Heifer International Engages Effectual for Rapid Data Center Evacuation to VMware Cloud on AWS, Resulting in Successful Migration of 110 Virtual Machines in 2 Months
About Heifer International
Heifer International is on a mission to end hunger and poverty in a sustainable way by supporting and investing alongside local farmers and their communities. Founded in 1944, Heifer partners with farmers across a range of different livestock and crops to create unique solutions to local challenges. Heifer International has operations in 21 countries around the world, working alongside local farmers, business owners and their communities, as they mobilize and envision their futures. Heifer International is working to end world hunger in 19 countries across four continents. To date, the organization has supported more than 42 million farming families across Africa, Asia, and the Americas in the past five years alone, as well as worked alongside 2.7 million families to close the living income gap or set them on a path to doing so. Between now and 2030, the organization estimates being able to support an additional 10 million people to reach a living income by scaling up our signature programs.
Heifer International (Heifer) encountered a significant challenge when they were faced with a mandatory data center evacuation due to the sale of their data center facility. As a result, Heifer needed to migrate 110+ VMs and ~70 TB of production data in an aggressive timeline of less than two months. The sale of their data center facility created a strict and non-negotiable deadline for the migration of their VMware production workloads as well as their Citrix VDI environment, and any delay could jeopardize the organization’s operations globally.
In the Spring of 2022, Heifer began an engagement with a company to migrate from their on-premises environment to to their hosting facility. After several project delays and missed go-live cutover dates, Heifer soon realized the company lacked the necessary resources to support the intended mission-critical workloads, making it unusable. Frustrated by the migration delays, Heifer turned to AWS to get a recommendation for a trusted partner to complete their migration. Effectual’s considerable expertise in facilitating the migration to AWS, coupled with the designation as an AWS Managed Service Provider and AWS Premier Consulting Partner, garnered a unanimous endorsement from AWS as the most suitable choice to support Heifer International in their migration efforts.
Based on AWS’s recommendation, Heifer engaged Effectual as a trusted partner to advise and execute the migration. Effectual’s Cloud Engineers recommended VMware Cloud (VMC) on AWS, as VMC on AWS would meet Heifer’s workload requirements, align with their existing skill sets, and, most crucially, adhere to the tight migration timeline. During the migration, Effectual solved an unforeseen issue, a rare software bug in the Citrix machine creation API prevented the Citrix workloads from launching on VMC vSAN. To quickly address this issue, Effectual’s Cloud Engineers swiftly transitioned the Citrix data to FSX OnTAP, effectively circumventing the bug. Under Effectual’s guidance and execution, the migration plan remained on track. Effectual migrated, tested, and operationalized all designated workloads within the evacuation deadline.
In collaboration with Effectual, Heifer International managed to transfer 110 virtual machines and 70TB of production data in just two months. This efficient migration was completed without any interruption in their operations, thus ensuring uninterrupted delivery of critical services and functions.
With Effectual’s partnership, Heifer successfully migrated all their essential workloads without any disruption to their operations and the agency was able to showcase adaptability by swiftly addressing unforeseen issues. The successful engagement ensured the continuity of their mission to end hunger and poverty without any downtime or hindrance. The organization expressed significant satisfaction with the timely and efficient solution provided by Effectual, emphasizing their trust and reliability for future engagements.
The successful migration of 110 virtual machines to AWS ensured the continuity of Heifer’s mission to end hunger and poverty and yielded several key successes:
- One hundred percent of the in-scope workloads (110 VMs) and ~70TB of production data was migrated and operational before the deadline.
- The organization achieved a 0% delay in their operational continuity, maintaining essential functions, and services during the migration.
- The discontinuation of the workspace software, Citrix, and transitioning to AWS, resulted in cost savings and a more compatible solution to improve workflow and productivity.
- The migration was completed within the planned 2-month timeframe with no additional costs or resource allocation beyond what was anticipated.
Heifer expressed great satisfaction with the timely and efficient solution provided by Effectual, emphasizing their trust and reliability for future engagements. Recognizing the significance of a trusted partnership, Heifer International, engaged Effectual to provide guidance and execute a robust migration solution. With Effectual’s partnership, Heifer successfully migrated 110 virtual machines on an accelerated timeline within 2 months. This achievement bolsters the organization’s mission to combat global hunger and poverty by ensuring that essential services remain available to those in need, empowering Heifer to respond more effectively to emerging challenges, and enabling Heifer to allocate resources more efficiently towards critical programs, ultimately amplifying their overarching goal of sustainable development and socio-economic empowerment.