International Dance Supplies Ltd - Computer Systems Infrastructure Virtualisation

Industry Sector:
General Industry
Contact Name:
Matt Horner
Year:
2013
Job Title:
IT Manager

Overview

International Dance Supplies ran a computer network infrastructure based on aged hardware and were looking for strategic guidance and advice about the most appropriate solution to deliver a high performance, resilient and flexible business systems environment. Nexus were commissioned to deliver expert IT consultancy and analysis as well as systems design services to deploy a high performance, high availability virtualisation platform based around VMware vSphere.

Solution

International Dance Supplies (IDS) is the UK's largest wholesale dancewear supplier with an £9 million PA turnover. Its customer base includes over 14,000 dance teachers and retailers worldwide with whom IDS has gained an incredible reputation for great products and service. Approximately 45 people work at the 26,600 sq ft state of the art warehouse and offices in Newton Abbot, Devon.

IDS ran a computer network infrastructure based on aged hardware and were looking for strategic guidance and advice about the most appropriate solution to deliver a high performance, resilient and flexible business systems environment. Nexus were commissioned to deliver expert IT consultancy and analysis as well as systems design services to deploy a high performance, high availability virtualisation platform based around VMware vSphere.

Over the course of several meetings and a review of the existing computer network and data storage infrastructure, Nexus systems engineers provided key strategic advice to IDS in terms of the options open to their organisation to move to a new virtual computing environment.

The decision was made to install and configure VMware vSphere virtualisation software and associated computer systems hardware to enable the migration from their existing aged servers. The project was split into two phases; the first phase was to install and configure a single Dell R620 server running VMware ESXi 5.1 free edition, a Dell EqualLogic PS4100X SAN for data storage and a Dell PowerConnect 6224 switch; the second phase would see the installation of a second Dell R620 server and the installation of the full version of VMware vSphere with vCenter.

The project was planned, managed and deployed on time and key deliverables include:

  • Installation and configuration of a two Dell PowerEdge R620 servers as VMware ESXi hosts.
  • Deployment and integration of Dell EqualLogic PS4100X SAN to provide iSCSI shared data storage.
  • Installation and configuration of VMware vSphere 5 Essentials Plus Kit.
  • Deployment and configuration of Dell PowerConnect 6224 24 port managed layer 3 switches.
  • Assistance with Physical to Virtual (P2V) of servers running VMware workstation and ensured that all VMware tools and hardware were upgraded.

The project was delivered over a three day implementation period in order to successfully complete the migration and perform sufficient hardware and software testing.

Following the successful completion of this project, International Dance Supplies now have a new VMware virtualisation infrastructure running the latest version of vSphere with increased data storage capacity. Nexus engineers ensured that the environment was deployed to best practice methodology and through Retained Technical Services (RTS) continue to provide IT support and maintenance for the organisation.

The new computer systems environment has provided the business with many important technical and operational benefits including:

  • Performance Enhancements – The latest generation of Dell EqualLogic PS4100 SAN and Dell PowerEdge R620 series servers have significantly improved the performance of IDS’s business systems.
  • Capacity – IDS now have the infrastructure capacity to sustain significant processor, memory and data utilisation in order to facilitate organisational growth.
  • Flexibility – The new virtualisation platform has added significant flexibility to their IT infrastructure with the ability to survive major hardware failures and continue to run uninterrupted. In addition the organisations business continuity and disaster recovery strategy has been further refined, with the ability to recover all core systems within a short time frame.