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Yamaha Motor Company - Case study

Using WorkSpaces during Windows XP to Windows 7 upgrade

Future Expectations

At Yamaha Motor Company, we are planning to actively continue to use variety of cloud services in the future. We expect Serverworks to support our efforts by its excellent AWS technological knowledge and skills as well as proposals. We are expecting a lot from Serverworks.

In the picture, very left and very right are Serverworks Employees

"Use WorkSapces as a relief measure for OS upgrade from Windows XP to Windows 7. We plan to do the same thing for upgrading Windows 7 to Windows 10"

We ask Mr. Taku Hara, from Yamaha Motor Company, Planning/Finance Div. Process/IT Dept., and Mr. Hideki Ito, Ms. Yasuko Ogawa, Ms. Kumi Ikeda, from IT Service Div. IT Service Planning Dept. about back ground process to implement Amazon WorkSpaces (“WorkSpaces”) and its effects in detail.

If I describe it in simple wording, we provide WorkSpaces to enable Windows XP environment for part of the users which can’t upgrade to Windows 7 as “Temporary relief measure”. 

Followings are the detail.

1.    In 2013, we upgraded our standard OS for the company to Windows 7 from Windows XP.  However, we found out that one of the department (it will be called “Dept. A”) was using Business Application which only runs on Windows XP.

2.    What shall we do with PCs in Dept. A? we left OS at Windows XP for that moment. Also, we implement WorkSpaces so that people can use Windows 7 from there.

3.    For Dep. A, people use WokSpaces, which has Windows 7 for daily operations including E-mail. When using business application, people just Windows XP based application which is installed at their PCs.

4.    Dept. A was required to update its “Windows XP based business application” to Windows 7 base within a year. (2014/1 – 2014/12) After update, we would stop using WorkSpaces. Dept.A needs to upgrade their PCs to Windows 7 from Windows XP. 

With above process, OS in Dept. A upgrade (XP to 7) was completed. 

 

In this process, we could take advantage of WorkSpaces for following points. 

1.   “we didn’t have to consider buying new PCs which requires relief measure”

2.    “After completion, we can stop using it at once. (no need to pay unnecessary license fees)”

We can stop the service at once, when it completes duties

In our “Windows XP to Windows 7 upgrade relief measure” was “limited time requirement” which we only needed during our upgrade period. Therefore, it is logical to use Cloud Services which you can decide when to start and when to stop.

If we were to implement in “Annual license” manner, we would have a situation, “incurring cost even though we don’t use the service”, which was totally unnecessary period (cost).

Use WorkSpaces in same fashion at the time of upgrading Windows 7 to Windows 10

In our company, we will upgrade Windows 7 to Windows 10 in near future. At this time, we are anticipating having similar situation that some PCs require temporary relief measure.

In such case, we are planning to use WorkSpaces in similar manner as we used previously.

Since it is a Cloud, no need to consider about number of PCs until very end

Since WorkSpaces is a Cloud based service, we didn’t have to consider about number of client PC we need, beforehand.

Initially, we were anticipating that the number of PCs which needed to be support Windows XP was around “One hundred and some dozens of PCs”. However, by conducting hearing session with each department, the number decreased each time and finally it came down to “some dozens”.

We speculate the reason why the number decreased as follows.

-      “All Department requests “ball park quantity” which is larger than actual initially.” However, the actual requirement was a lot smaller.

-      When time passed, “Windows XP based business applications” were upgraded to support Windows 7 and relief measure was no longer necessary.

-      “Use of business application had been stopped and the business process had been re-configured so that it does not require to use such business application.

Based on these situation in consideration, we can say that “we can’t identify the number until very end” with regards to “PCs which required to have relief measure for OS upgrade”, 

For this situation, it is logical to use Cloud service, since we can start any time (= we can wait to start using the service right before we use it) 

If we were to use Thin Client at the on-premise, we need to purchase licenses at some marginal time frame. In our situation, we were required to purchase “one hundred and several dozen” licenses so that we had so many wastes. 

Benefit 1. What does “No need to consider about number PCs”?

Benefit 2. What does “we can stop the service at once” means?

Purpose 2, Could you explain what “Temporary relief measure during Windows 7 to Windows 10 upgrade. 

Use WorkSpaces as standard platform for company Thin Client

Purpose 3. What is “Standard platform for company Thin Client”?

This is separate from “temporary use during OS upgrade” and it is for “Permanent use” purpose.

In our company, we have been using some PCs in the company as Thin Client from 10 years ago. Such PCs are used in the Departments, such as Finance Dept., Procurement, Technical Dept., which are important to have a high security. There were about 100pcs of PCs in total.

Now, we are using WorkSpaces for this Thin Client feature

What kind of competitive edge did you feel?

The Advantage of WorkSpaces as Thin Client

The reason why we changed to WorkSpaces

Basically, there are 3 points such as “less Service Cost as well as maintenance cost”, “low Windows OS license fees”, and “relief from upgrades”.

First benefit, about “Service cost and maintenance cost”, is that Product A service cost was high and added to that cost, the version up cost and maintenance costs were high as well. Also, the system was somewhat built in a large scale so that we need to have a dedicated administrator.

These “costs associated with on-premise system” were significantly reduced or become zero by moving to cloud based WorkSpaces.

Second benefit, about “Windows OS license fee”, it seems that WorkSpaces handles Windows license better than that of Product A. By changing to WorkSpaces, Thin Client OS license fee had been reduced.

About “relief from upgrades”, it is more of a mental benefit of Information System Dept.

By changing to WorkSpaces, physical equipment is owned and managed by AWS, instead of us. In another word, Hypervisor part of upgrade has been removed from our responsibility. This gives us a feeling of huge release.

We realized the outstanding benefits on WorkSpaces as a Thin Client platform.

Before using WorkSpaces, how did you establish Thin Client environment?

We used Thin Client product (called “Product A” herein after) from some major software company. However, since that product couldn’t use in parallel with Office365, we had to stop using it. As a successor platform, we decided to use WorkSpaces.

As you can see, WorkSpaces transition was due to undesired situation. However, when we start using it, we felt that WorkSpaces was an excellent Thin Client platform.

We would like to ask question in order.

Purpose 1. Please explain in detail what is “Temporary relief measure” during Windows XP to Windows 7 upgrade mean ?

The reason why we choose Serverworks

Until here, we ask about “evaluating WorkSpaces”. From here on, we want to ask about “evaluating Serverworks. As a first question, please let us know why you decided to ask Serverworks for the design and consultation instead of “doing everything by yourself”.

As you mentioned, if it were just a simply implementation, we could do it by ourselves. However, we thought that by requesting Serverworks assistance, we could “implement correctly as well as effectively”.

Our Information System Dept. main basic role is “Create IT strategy, Plan, Proposal to contribute to our company businesses” and Cloud service implementation is something “we could do” but we don’t have “professional knowledge” about it. 

We thought that it is better to hire professional company, rather than do it ourselves, to generate results by “multiplication”.

Also, about WorkSpaces implementation, it seems rather simple from the surface. However, we might face unexpected troubles when we implement the service into company network. By considering such case, we believed that it was better to hire professional company as a “some sort of Insurance”.

As matter of fact, there were quite a few problems happened during our WorkSpaces implementation.

The Troubles which really happened

What kind of troubles you encountered?

Followings are the detail.

1.   Free IP rage were limited so that only limited number of VPC can be managed to use for WorkSpaces. It does not cause immediate problems, but it would prevent future expansion so it was desirable to prepare in a “clean manner” from the start.

2.   When we start to build the environment, ActiveDirectly had number of objects (160 thousand objects), which could not fit to Large Plan (largest plan at that time) of AWS Directory Service. Therefore, we faced a problem that WorkSpaces authorization couldn’t go through.

WorkSPaces Client problems. Error indication when closing out. NumLock problem, etc…We could promptly solve those problems by having Serverworks assistance. Therefore, we didn’t cause any troubles on daily operation at user Departments.

Please let us hear about your evaluation result on Serverworks support.

Evaluation of Serverworks

First, technical knowledge about AWS was accordingly to our expectation. Serverworks sure was a Professional Service Company.

Also, compare to other cloud integration companies, they know “how to deal with enterprise IT System Dept.”. The communication was very smooth and was easy.

Also, it is very attractive that Oishi CEO have firm belief and employees have variety of characters. We felt that we could learn and grow, by doing business with Serverworks.

Plan for future WorkSpaces Use

Please tell us about plan for WorkSpaces and cloud for future at Yamaha Motor Company. 

By started to use cloud more actively, “Maintaining and securing IT Infrastructure” became less of Information Sysetms Dept. main role. We think that it is better to use IT infrastructures “use when you needed to use” basis, which is like general infrastructure such as water and electricity. We are sure that our system base will shift to “Cloud basis”.

With regards to WorkSpaces, the usage area will expand in the future. We believe that we can use it as IT Working Platform to support “Working from home” and “Working from business trip”.

Advice from Lead User

Please give us an advice as “Lead User” towards companies who are currently considering implementing WorkSpaces.

First, I would like to say “The world without version-ups is wonderful. Everybody need to join us!”. 

We think that the best way to use variety of Cloud services, not limited to WorkSpaces, is just simply try first. If that is too cumbersome, it is a good start to visit AWS summit and listen to the presentation from Serverworks CEO, Mr. Oishi. 

Please let us hear what is your expectation for Serverworks from now on.