LeasePlan, AWS and Device42
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To modernize and streamline its global operations, LeasePlan started a comprehensive program to move its applications and data to the cloud. The company used Device42’s agentless discovery of infrastructure and application dependencies across its mixed server environments. With Device42 the migration teams gained the detailed perspective required from within their AIX and Wintel environments to successfully complete the first sprint of migration and replatform it’s largest application in AWS–in one quarter of the time it would have taken without the solution.
“AIX was a black box for us. It’s not a visual environment. We never expected the level of detail Device42 provides for us. We’ve now targeted this entire project to take five to six months. Without Device42, it would have taken at least two years.”
LeasePlan is one of the world’s leading fleet management and leasing companies, with over 6,000 employees and 1.8 million vehicles under management in more than 30 countries. Their core business involves managing the entire vehicle lifecycle for our clients, taking care of everything from purchasing and maintenance to car remarketing.
LeasePlan was just two months into the process of migrating its six data centers–two in Ireland, two in Australia and two in the United States–to the cloud. Within these data centers, the company ran more than 200 applications that support internal operations. Server environments include Wintel as well as IBM iSeries and AIX. LeasePlan started its migration process with a full sprint to move its massive core finance application, called the Global Finance System (GFS) to Amazon Web Services (AWS). They selected AWS because of its flexibility, security, rapid pace of innovation and broad set of global cloud-based services and deep functionality within those services.They determined that AWS is poised to support their growing needs.
LeasePlan has an in-house workload strategy team tasked with identifying all applications and dependencies as they exist now. Kamin Ganji, Infrastructure Architect at LeasePlan, explains: “It’s my job to find which applications are included in our data center now, and how many components are connected within each application prior to migration. For example, I need to know that a certain application is on specific web application servers, which are on database servers, and which ones are connected to back end servers.”
Once this team discovers all relevant IT inventory along with its service dependencies, they provide their findings to the migration factory team for planning as to how to repurchase, rehost, replatform, refactor, retire or retain the applications and services in the new world of AWS. It’s critical that the perspective they offer on the current state is accurate, detailed and complete.
The company’s Global Finance System (GFS), ran on more than 200 SAP/AIX servers across 20 different countries. “AIX isn’t supported in AWS, so our GFS application requires a thorough replatforming. We needed full visibility into our broad and complex GFS application, which had been in use for more than a decade and was not thoroughly documented,” says Ganji. For a successful project, the migration team required an unquestionable inventory and map of the GFS in AIX, but the initial tools their teams used couldn’t provide visibility into the AIX environment. This posed a significant risk.
The Device42 solution at LeasePlan
Experts from LeasePlan’s IT service provider, Logicalis, recommended Device42 discovery and service mapping to provide the much-needed visibility into their AIX environment.
“Other organizations typically must move AIX applications to Linux servers before moving them to AWS to get some visibility of dependencies and services. With insight from Device42 we could completely skip that step. We gained immediate, detailed insight into our largest application, GFS” Ganji continues. “Device42’s automatic and agentless discovery of infrastructure and application dependencies in AIX showed us exactly how we could define and build the necessary compute relationships in AWS. It created affinity groups that helped us build move groups quickly and easily. It found and showed network communications as well. It’s quite impressive.”
The combined teams at LeasePlan also used Device42’s deep insights to discover all communications, servers, port numbers and IP addresses across AIX and its larger Wintel enterprise.
“We found missing parts of applications that we didn’t originally consider in the migration,” Ganji explains. “For example, we had a windows server which had huge transactional traffic we hadn’t seen before. Now we know we have to add these Windows boxes to our migration plan because they’re a part of the GFS application. Without Device42, we wouldn’t have realized this.”
Now, the teams use Device42 to discover LeasePlan’s entire IT inventory across the globe–including hardware, network devices and more. It provides the team clear visibility into legacy environments to deliver the best outcomes for AWS migration. In fact, the migration factory team uses Device42’s Resource Utilization and Cloud Recommendation Engine to map usage for right-sizing and to accelerate intelligent migration to AWS.
“AIX was a black box for us,” says Ganji. “It’s not a visual environment. We never expected the level of detail Device42 provides for us. We’ve now targeted this entire project to take five to six months. Without Device42, it would have taken at least two years.”