Global Leader in Life Sciences Migrates Workloads onto the Cloud

September 1, 2016 James Kessinger

Multi-Billion Dollar Global Leader in Life Sciences Migrates Workloads onto the Cloud

Automation key to establishing cloud migration factory and accelerating innovation and transformation.

After a 3 year journey into the cloud, this 5000+ employee multinational chose CloudVelox to take things to the next level by enhancing business agility and scale and reducing costs.


  • AWS with CloudVelox substantially reduced CAPEX and OPEX costs

  • GXP compatibility key to cloud migration success

  • Cloud migration and Dev/Test service bureau established for all business units

  • CloudVelox chosen because of ease of use, breadth of automation

Infrastructure is Critical for Global Pharma

With a global network of data centers, offices and labs sharing real time information 24/7, infrastructure is critical to maintaining competitive advantage. Yet with quickly changing business, research and technical demands, pharmaceutical companies have to balance investments in infrastructure growth and maintenance with investments in applications, services and research.

So in 2013 this global pharma leader looked to the cloud to attain competitive advantage by enhancing agility and scale while reducing operating costs. They wanted to invest in their future, which meant a greater focus on apps, services and research within limited budgets. The company was spending tens of millions of dollars maintaining a global footprint of data centers.

The cloud was the answer.

The company specializes in the development and distribution of medicines for patients with rare diseases and specific conditions. Operations include research, development, licensing, manufacturing, marketing, distribution and sales.  As a result of a series of M&A activities, IT was made up of disparate systems, including multiple data centers located across the world, supported by tens of millions of dollars in annual spending. With ongoing M&A activity for the foreseeable future, complexity would only increase.

The Cloud Journey Started with New Apps

Their cloud journey started with developing new apps as well as using the cloud for backup to protect endpoints. Their architects’ goals included establishing a service bureau supporting the company’s diverse mix of business units, driving digital transformation and cloud adoption in order to address rising demands with limited budgets.

The pharma leader picked a cloud provider based on its GXP* compatibility. The challenge, however, was getting its existing apps off of complex infrastructure and into the cloud.

Digitalization and cloud have become strategic considerations for pharmaceutical companies of all sizes. Yet larger players have to tackle a host of challenges and requirements unique to their industry. In addition to complex infrastructures and strict regulatory requirements, they have to manage acquisition and data center consolidation projects, including those involving specialized apps running on nonstandard servers.

While the company had been very successful in developing new apps on AWS, the pace of migration for existing apps had been slow and risky, bound by manual processes and skills shortages across business units.  So the IT team began exploring ways to automate cumbersome cloud migration processes in order to accelerate cloud adoption for existing on-premises workloads.

Automation was the Answer

As the team became increasingly comfortable with the cloud it looked for ways to accelerate cloud adoption and broaden use cases, to include Dev/Test and recovery. The answer was automation. In a highly competitive bakeoff they compared several cloud automation and orchestration solutions.  The bakeoff involved a complex, multi-tier workload running in a UK data center.

They chose CloudVelox because of its breadth of automation and protection. Key manual processes were automated, increasing confidence and productivity while reducing risk.

“The CloudVelox platform outperformed every other solution to such an extent that we have decided to standardize on One Hybrid Cloud™ for our cloud migration and Dev/Test requirements.”

- Big Pharma IT Director

The results were immediately apparent.  CAPEX and OPEX costs were substantially reduced while agility and confidence increased.  The newly established cloud service bureau completed projects in record time and with fewer resources while ensuring GXP compatibility.

* GXP is an acronym that refers to the regulations and guidelines applicable to life sciences organizations that make food and medical products such as drugs, medical devices, and medical software applications. The overall intent of GxP requirements is to ensure that food and medical products are safe for consumers and to ensure the integrity of data used to make product-related safety decisions. When life sciences organizations use computerized systems to perform certain GxP activities, they must ensure that the computerized GxP system is developed, validated, and operated appropriately for the intended use of the system.



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