Virtualization & Office 365 Migration


The International Housewares Association (IHA) is committed to maximizing the success of the home products industry. IHA provides the world-class show marketplace, the International Home + Housewares Show, facilitation of global commerce, industry market data, and facilitation of industry standards. Systech worked with International Housewares Association by virtualizing their datacenter and migrating their email to Microsoft Office 365. This consisted of an upgrade from aging hardware and migration to a modern server platform. While also moving their email from an on-premises SBS Server to Microsoft Office 365.


International Housewares was in need of server hardware upgrades. They were using Microsoft’s Small Business Server 2011 platform. Since Microsoft eliminated the Small Business Server platform, International Housewares needed to address how they would handle their email needs in the new Windows Server 2012R2 platform. The Small Business Server fit their needs but had grown obsolete. The server hardware was approaching its end of life at five years and the Operating system was obsolete. The SBS was also a physical installation and there was no virtualization on-site. The Exchange email and remote web workplace features of SBS were heavily utilized at International Housewares. The solution needed to provide for these features, fit within their budget, offer expansion capabilities, and provide enhanced flexibility and manageability.


Systech proposed installing a new Hewlett Packard server with Microsoft Windows Server 2012R2 installed as a Hyper V host with two virtual server instances. These virtual servers would handle the day to day operations of Domain security, file and print sharing, application sharing needs and the Remote web workplace features. We recommended migrating the local Exchange Server from the SBS platform into the Microsoft Office 365 Cloud email solution. The benefits of this strategy allowed International Housewares to reduce their internal IT management requirements, increase their ability to recover from physical server interruptions. This will also reduce labor cost for IT support in the future, and provide a path to utilizing Cloud technologies to reduce long-term costs.

IHA is virtualized

IHA was able to leverage virtualization to gain more capabilities and flexibility with their datacenter while saving on cost and hardware.

Office 365 Email in the Cloud

Since Exchange wasn’t included in the Operating System licensing for Windows Server 2012R2, we migrated their mail services to Office 365. This allows us to save on the hardware costs since Exchange is a resource hog. Furthermore, their organization’s email is no longer dependent on the primary locations internet.

Better Position

IHA is poised for success. Now that their primary servers are virtual, and since their email is hosted in the cloud, the path to leveraging more cloud services is easier and less cost intensive. They also have greater capabilities for restoration of their virtual machines and their IT is more agile and flexible to meet the needs of their changing organization.

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