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Viant: Migrating a massive data center with Slalom to Google Cloud

About Viant

Viant is a leading advertising software company enabling ad buyers to plan, create, execute and measure their digital advertising investments through a cloud-based platform. Through its self-service software, Adelphic, marketers have access to over 280,000 audience attributes from the leading 70+ data companies and our omnichannel integrations allow marketers to buy ads across Desktop, Mobile, Connected TV, Linear TV, Audio and DOOH channels through our technology. Adelphic is an AdExchanger Programmatic Power Player.

Industries: Technology
Location: United States

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About Slalom

Slalom is a purpose-led, global business and technology consulting company. From strategy to implementation, our approach is fiercely human. In six countries and 43 markets, we deeply understand our customers—and their customers—to deliver practical, end-to-end solutions that drive meaningful impact. Backed by close partnerships with over 400 leading technology providers, our 13,000+ strong team helps people and organizations dream bigger, move faster, and build better tomorrows for all.

Irvine-based Adtech company Viant partners with Slalom to migrate a data center, which included migrating 600 virtual machines, 200+ TB of data, and 100 physical servers to Google Cloud.

Google Cloud results

  • Faster, more reliability on their site alongside significant reduction in operating expenses due to eliminated hardware maintenance/refreshes
  • Moved an entire data center into Google Cloud VMware Engine in seven weeks rather than the scheduled ten weeks
  • Migration included 600 virtual machines, 200+TB of data, 80+ MSSQL databases, and 100 physical servers

Moved 600 VMs and 200+TB of data in less than 6 months

How ready is your business to update your infrastructure? Would you be able to migrate your entire data center in half a year? For Viant Technology—the Irvine-based advertising software company—this hypothetical became a reality when the owners of the datacenter housing all of their servers said they were shutting down.

Viant, per their data centers orders, had six months to plan and execute the move of 600 virtual machines (VMs), 200+TB of data, 80+ MSSQL databases, and 100 physical servers. On top of that, their existing physical servers ran on a myriad of OSs, ranging from Scientific Linux to multiple different operating versions of Windows OS, as well as a mix of database software.

"What we had in place was a perpetual machine that we could run and not adjust, but migrating it is another story," says Linh Chung, CIO, Viant Technology.

To have any chance to migrate all of this by the deadline, they needed a solution that brought all of their disparate legacy servers together without disrupting business operations. This meant moving away from legacy servers and to the cloud.

"The fact that this was a Google offering gave us an additional level of comfort because we had the assurance of the Google infrastructure."

Linh Chung, CIO, Viant Technology

Preparing on a timeline

With a tight deadline ahead, finding the right cloud solution started with seeing which cloud provider quickly returned a solution that could fit both their time and business needs. Competing clouds’ agent-based tools took weeks to return an incomplete picture that was full of duplicate information. Conversely, Google Cloud provided discovery and assessment through the Rapid Assessment & Migration Program (RAMP), giving them a complete inventory to plan from within 24 hours. We even identified places where cost and redundancy could be cut by determining which VMs were necessary to migrate and which could be turned off.

Viant also appreciated how Google Cloud was built to work with their individual business needs. With Google Cloud VMware Engine’s node configuration, they only had to pay for the capacity they needed so they could optimize and rightsize their cloud environment. And since the solutions were first-party Google offerings, they had access to Google engineering and support with a single point of contact in case anything needed to be escalated.

"The fact that this was a Google offering gave us an additional level of comfort because we had the assurance of the Google infrastructure," says Linh Chung, CIO, Viant Technology.

"You never know what may come up during migration, but we had people who knew how to deal with all of the issues."

Linh Chung, CIO, Viant Technology

Moving while on a deadline

With a full understanding of their assets and what needed to be migrated, Viant now just had to migrate the entirety of their data center within 10 weeks—from the beginning of January 2022 until the end of March 2022. To do this, they teamed up with Google Cloud partner Slalom as their delivery partner.

To pull off the migration, Viant relied heavily on Google Cloud VMware Engine. While they had VMware on-premises, they had never used Google Cloud VMware Engine before and there were no VMware experts at the company. However, Slalom was able to help them with their learning curve by asking questions about their system, including throughput limitations, how many firewall rules were in place, and what their bandwidth was. With this information and enough research, Viant was able to hit a good cadence within weeks.

"You never know what may come up during migration, but we had people who knew how to deal with all of the issues," says Linh Chung, CIO, Viant Technology.

Building beyond success

"We were extremely fortunate to have found Slalom. Their team did an amazing job. They hit the ground running and were exceptionally knowledgeable in all aspects of the migration process. With their help we were able to complete the entire project with an astonishing three weeks to spare," says Linh Chung, CIO, Viant Technology.

With a hard deadline of March 31, 2022 Viant was thrilled to have all of their assets evacuated from the physical datacenter and up on the cloud by mid-March. That meant that with Google Cloud and Slalom, they had moved an entire data center into Google Cloud VMware Engine in seven weeks rather than the scheduled ten weeks. This was in large part because they were able to retain their IP addresses, which greatly accelerated their migration. And, since 99% of their content now lives in Google Cloud rather than on disparate servers with a range of outdated and often incompatible OSs, their migration was relatively painless.

"We were extremely fortunate to have found Slalom. Their team did an amazing job. They hit the ground running and were exceptionally knowledgeable in all aspects of the migration process. With their help we were able to complete the entire project with an astonishing three weeks to spare."

Linh Chung, CIO, Viant Technology

And once they were on Google Cloud, the positive results were clear. The site runs far faster and with significantly more reliability. They don’t have to pay for extravagant maintenance of unique hardware anymore, saving them plenty in operating expenses. Also, since Google Cloud VMware Engine is a managed service, they also do not have to make manual upgrades to their VMware software or worry about their old servers breaking anymore. All of this was huge for efficiency, and since Google watches for node failures and addresses them proactively, the team’s agility significantly improved. And with Google Cloud VMware Engine’s high-performance infrastructure, Viant’s user-facing sites ran faster than in their previous paradigm.

In addition to all of those benefits, perhaps the most notable improvement from the move beyond the impressive speed has been the capex savings. Viant was able to save a significant amount of money by migrating to Google Cloud instead of building within a new physical datacenter. In fact, the capex they saved on migration basically paid for a full year’s worth of usage in Google Cloud.

Looking forward, having all of their infrastructure in Google Cloud is giving Viant an ability they never had before—the ability to assess and adjust their capacity needs. They are already looking into ways to remove unnecessary nodes, meaning that they will be able to save even more without sacrificing performance or reliability. With Google Cloud, they have the power to make these changes whenever they are ready for it.

Tell us your challenge. We're here to help.

Contact us

About Viant

Viant is a leading advertising software company enabling ad buyers to plan, create, execute and measure their digital advertising investments through a cloud-based platform. Through its self-service software, Adelphic, marketers have access to over 280,000 audience attributes from the leading 70+ data companies and our omnichannel integrations allow marketers to buy ads across Desktop, Mobile, Connected TV, Linear TV, Audio and DOOH channels through our technology. Adelphic is an AdExchanger Programmatic Power Player.

Industries: Technology
Location: United States

About Slalom

Slalom is a purpose-led, global business and technology consulting company. From strategy to implementation, our approach is fiercely human. In six countries and 43 markets, we deeply understand our customers—and their customers—to deliver practical, end-to-end solutions that drive meaningful impact. Backed by close partnerships with over 400 leading technology providers, our 13,000+ strong team helps people and organizations dream bigger, move faster, and build better tomorrows for all.