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Sustainable Forestry Organisation Securely Hosts Microsoft Dynamics GP on Outsourced and Cost-Effective AWS Platform

Miro Forestry, founded in 2010, is a sustainable forestry organisation, with established and expanding plantations of fast-growing timber for local and international markets. The company has over 30,000 hectares of land to operate forestry plantations and aims to protect and regenerate indigenous tree species while promoting biodiversity for eco-friendly land management. The organisation has a vision of being a world-leading sustainable plantation business with high management, social, and environmental standards.

Needs: A Secure, Scalable Hosting Platform

Miro Forestry was using Microsoft Dynamics GP for its accounting software and they wanted to host the system efficiently and securely. They had a choice: either they could purchase expensive new servers they would have to replace every few years as the company grew, or find an alternative that would be cost-effective and future-proof. Their needs for a new hosting solution included:

  • High performance, low latency storage
  • Durability, speed and reliability
  • A secure and compliant environment for application hosting
  • Low, manageable costs

Solution: Amazon Web Services – A High Performance Cloud Infrastructure

  • Amazon Web Services (AWS) cloud infrastructure
  • Amazon Elastic Compute Cloud (for scalable compute power and storage)
  • Two virtual servers hosted in AWS
  • Tailored solution from Perfect Image

With their focus on sustainability, it only made sense to implement a sustainable and future-proof solution: cloud hosting. Amazon Web Services (AWS) was chosen as cloud provider because of its scalability and pricing model. Costs are a monthly subscription (OpEx model) so they will never pay for more than they need, meaning Miro Forestry didn’t need to purchase and maintain physical hardware. To increase or decrease capacity easily, Amazon Elastic Compute Cloud (Amazon EC2) was used, which provides scalable compute power and storage in the cloud.

Perfect Image tailored the infrastructure to utilise two virtual servers hosted in AWS: one to act as domain controller (to control security authentication requests within Windows) and host the SQL database (which optimises performance for workloads), and the other to host the Dynamics GP application.

Benefits: Dynamic Outsourced Cloud for Lower Costs and Global Access

Access to Dynamics GP anywhere, anytime

As a company that operates globally, it is important that data can be accessed all over the world. Hosting on an AWS environment also means that Miro Forestry can access Dynamics GP via web client. Instead of logging in through a desktop version, certain users can open up a web browser and access the system online using their internet connection – even at the same time. Miro Forestry’s staff can work efficiently on any device, any time, from anywhere – even on the move or while in a different country.

True, dynamic scalability to minimise costs

Perfect Image proactively manages Miro Forestry’s virtual servers to scale them based on the company’s demand, so that costs are kept as low as possible. AWS’s true scalability means that the environment’s power can be shifted up or down a gear when required as part of a “pay as you use” cost model. This maximises performance while minimising costs. Support, upfront costs and hosting expenses were all included as part of the monthly payments to provide a more manageable OpEx cost. Miro Forestry now has an infrastructure that is dynamic and responsive instead of fixed and expensive.

Outsourced IT for a proactively managed cloud infrastructure

The organisation fully outsourced their cloud infrastructure to Perfect Image for stress-free hosting. This included services of supporting, managing and monitoring the AWS platform, its applications and services. Outsourcing their cloud reduces support expenses, as proactive monitoring of the system finds issues before they become problems. This also provides an additional layer of protection against downtime, strengthened by the support of an IT support provider. Miro Forestry can concentrate on its business, and Perfect Image can focus on maintaining and improving its IT systems.

A highly secure and reliable system

For sensitive and incredibly important accounting and financial data stored within Dynamics GP, it was of an incredibly high importance to have robust security. Their cloud environment offers the company security advantages such as:

  • Inbuilt secure and encrypted cloud backup storage
  • Automatic redundancy (data remains accessible, even during planned or unplanned system issues or scheduled downtime)
  • Replicated by design (duplicating data to be stored on multiple machines for improved backups)

AWS storage offers 99.999999999% durability to safely store data with high availability, but for additional security, Perfect Image also ensured the solution was ring-fenced from the rest of the internet to restrict access. Mira Forestry now has peace of mind with a system that is resilient and reliable.

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