Luxury hotel group saves 40% moving to Amazon cloud

Kempinski Hotels hired Cloudreach as consultants and is in the middle of a phased approach to migrate its core systems to Amazon Web Services

By Derek du Preez, Computerworld UK |  Cloud Computing, Amazon Web Services

Ward said that he also went with AWS because they introduced Kempinski to Cloudreach, a consulting service that the hotel group is using to help get its infrastructure into the cloud, and will then manage it after the project is complete.

"We wanted a company that could provide monitoring for us, do the back-up, a more proactive type managed service," said Ward.

"However, we didn't want to be tied in from day one so we asked them to produce a report, an AWS Deployment Framework, which described the business case and return on investment scenario. We could have just used this report without actually working with Cloudreach, but we were very impressed and decided to go forward with them."

Since the beginning of 2012 Kempinski has been working with Cloudreach to deploy its infrastructure into AWS' cloud. The first two phases are complete, which involved setting up the security infrastructure, firewalls, migrating non-critical applications (such as the helpdesk), connecting all the hotels to AWS and testing VMware imports.

Ward said: "We are now moving into phase three, where we are going to start moving a lot of our live systems over. We have tested functionality, we know it's going to work, so we will get the five-month project started in September."

The company hopes to have nearly all of the corporate infrastructure in Amazon's cloud by the end of February 2013. It has so far rationalised its services down from 147 to about 60, and Ward is "fairly confident" that this will go down to 10 by the end of February.

In addition, Ward said that the company was keen to look at long-term benefits when making the business case for the cloud migration project.

"When you are looking at something like this you have to take a long-term view. If you take any given year, where you look at the infrastructure that you have already got, you have a sunk cost because of the capital investment, the licences, the staff that manage that infrastructure etc.," said Ward.

"Take all of that and move it to AWS in year one, and it is going to cost you - there are set-up costs, migration costs, depreciation costs. However, if you take a five-year view, and consider a hardware refresh in that five-year period, you can make a saving."

He added: "In year one and two we worked out we won't see any significant return on investment. After two and a half years, that's when we really start to see the benefits. If you also include non-tangible figures, such as staff efficiency, we are looking at about a 40% saving over the five years."

Originally published on Computerworld UK |  Click here to read the original story.
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