Plan for the Unplanned: ClearScale's Overnight Migration to AWS WorkMail

March 28 2016

ClearScale has a long-standing history of success with helping our clients implement solutions for their specific needs from the simplest engagement to the most complex. We’ve devoted thousands of hours at leveraging our experience across hundreds of clients. Little did we expect that we ourselves would be placed in a position of needing a solid solution quickly.

In business you have to prepare for the unexpected. If any of your key systems are suddenly impacted with an outage, having a back-up plan for business continuation is vital. ClearScale recently had an opportunity to put this practice to the test when the email service that we relied on through GoDaddy was taken down during an unplanned upgrade of their Exchange Server.

The impact was immediate and far-reaching. Without the ability to receive or respond to email, the communications between ourselves and the outside world were non-existent. This also came at a critical time because we had a team attending the AWS re:Invent Conference - the largest gathering of the global cloud community where the ability to immediately communicate issues was at its highest.

Without any immediate solution from GoDaddy on when our email service was going to be restored, our team jumped into action and began the process of migrating our existing email accounts, calendars, folders and history into Amazon Web Services’ (AWS) WorkMail solution. Although at that time just in Beta and potentially risky, we knew the risk was negligible due to the fact that so many of our IT systems, including our company website, ran on AWS already. We knew that any AWS solution has been thoroughly built, tested and supported, especially since we were familiar with these solutions having not only used them in our operations but for our client implementations as well. Since we were presented with the opportunity of waiting for GoDaddy to resolve their email outage versus adopting a Beta email service from AWS, the decision was clear. We went with a company that we knew could deliver.

Literally overnight, the ClearScale team was able to utilize AWS WorkMail’s migration solution to port over all of our company’s user accounts, calendar information, folders and email history and restore email capabilities to our organization long before GoDaddy ever resolved their Exchange Server upgrade issues. Once again, AWS solutions allowed us to implement vital business functionality with minimal effort to set up and reduced our potential downtime had we stayed with our previous vendor.

Amazon has a history of putting the customer first. Their core tenant is the idea that you need to make certain that if the customer is not satisfied you do everything you can to make certain that they are. Putting the customer at the center of your business ensures that you make business decisions that are beneficial for them as much as they are for you. Unlike other companies, Amazon’s approach to the customer has allowed them to become dominant in a number of spaces, including technology. They were one of the first major companies to set up Cloud services and they’ve become successful not just because they know technology, but because they actively communicate out to customers, provide extensive documentation, and build tools that make adopting their services easy.

"When ClearScale was in a bind and needed to change email providers fast - AWS was there for us. We chose AWS WorkMail because of the fast and painless migration process and due to the level of trust we have in all AWS services. Their support has been great as well.”

Pavel Pragin | CEO of ClearScale

This consistency with setup, services and features is why Amazon Web Services is our preference in our day-to-day operations and why we have forged a strong partnership with AWS to help other organizations going through similar challenges. Many of services AWS offers have been completely integrated into our own business systems and processes. Over time, we’ve been certified by AWS as an organization that has competencies in the AWS Marketing & Commerce, Mobile, Big Data and DevOps services. Because of this, Amazon has given us the opportunity of being an AWS Premier Consulting Partner and we’re only one of about two dozen organizations in the U.S. who have been lauded with this distinction.

So confident are we in AWS solutions that 99% of the projects that we do for other organizations are on the Amazon Cloud and associated services. Because we want our customers to be as pleased with the results as we have, we offer a full range of cloud services in Integration, Migration, Development and Automation to name just a few. Further, we also believe that our clients come first; we’re dedicated to building out solutions on AWS for our customers that will suit their needs but not lock them into long-term managed services contracts or require them to have unnecessary usage.

We had a history with AWS long before our recent email issues with GoDaddy required us to find an alternative solution. AWS made our decision and action to migrate to their WorkMail solution a natural choice. We took a risk utilizing a product that was still in Beta, but we also knew that Amazon has been very responsive in the past so our risk was minimal. Now that Amazon WorkMail has been moved into general production, the decision we made has been confirmed as the right one. At ClearScale, we’re committed to delivering cloud solutions to our clients that provide the best possible outcome, and being an AWS Premier Consulting Partner means that we stand by the solutions and services we deliver.

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