Migration to the Azure Cloud


ROC Exhibitions is a tradeshow event management company based in Lisle. Their events are distinguished by a single, powerful word—partnership. Whether a new show launch, a re-positioning, or a geographic-clone, ROC Exhibition’s events benefit from the underpinnings of a strong relationship with our industry partners. The ROC Exhibitions team, as a whole, possess the talent and skill-set for accomplishing every facet of event management: hotel and venue negotiation, show decoration, freight & logistics, for-profit & not-for-profit relationships, event positioning (or re-positioning), exhibit sales, audience promotion, and on-site management.


ROC Exhibitions was weary of the on-going maintenance costs of their internal IT systems, and the business interruptions caused when upgrading their on-premises systems became necessary. They had heard good things about the “Cloud” and wished to investigate the costs of moving all of their infrastructures to the public cloud. Since they host events all over the globe for their industry partners, the public cloud could also provide them enhanced access to their systems globally. Systech was engaged to develop a proof of concept utilizing Microsoft Azure (a public cloud solution) that would meet their needs and eliminate the issues related to managing their on-premises IT infrastructure. ROC Exhibitions was using Citrix Xen server to host internal servers and had Windows 2003 server operating systems in use that would soon be end-of-life and unsupported. As well, ROC had tightly integrated software systems which supplied their customer base the ability to choose exhibition space through their website in real-time. Desktop applications and printing were also primary concerns for a full migration to a cloud-based infrastructure, especially with their geographically diverse team. It would also be necessary to assure internet access at ROC Exhibitions primary location provided adequate bandwidth to conduct their business in the Cloud, and redundancy was available should one internet line become unavailable due to outages.

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Geographic Independence

The new cloud-based infrastructure offers ROC mobility and an independence from their primary location.

Less Capital Costs

In addition to not having to invest a lot of money upfront on new hardware, ROC Exhibitions was able to trade a capital expense for an operational expense by leveraging the cloud’s subscription based billing model. Additionally, since they are using RDS in the cloud they saved the cost of having to replace their workstations in bulk by shifting the computing load to the RDS instance that lives in Azure (as opposed to their employees relying on the computing power of the PC). This means that they can replace workstations with a ThinClient as they fail without any downtime or impact to their employee’s productivity.


Since their main IT infrastructure lives in the cloud, they can add or remove as many users as they need. They can also dynamically allocate added resources when they need them which is especially handy during their business season. The best part – they only ever pay for what they actually use.

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