The challenge

The Wharton School, the oldest collegiate business school in the country, needed to move into the cloud. Their current on-premises datacenter was taking up expensive real estate that needed to be used for classrooms. By freeing up that space, Wharton knew the migration would pay for itself. But beyond their need for more physical space, Wharton was looking at cloud migration to stay ahead of the technology and business curve. 

After about 12 months of internal cloud migration planning, there was still a lot of work to do, and Wharton was struggling to accomplish the migration project alongside day-to-day organizational tasks. While creating an AWS focus group to support internal operations, they realized they could use some external support to move the mission along. That's when they brought in AWS, and their partners at CDW.


The solution

CDW’s first task was identifying and addressing gaps in Wharton's current migration process. Using SkyMap, a versatile cloud migration orchestration tool, our team performed a discovery effort, crawling through Wharton's systems and identifying redundancies and old or inefficient objects. During this process, we identified owners for each machine across departments, and determined which applications were on those machines. We then examined each system through the lens of the Six R’s: Rehosting, Repurchasing, Replatforming, Refactoring, Retaining, and Retiring.

Using SkyMap we discovered that more than 40% of Wharton's servers could be retired - saving on migration time and money. Migration planning involves applying weight to each application based on the difficulty of migration and how critical it is to the overall functionality of the network. Using these weights, CDW worked to create a series of ranked criteria, that we then used to divide applications into migration waves. The first wave was a pilot project that tested the cloud environment and helped shape the rulebooks that guide mass migration.

Choosing which applications are right for the migration Proof of Concept (PoC) is important to ensure the best education for the organization. The migration pilot provided a hands-on training environment to support the ongoing education of Wharton's lT staff, so that they would be empowered to run the system after the migration was over. After the PoC was complete, CDW continued to provide guidance to ensure a top-quality solution.



After a slow year of working alone, Wharton’s partnership with CDW led to the completion of the school's mass migration in only eight months. With CDW's help, Wharton was empowered to move forward with confidence in their cloud environment to continue operating efficiently, long after the project ended. 

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