Kentico Upgrade and Azure Migration
Revera is a leading owner, operator and investor in the senior living sector. Through its portfolio of partnerships, Revera owns or operates more than 500 properties across Canada, the United States and the United Kingdom, serving more than 50,000 seniors. The company offers seniors’ apartments, independent living, assisted living, memory care, and long term care. With approximately 45,000 employees dedicated to providing exceptional care and service, Revera is helping seniors live life to the fullest. Through Age is More, Revera is committed to challenging ageism, the company’s social cause of choice.
The focus of this project was to upgrade the existing Ageismore.com Kentico website from version 8.2 to version 11 and then migrate to the Azure platform.
The main challenge was to upgrade the existing website that had already been upgraded from version 6 originally. There was some unnecessary legacy code that was disabled. There were some significant API changes from version 8 to 9 and 9 to 10 that needed to be resolved. Since this site is currently live and it was being moved to Azure we created a local copy to upgrade and test. With the previous Windows server we could run the upgrade directly on the server however Azure doesn’t allow us to do this.
We had already moved the larger, much more complicated corporate site to Azure and left the Ageismore site to last and only had a short time to complete the upgrade and migration before the previous Windows server was deprecated.
The solution itself included first phase to migrate the main reveraliving.com corporate site to azure and all its moving parts. Once that was successful we then were left with a 2 week window to upgrade and move the Ageismore website. Our developers created a local copy and developed the application using the local computing emulator provided by Azure SDK. This provided our testing team the same Azure environment without actually hosting in the cloud. Our developers used the Kentico Installation Manager to install each upgrade version and to backup and track the API changes and database changes. After each major upgrade we tested the entire site and admin before running the next upgrade. So the process meant we upgraded from 8.2 to 9 then 9- to 10 and then again 10 to 11. With testing after each phase. After local testing was complete we were then able to easily port the website to a Azure Web App and MSSQL database to Azure SQL. We then configured the Azure subscription with a QA environment and Azure application insights to monitor and maintain performance.
The immediate feedback from the client and users has been overwhelmingly positive. Page loads improved noticeably and administration of the site also improved. It’s too early to tell what the actual data is regarding conversions and bounce rates however we did track significant improvements for the Server Response Time on Azure. The client also likes the additional Azure tools and features like insights and built in load testing.
The key reasons for the upgrade and Azure migration were to improve speed and performance within a scalable and uber reliable enterprise hosting platform located in Canada.
"Revera has been using the Kentico platform since 2010 and recently upgraded the Ageismore site to the latest version while deploying all the Kentico sites to Azure. We found the Kentico CMS user-friendly and it has allowed us to create and continue to grow our web presence solutions. Kentico has proven to perform well in combination with Azure.
Inorbital ha been a pleasure to work with as our strategic implementation partner over the years and has helped us ensure the Kentico websites were up and running on the Microsoft Azure platform quickly and seamlessly."
Loris Parekh, Director, Digital Communications Revera Inc.
As a result of upgrading the site to the latest Kentico version and migration to Azure we were able to significantly improve page speed and performance. Straight A’s for all key indicators from Webpagetest.org.