Case Study – Server & PC Replacement and Back up solution

January 07, 2021

Introduction

Silicone Altimex provides high quality, integrated elastomeric solutions to medical device and bio-pharmaceutical manufacturers. They engaged Your IT Department as their IT partner in October 2019 to work alongside the Technical Manager.

The Problem

In a nutshell

Staff were frustrated with slow computers, the Technical Manager was having sleepless nights about the server, and he didn’t know if the backups were working – he did know they were causing the server to crash!

Let’s get a little more technical……..

We undertook an immediate in-depth network audit as part of the onboarding process. The audit highlighted that the server was causing issues for users, was 6 years old and was running on an outdated Operating System. The Technical Manager had concerns about business continuity. There were also several older PC’s running Windows 7 on the network, which could create security and productivity issues.

Finally, we discovered that the current backup procedure was not fit for purpose. It was not easily visible to the Technical Manager and was difficult to manage. The solution was also causing the server to crash and take the network down.

The Solution

Stage 1 – Agree a plan of action and a budget.

It might seem obvious, but this was a multi-stage project with each part fixing a problem in isolation but not curing the whole problem. It was vitally important that the client knew what was being done, when it was being done and how much it would cost in total. Over the course of several planning meetings, we arrived at an agreed Project Plan and Project Budget with the client.

Stage 2 – Replace PC’s.

The client had decided to replace all old PC’s. New Windows 10 machines were installed, and Windows 7 eradicated from the network. Slow PC’s were a thing of the past, but that server was still causing a bottleneck, so staff weren’t getting the full benefits of their shiny new machines just yet.

Stage 3 – New Server Environment.

The old server was replaced with 2 Dell PowerEdge 740 Servers. We migrated systems and used virtualisation and load balancing to spread the workload across the two servers. In the event of a server failure the second server can be used to control all virtual machines. The new infrastructure provided increased resilience and a business continuity solution.

The bottleneck was gone, network speed was restored and the benefit of the new machines fully felt by all staff. The Technical Manager was sleeping better as he knew that if things went wrong on one server he had another that could run the business. However, until the backups were sorted the bags under his eyes wouldn’t quite disappear….

Stage 4 – New Backup Solution.


The final stage of our solution was to move backups to our fully managed solution. This gave us full control over the management of the backups and the ability to provide the Technical Manager with all the information and reporting required but removing his need to manage the solution himself.
With the new, more robust system in place the Technical Manager was sleeping like a baby!

The Outcomes

Enhanced PC & Network Speed
Redundancy & Disaster Recovery
Reliable Managed Backups
Vastly Reduced Downtime

What The Client Thought………

One word would be seamless, another would be professional! I know most
people would look at the project and say it was easy but that would be so wrong! The servers were way out of date and obviously would not be compatible with up-to-date software. There were multiple parties involved and most of them in different times zones. Our company had gone through many transitions of ownership and IT support including people on the ground whom actually knew the functions of the server in detail. Another important point not to be overlooked was the company politics, always best to be diplomatic!

Your IT Department approached the project in a logical organised manner and did not underestimate where potential issues might occur. There was no hesitation when the time came to make the change as they were fully prepared with alternative solutions if issues occurred.

The timeline was tight and no downtime would be acceptable as this would cripple the factory. This was no problem for Your IT Department as their Project Engineer sorted it while I was sleeping. I must say he was excellent; communication was one hundred & ten percent as I knew exactly what was happening and when along the way. In addition to this the follow up was first rate as he kept in contact for days afterwards to see if any issues had presented themselves.

Weeks on after the project I am so happy as I now know we have a robust server and back-up system in place. Thank you Your IT Department, we are in control again! 😊
Thomas O’Shaughnessy
Technical Manager


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