"The IT team's purpose is to enable Aston Martin to build the most beautiful sports cars in the world. So from servers, to desktops, to production line PCs, Microsoft technology is behind everything we do."
Inspired to innovate
As Aston Martin started exploring the cloud, it knew that transforming IT wasn't going to happen overnight. That's because the
company's supporting infrastructure—including offices in Germany, the United States, Japan, and China as well as corporate
headquarters and production facilities in Gaydon, England—was a heterogeneous platform of operating systems and management tools.
"The landscape that I found when I arrived here was very disparate," admits Roach-Rooke. "There was no high availability. There
was no monitoring in place."
Security was another concern. "We design beautiful sports cars, and we don't want to see those designs released to the press
before they go live," says Roach-Rooke.
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Inspired to innovate
As the first step on its journey to becoming a new kind of IT, Aston Martin implemented Microsoft Office 365, which offers
hosted cloud versions of Microsoft Exchange Server and SharePoint Server, giving employees cloud-based communication and
collaboration tools and remote access to email. Inspired by that technology's easy deployment and adoption, Aston Martin decided
to take another step into the cloud, moving the corporate website, www.astonmartin.com, to the Microsoft Azure platform. By moving to
Azure, the company can easily scale the site up or down in response to increased site traffic.
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Inspired to Innovate
Another piece of the puzzle was Windows Intune, a Microsoft cloud-based PC management service. Windows
Intune connects with System Center Configuration Manager 2012 R2, to provide a single console for managing
devices whether they are connected to the network or not. Aston Martin IT staff intends to use Windows Intune
to track and manage almost 700 devices used by remote employees, including a mix of Windows Phone 8 devices
and employee-provided 'bring your own devices' (BYODs). "It's proven a challenge from day one, and it's only
now with Windows Intune that we can actually properly manage these devices," states Steve O'Connor, the Desktop
Support Team Leader for Aston Martin.
Device security, too, will be easier managed with System Center and Windows Intune. "What System Center has
allowed us to do, in conjunction with Windows Intune, is to be able to provide the security and governance
that we need to feel confident that our intellectual property is safe and secure, and it's not going to fall
into the wrong hands," says Roach-Rooke.
Using its comprehensive new Microsoft IT infrastructure, Aston Martin IT employees are now enabling the business
to develop. "With System Center 2012 R2, it's a lot less work managing, updating, and deploying software out to
our estate, so we can focus on strategic IT projects," says Roach-Rooke. More than ever before, IT is proactive
rather than reactive. O'Connor says, "My favorite thing at the moment is the ability to look forward and make
plans, rather than having to react to issues and get bogged down in problems that are easily solved now."
Most recently, the company started to address its needs for an automated backup and recovery solution by
exploring the latest business resiliency capabilities within Windows Server 2012 R2 and the latest version
of Hyper-V Replica, which replicates virtual machines over IP-based networks to a remote site. The IT team
chose Microsoft SharePoint Server 2013, Microsoft SQL Server 2012, and System Center 2012 R2 workloads to
test a live disaster-recovery scenario.
Inspired to Innovate
Free to spend their time on innovation, Aston Martin IT employees have rediscovered their passion for
offering IT tools to support the company's mission. "The IT team's purpose is to enable Aston Martin to
build the most beautiful sports cars in the world," says Roach-Rooke. "So, from servers to desktops to
production-line PCs, Microsoft technology is behind everything we do. And because the relationship we
have with Microsoft is so close, we've accomplished what I set out to achieve when I started at Aston
Martin: standardize on a single platform and supplier and leverage the IT investments that we have
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