Transitioning The Detection Group to Microsoft Azure: Embracing a Cloud-First Strategy

  • 01
    Project Overview
  • 02
    The Challenge
  • 03
    Our Approach
  • 04
    Results & Outcomes

Project Overview

The partnership with TDG (The Detection Group) originated post their acquisition by Watts, instigating the imperative migration of a legacy application to the Azure Cloud. Driven by the technological paradigm shift following the acquisition, this mission-critical program, previously managed by a singular engineer, demanded a methodical approach during migration. The objective was to ensure not only a smooth transition but also to address intricacies such as database compatibility, system architecture alignment, and API integrations, emphasizing the technical acumen and precision required for a seamless adaptation to the Azure Cloud environment.


The Challenge

TDG grappled with migration challenges rooted in a dearth of cloud expertise, navigating a rapid technological shift post-acquisition, and managing the time-sensitive demands of an impending IoT product launch. Performance optimization complexities arose, particularly with a single individual handling the intricate task of performance tuning. The migration from a legacy system to the cloud faced further hurdles due to the substantial database size.

Limited client familiarity with Azure Cloud heightened the intricacies. Overcoming these challenges demanded a nuanced approach, emphasizing the need for specialized expertise, collaborative problem-solving, and strategic planning to navigate the technical intricacies of the migration.


Our Approach

To alleviate these challenges, we devised a comprehensive approach:

Migration Planning


The journey started with an in-depth examination of the legacy app’s design, and a walk through of its intricacies that revealed potential stumbling blocks. We methodically designed a thorough migration plan using the data gathered. Recognizing the importance of minimizing downtime, we established techniques to ensure a smooth transition.

Azure Environment Setup


In our pursuit of infrastructure resilience, we embraced the precision and efficiency of Infrastructure as Code (IaC) as a fundamental mechanism. This methodical approach was meticulously executed across the Azure development (dev and test) and production environments, employing declarative configurations to define and orchestrate infrastructure components.

DevOps Tooling


Developed an MVP mobile app utilizing Bluetooth for geo-locking and community rentals. Transformed preliminary designs into a functional application with account creation and aligned front-end development. Finalized design, conducted user acceptability testing, and delivered the app to iOS and Android platforms. Maintained quality through continuous feature testing throughout the project lifecycle.

Database Migration


Our database migration showcased technical prowess, characterized by meticulous execution. We systematically orchestrated the data export from the legacy Rackspace environment to the new Azure DB utilizing Terraform. This methodical approach ensured a seamless transition, substantiating our proficiency in managing intricate transitions.

To replicate data between Rackspace and Azure production databases, we established secure VPN tunnels. This intricate data movement underscored our unwavering commitment to data integrity and system continuity, affirming our technical diligence.

Technical Documentation


We systematically recorded a comprehensive repository of information encapsulating every detail of the environment, intricacies involved in deployment processes, nuances characterizing the observability setup, and the orchestration intricacies of tooling within Azure environments. By distilling the complexities into a coherent documentation system, we aimed to facilitate enhanced operational insight and proficiency in managing Azure environments seamlessly.

Application Deployment


The deployment of containerized applications evolved into a highly technical process with the meticulous crafting of Kubernetes manifests. Our deployment strategy transcended routine practices, representing a systematic optimization endeavor. Rigorous testing protocols were employed across each environment, serving as a prerequisite for progression. This methodical approach ensured the synchronization of functionality and availability, validating the robustness of our containerized applications within the Kubernetes framework.

Tools & Tech Selection

The selection of tools and technologies was strategic, aiming to address the specific project requirements:

Azure Cloud

Utilized for creating and managing Azure environments, deploying applications, and implementing IaC.

Azure DevOps

Used for SDLC planning and open team collaboration.


Employed for container orchestration, providing scalability and ease of deployment.


Used for building backend services.


Leveraged for optimizing the database performance.


Applied for exporting data from the legacy environment and managing infrastructure as code.


Results & Outcomes

The collaboration delivered significant outcomes:

Successful Migration

Facilitated the seamless migration of TDG’s traditional systems and applications to Microsoft’s Azure cloud platform, culminating in the establishment of a more streamlined, potent, and secure digital environment. The transition was executed with minimal disruptions, guaranteeing uninterrupted and seamless business operations throughout the migration process.

Improved Infrastructure

Post migration, the revamped cloud environment has optimized the infrastructure for codebase revision deployments, enhancing operational efficiency. This technical enhancement accelerates processes, notably diminishing error probabilities, fortifying security against vulnerabilities, ensuring operational smoothness, and fostering a heightened level of output consistency.

Enhanced Performance

Through the strategic implementation of Azure MySQL, we successfully enhanced the operational efficiency of TDG’s database processes. This technological integration has not only expedited data retrieval but has also contributed significantly to an overall performance uplift across their suite of applications.

Streamlined Operations

Implemented scalable traffic testing mechanisms and diverse pipelines to enhance operational fluidity. These strategic adjustments are geared towards optimizing efficiency and fortifying system resilience to accommodate growing demands. The objective is to furnish TDG users with a seamless experience, irrespective of the volume of traffic, by proactively addressing scalability challenges through advanced testing and pipeline configurations.

Tasked with migrating large legacy applications to Azure, Akava tackled the challenge with exceptional skill and professionalism. Despite a tight turnaround, they delivered in time for a mission critical deadline. Their expertise in cloud technologies and best practices while being hands-on engineers ensured a smooth transition and minimized performance issues, surpassing our expectations. The Akava team is competent, dedicated and delivers results.

Dave W.

VP, Cloud Engineering