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Fiontar & Scoil na Gaeilge Azure

Fiontar agus Scoil na Gaeilge first year anniversary of migration to Azure

It has been one year since ISS assisted Fiontar & Scoil na Gaeilge migrate all their web-based applications to Microsoft Azure. To mark the occasion we caught up with Dr Brian O Raghallaigh from Fiontar & Scoil na Gaeilge and asked him a few questions on the whole process.

Question: What was in place previously and the problems that you faced?

Answer: ISS were hosting our websites and databases on virtual and physical server infrastructure on the Glasnevin Campus. Fiontar & Scoil na Gaeilge supports 31,000 users every day with over 3 tera bytes of user accessible data. Gaois research group formally Fiontar required that these sites remained available 24 hours a day 7 days a week, the service was excellent!

Question: Why did you want to migrate?


    • Firstly, it was a natural progression really. We started out in 2004 managing our own physical server in conjunction with ISS. This progressed to managed servers, then virtual servers. The next step was the cloud. ISS also encouraged the move, as they did not have the capacity to offer us the level of service we required to support our continually growing user base.
    • Secondly, the Azure cloud is a highly scalable service with service level agreements that were in line with what we needed.
    • Finally, with the ability to scale up and down easily in the cloud, we could avail of cost savings.

Question: How did ISS help in the process?

Answer: ISS, in particular Darragh Ó Héiligh, helped us from start to finish. They introduced us to the Géant Framework (via HEAnet) to give us access to cost savings on Azure infrastructure and Microsoft licenses. They set up our virtual network and servers on Azure, and they migrated our data to Azure.

Question: What are the advantages/benefits of migration?


    • Pretty much 100% uptime so far.
    • Significant cost savings.
    • Scalability.
    • Latest technologies.
    • And the possibility of moving from IaaS to PaaS in the near future.
    • Peace of mind!

Question: What systems/pages were migrated?

Answer: We migrated a number of websites and databases relating to some of our school's Irish-language research projects, e.g.

    • The Place names Database of Ireland: Logainm
    • National Folklore Collection Digitisation Project: Duchas
    • The National Database of Irish-Language Biographies: Ainm
    • Various web-based data management tools.

Question: Out of ten, how satisfied are Fiontar & Scoil na Gaeilge with the overall process?

Answer: 10/10.

14th March, 2019