Enabling Digital Transformation with Migration to AWS at Birkbeck, University of London

About Birkbeck, University of London

Birkbeck is one of the world’s top research universities and part of the prestigious University of London. At 200 years old, and with over 10,000 current students, Birkbeck counts five nobel laureates and numerous political leaders amongst its alumni. Birkbeck offers something unique, it is London’s only specialist provider of evening higher education. Different to other higher education institutions, Birkbeck’s full and part-time courses mostly run in the evenings between 6 and 9pm, allowing students to balance work or other commitments with their studies. 

The Challenge

Birkbeck wanted to repurpose their existing server rooms and modernise their campus, reduce operational headache and ultimately cut operational costs. Without the technical skills or expertise in house, Birkbeck approached CirrusHQ to help them assess the migration of their on-premise servers to AWS. 

The Solution

Birkbeck engaged with CirrusHQ to complete the Migration Acceleration Program in order to obtain insights into their on-premise estate and create a migration plan of what and how to migrate to AWS. The AWS Migration Acceleration Program (MAP) can help customers accelerate their cloud migration and modernisation journey with an outcome-driven methodology. Through MAP, customers are able to build strong AWS cloud foundations, accelerate and reduce risk, and offset the initial cost of migrations. Leveraging the performance, security, and reliability of the cloud, the Migration Acceleration Program also uses a proven three-phased framework – Assess, Mobilise, and Migrate and Modernise – to help customers achieve their migration goals. 

CirrusHQ conducted the intial discovery and analysis to inform Birkbeck of the estimated potential costs of migration and modernisation from on premises to the AWS cloud. The initial analysis carried out by CirrusHQ resulted in a business case being presented to Birkbeck to provide the data required to allow the University to make a decision on their cloud migration and modernisation journey and how best to proceed with future steps. 

The Benefits

  • Birkbeck were able to gain a better understanding of how their existing estate could be migrated to the cloud 
  • Reduce Costs – Birkbeck can identify a potential 58% cost saving over 3 years by moving from on-premise to the AWS cloud 
  • Improve operational resilience – Customers who move to AWS from on premises achieve a reduction of 69% in unplanned downtime* 
  • Increased business agility – Birkbeck will be able to accelerate innovation at scale by retiring technical debt

“AWS Technology is vast and CirrusHQ have engaged with us to understand our requirements, propose a sensible way forward, and help us to execute that. All without recourse to AWS tech speak, smoothing the path for our projects.” 

Andre Zelenka, Head of IT InfrastructureBirkbeck, University of London


MAP is a potentially funded program which allows customers to reap the rewards of the cloud in the most cost effective way. Talk to CirrusHQ today and start your migration to the cloud! 



Next Steps
To learn more about how  CirrusHQ can help your organisation, get in touch.

*Nucleus Research – Guidebook Understanding the Value of Migrating from On-premises to AWS for Application Security and Performance; June 2020