The problem

One of our long term customers (of 20+ years) came to us with a requirement to replace their IBM BladeCenter and IBM storage which was hosted at a third party data centre. They also had aging branch servers and were running Microsoft Windows 2003 licensing and a small amount of virtualisation with ESXi.

There were a few issues they wanted to address with the refresh. The key driver for change was the rising cost of power to run their BladeCenter at the third party data centre. This alone went a long way towards justifying the purchase of the hardware part of the solution.

Another factor that helped the business case was eliminating the risks they faced by running aging hardware (both in the data centre and at their branches) while not really having disaster recovery in place. Finally, running old versions of Microsoft software was limiting their ability to upgrade applications and virtualise the environment.

Our Solution

[IBM System x3650 M4 SMB all in one solution] We proposed and implemented a solution which consisted of IBM x3650 M4 servers and new Microsoft licensing direct attached to IBM V3700 storage for both production and DR. The virtualisation was done with VMware vSphere and is managed with vCenter. We implemented Veeam Enterprise Plus to provide disk to disk backup and site to site replication.

The branch servers were IBM x3550 M4 servers with ESXi. To help these changes go smoothly we provided onsite installation, project management, hand-over and training.

By implementing this solution, our customer has achieved their desired outcomes. Their power and running costs are now lower because they have virtualised more of their environment. Their new servers and storage are more power efficient, are better utilised, have a smaller footprint and provide better performance. By putting a backup and replication solution in place and upgrading to new hardware and newer software they have reduced the risk of an outage and the impact an outage could have on their business.

Finally, their environment is easier to manage. By:

  • refreshing their hardware,
  • virtualising their environment,
  • upgrading their software and
  • replicating their data,

they have significantly lowered their operating costs and added resiliency to their business systems.

*backup, BladeCenter, disaster recovery, ERP, ESXi, Microsoft, success stories, training, upgrade, V3700,Veeam, virtualisation, VMware, vSphere, x3550, x3650

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