The Wharton School, The University of Pennsylvania

Executive summary: 

Wharton is a world-renowned Ivy-League business school and is part of the University of Pennsylvania, located in the heart of Philadelphia, PA. The Wharton school has its own IT Department, separate from UPenn, and supports technologies used for learning, teaching, and research. Wharton has an enrollment of 5000 students and has over 95,000 alumni in 153 countries. It has the number one ranked MBA program in the United States.


Enquizit was engaged to assist in vacating a data center located on campus. Working alongside AWS Professional Services, together we implemented the landing zone in AWS, assessed and made recommendations for security and operations procedures, performed full discovery of workloads on premises, assisted in determining appropriate migration patterns, planned and performed pilot migrations to build the migrations team and also planned and performed all migrations with the rehost pattern. In addition, Enquizit assisted with Replatform and refactor efforts and provided guidance for using SkyMap to track and orchestrate migrations of all patterns.

Business Challenge / Problem Detail:

Being situated in the middle of a large city, space is at a premium. Wharton IT needs to vacate their on-premise data center by July 2020 to create more classroom space. This means moving 100’s of servers without impacting daily access from students, faculty, staff. These servers host COTS as well as custom software solutions, using a variety of software stacks and technologies. Wharton will still maintain another data center on premise and connect back to UPenn’s data center, and hence will need to operate a hybrid cloud environment.

Output / Our Solution:

Identify all workloads existing in the data center.

Understand Wharton’s current operations environment and explore approaches to extending operations into AWS cloud.

Help Wharton determine the migration pattern for each workload applying the 6 R’s: Rehost, Replatform, Repurchase, Refactor, Retain, Retire.

Perform pilot migrations of 5 applications to prove the AWS environment and train the migration team consisting of Enquizit Engineers coupled with Wharton System Administrators, Application Developers, and Application Owners.

Assist in rehost, Replatform, and refactor of workloads into AWS Cloud

Provide use of SkyMap to orchestrate migration of all workloads including the machines being retired or physically moved to an alternate data center.

Enquizit Role: 

Enquizit performed the application portfolio discovery of all workloads in the data center, groomed Wharton for extending operations into AWS cloud, and planned and orchestrated the migration.

Tooling (Tools and Technologies): 

SkyMap, AWS CloudEndure, Flexera Foundation (Formerly RISC Networks)

Expected Challenges: 

Self-managed DNS and Directory Services makes the landing zone implementation more complex.

The use of a third-party appliance to implement an ipsec tunnel connection between Wharton and AWS and also to provide transit gateway functionality introduces further complexity.

Migrations of critical production machines need to be planned around the school schedule to minimize disruption. Between the school schedule and change freezes, there are limited opportunities to perform migration and tight downtime requirements in some cases.

Wharton IT has many departments and is in some cases decentralized so gathering information and scheduling and planning migrations can be a challenge.


The Wharton School, The University of Pennsylvania


Higher Education, Public Sector

Prime & Partners:

AWS & Enquizit 

Core Partners:

AWS (including recently acquired CloudEndure-DR), Enquizit SkyMap™

Goals and Benefits:

Gain physical space that can be re-purposed for classrooms.

Opportunity to “clean house” and retire servers that are unused or under-utilized.

Gain access to many cloud benefits such as improving reliability, gaining scalability, and decreasing operational and capital expenses related to physical hardware.

Opportunity to adopt DevOps practices to automate deployment of code and infrastructure.