CNS Treasury Ltd (CNS) provides treasury risk management software for companies with foreign exchange (FX), money market, commodities and hedge accounting exposure. Developed in consultation with accounting firms and built on the Microsoft.net platform, CNS Treasury offers an extensive range of tabulated and graphical risk management reports. These reports provide greater transparency and visibility into past and current performance, as well as future risks for CNS Treasury clients.
In its early days, CNS Treasury had self-hosted its application in an on-site server room that was managed by internal staff. However, as CNS Treasury grew, it began to realize it needed more infrastructure and disaster recovery (DR) capabilities. But it faced space constraints (generators occupy lots of real estate), and so the search began for a hosting partner.
Its first hosting partner, a telco provider, checked many of the boxes on CNS Treasury’s wish list but couldn’t accommodate its business continuity needs. Thus began a path toward reliance on multiple service providers, and the inconvenience of managing multiple contracts and coordinating support efforts across multiple teams.
In 2014, CNS Treasury began looking for a single service provider that had both a large global presence and the capability to provide end-to-end management and support of its infrastructure. “We wanted a provider who could deliver a wide range of support and management services, with wraparound support for maintenance and monitoring,” said Joe Mackness, Solution Architect at CNS Treasury. “In 2014, these were key selling points for Rackspace Technology, and we’ve worked together since.”
“The Rackspace Elastic Engineering team pivoted very quickly to provide other options and worked with us to find a long-term solution.”
The obstacles they faced
Fast-forward eight years, and CNS Treasury found itself at another crossroads in its IT evolution. It was approaching the end of its hosting contract with Rackspace Technology, and much of its dedicated hardware was approaching its end of life (EOL).
“Much of our dedicated hardware — the physical machines — were reaching EOL,” Mackness said. “Rackspace Technology had managed to squeeze every bit of life out of this equipment for CNS Treasury, but it was time for new boxes. We also realized that while all this dedicated equipment had provided great stability and reliability, it came with the penalty of limited flexibility. So, as our contract was winding down and our equipment was due for a refresh, we began thinking of ways we could maintain this relationship with Rackspace Technology.”
Rackspace Technology quickly helped CNS Treasury create a cost analysis report. First, we looked at costs of new, like-for-like replacement equipment. Then we helped CNS Treasury analyse the costs of moving to public cloud. Microsoft® Azure® was a natural fit with CNS Treasury’s Microsoft ecosystem, and it would allow Rackspace Technology to deliver the managed services and support that CNS Treasury wanted to maintain.
After careful comparisons and consideration, CNS Treasury determined that it wanted to make the move to Azure while layering Rackspace Elastic Engineering services over the build-out of its cloud solution.
“It’s surprising how easy the transition was. Specific dates and times were outlined, and assurances were made that the old systems wouldn’t be turned off until the new platform was fully operational. It was painless because the Rackspace Technology team made it painless for us.”
How we helped
Rackspace Technology took CNS Treasury through the build-out of a greenfield Microsoft Azure environment to re-platform its application from Rackspace Private Cloud. CNS Treasury utilised our Rackspace Elastic Engineering service to design a production-ready Azure environment. Rackspace Elastic Engineering is a managed support model that provides on-demand access to a pod of public cloud experts through ongoing sprints that continually remediate, innovate, evolve and improve customer environments.
Rackspace Elastic Engineering offers tiers of service based on the number of hours a customer needs each month. This flexible, collaborative approach to professional services enables customers to dynamically change scope and priorities based on business needs while collaborating with highly skilled Rackspace Technology cloud experts to build, migrate, optimize, and maintain the customer cloud environments.
Engineers, architects and an engagement manager from the Rackspace Elastic Engineering pod worked closely with CNS Treasury to create a landing zone in Azure built on best practices while designing an architecture suitable for cloud native development and ongoing optimization of operational, maintenance, security and cost management efforts. “We had constant open-door access to engineers and a project manager, along with weekly meetings as the buildout proceeded,” Mackness said.
“Both teams expected that there would be some overlap and conflicts among Azure services and CNS Treasury’s application as it moved to the cloud,” Mackness said. “For instance, we knew we could run our PaaS with the Azure App Service, and it would work for everything we needed it to do. But we also knew from the outset that we needed to map our custom domain to Azure Front Door, which is Microsoft’s Cloud Delivery Network (CDN), and there were considerable compatibility concerns due to how our application was structured in App Service due to legacy components. Near the end of the project, these two technologies were confirmed to be incompatible with our application structure. But the Rackspace Elastic Engineering team pivoted very quickly to provide other options and worked with us to find a long-term solution.”
CNS saw immediate benefit of ~22% reduced monthly operational costs.
What we achieved together
Post-migration, CNS Treasury has tapered off its use of Rackspace Elastic Engineering and meets its day-to-day support needs with Rackspace Advanced Monitoring and Resolution and Rackspace Optimizer+ with Platform Support services. As CNS Treasury handles a great deal of client and financial information, Rackspace Technology supports its security and compliance requirements with monitoring, maintenance and resolution services. The Optimizer + service assesses costs, performance and operational aspects of the solution to drive continuous improvement.
“This full wrap-around service was very important to us,” Mackness said. “And it’s surprising how easy the transition was. Specific dates and times were outlined, and assurances were made that the old systems wouldn’t be turned off until the new platform was fully operational. It was painless because the Rackspace Technology team made it painless for us. From the beginning, everything was mapped out. And that’s pretty much how it went. It was seamless on our end.”
As a result of moving to the cloud, CNS Treasury is open to many more new services and capabilities. “Azure is like a sandbox,” said Mackness. “There are so many services and offerings and things we can explore. We can more easily experiment to increase scalability or CPU performance, whereas in our own data centre, that would have required replacing boxes and making changes to hypervisors. Today, we can go to a portal, hit a few buttons and sequence a few upgrade scenarios.”
Looking toward the future, CNS Treasury is planning to enhance its Business Intelligence (BI) services and to re-engage with its Rackspace Elastic Engineering pod for those projects as needs arise.
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