Case Study

Lift & Shift Migrations in Higher Education

Strengthening Security While Reducing IT Workload and Costs

Universities have faced plenty of challenges in the last two years, and change has been inevitable. Our cloud consultants help our higher education clients prioritize and plan for technology innovation in the cloud.

Like many higher education institutions, our client, a top-tier private university, was challenged by rigid and vulnerable legacy infrastructure that created substantial latency issues. The university identified that migrating from on-premise infrastructure to the cloud would allow them to take advantage of scalability, faster academic and administrative innovation, a more secure environment, and improved customer satisfaction. It would also provide access to advanced technologies like big data management tools and Artificial Intelligence (AI). They turned to long-term technology partner Soliant Consulting to help with the migration.

Our team’s consultative approach and project management process ensured a smooth transition to the cloud. We identified a Minimum Viable Cloud (MVC) via a lift & shift migration, rather than rearchitecting critical administrative systems, to achieve the fastest results, retain a consistent experience for end-users, and deliver within a reasonable budget. Our roadmapping process revealed that taking a phased approach with the various academic and administrative divisions would produce the best results for this complex higher education organization.

Secure by Default Managed Hosting Environment

The transition to Soliant’s end-to-end managed hosting service, which provides 99.9% uptime as well as automated disaster recovery and security, has allowed them to take advantage of economies of scale and strengthen security while reducing overall IT labor and costs.

By taking advantage of built-in security monitoring and automation utilizing AWS’ Shared Responsibility Model and by minimizing compliance risks via reliance on widely recognized frameworks, our managed service environment made it easy to accelerate cloud adoption. For their lift and shift migration, we also built customized security automation that handles their specific security requirements. As we continue to migrate more administrative systems to Soliant’s managed hosting service, each system will be automatically deployed with tested and proven security protocols.

Lift & Shift Results

With Soliant managing the infrastructure and applications for multiple administrative systems, our client’s IT professionals can focus on work that more directly supports the university’s mission. They can now rely on our fully managed service and our team’s application expertise to run and operate these systems, freeing their internal technology experts to focus on new projects that positively impact teaching, learning, and research.

Looking forward, the university IT department has plans to take advantage of our Platform-as-a-Service (PaaS) hosting platform’s API-first strategy to integrate with multiple internal and external systems to access critical data that was previously obscured by the limitations of legacy environments. The modular components of our PaaS,, can be combined and easily configured to integrate customized business processes with minimum new programming required.  As they ramp up their big data strategy and transform their services to take advantage of AI for the benefit of students and staff, our team and managed cloud environment will help them plan and execute rapidly.

AWS services used

  • Amazon EC2
    • Amazon VPC
    • Elastic IP
    • Amazon Simple Email Service
    • Amazon EBS
  • Amazon S3
  • AWS CloudFormation
  • Amazon Route 53
  • AWS CloudWatch
  • AWS Lambda