The IT Manager at The Council recalls how he and his team opened up the relationship with NCE. “Our initial requirement was for a Backup Solution. NCE came to discuss what we were looking to do and put together a solution that took into account our capacity, scalability and budgetary requirements.” NCE’s skilled team scoped and implemented a solution featuring disk to disk backup (staging), an automated tape library based on LTO tape technology and backup software to address all of the councils operating systems and applications.
Having gained confidence and trust in NCE, the company were then approached them about another storage related challenge that required guidance and industry knowledge. “We had been asked to look into putting in place a Disaster Recovery Plan, something that encompassed storage so I spoke to NCE” said the IT Manager. “They suggested that there was an evolving and maturing technology set that may help to achieve this but not be price prohibitive – music to my ears!” That technology was Virtualisation both at the Server and Storage level.
Investment was made in the Virtualised Architecture and within a matter of weeks the flexibility and speed of deployment and ability to respond to requests for additional Servers and Storage were realised by the Councils IT Team.
“Virtualisation was initially something that we felt could and would offer a good failover mechanism in the event of an incident preventing us gaining access to the main server room, but even something as trivial as a workman hitting a gas main on the road outside our building could trigger this scenario. We soon realised that the flexibility of these Hypervisors both at the Storage Layer and the Server Layer offered us more than we’d first anticipated. Before long we thought long and hard about every new Physical Server we were about to buy and decided whether making it a VM was a more practical solution.”
However the Council did experience a problem as the use VM’s in this new model continued to grow. “We saw a gradual decrease in the performance of our SAN (Storage Area Network) over a few months and users started to ask what was happening.” They contacted NCE for help. “The demands of the Virtual Server estate had simply outweighed the capabilities of the back-end storage (SATA based) which was initially scoped a few years beforehand.” The solution came in the form of Arrays with higher performance SAS drives connected through the Fibre Channel Switches. “In fairness to the SAN it couldn’t cope with what we were asking of it. Thankfully, the vendor agnostic aspect of our Storage Hypervisor allowed us to choose a Disk Architecture that could deliver the performance we required and take into account our future demands. Our longstanding relationship with NCE has meant that we are confident that we have a trusted partner for Storage & Virtualisation”.
One of our many long-standing customers is one the biggest colleges in the UK (with over 1,000 staff and in excess of 20,000 students)
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