We have developed a really good partnership with Acora. The team are very transparent. They get on with the task in hand and deliver on the target date. What’s more, as the customer, you are very much made to feel part of the team”.
- A more modern infrastructure.
- Applications hosted in the cloud and easier to manage.
- Single sign in for Office 365.
- Better infrastructure and resilience will enable developers to focus on future projects.