By Kevin Peesker
General Manager - UK and Ireland
Dell Consumer and Small, Medium Business
Staying ahead of the competition in IT terms is a constant source of concern for any business. In today’s Virtual Era, technology and business go hand in hand. With growing pressure on IT managers caused by ever-expanding quantities of data and increased threats to data security, the winners in this Virtual Era will be those who can simplify, standardize and automate their infrastructure to spend more time managing the business rather than the technology.
Traditional datacentres are struggling to store the vast amounts of data that businesses are generating, and the growth of this data shows no signs of slowing down. Expanding datacentres to support additional content can be costly, inefficient and complex to manage, holding businesses back. This is particularly the case with Small and Medium Enterprises (SMBs), which can undergo unexpected growth, often rendering their IT infrastructures unable to cope with increased demands. This was the problem faced by Catalyst2, a UK hosted service provider for SMBs. Founded in 2000, the company has been expanding ever since.
Due to business demands, its datacentre grew rapidly, and as a result, consumed a great deal of energy. Managing its network of servers became complicated, which had a negative impact on the company’s efficiency and expenditure. By deploying a virtualized infrastructure based on Dell PowerEdge servers and Dell EqualLogic storage, Catalyst2 confronted these problems head on.
By consolidating physical hosts and switching to more powerful yet energy efficient servers, the company reduced its energy consumption by 50% and cut management time by 35%, which slashed operating and hardware costs while increasing productivity. In addition, as a hosted services provider, it is essential that Catalyst2 can assure its customers that their data is safe, and with a reliable storage solution offering high availability, any downtime would not affect their clients’ business.
Another example of a company that has reaped the benefits of deploying a more efficient infrastructure is Pole Star, a provider of maritime security and satellite-enabled tracking technology. The company anticipated a massive increase in sales volumes as a result of new shipping industry regulations, which stated that every ship at sea was required to report its position four times a day, so it needed a reliable and powerful datacentre to support this spike in activity. In addition, as seafarers reach out to Pole Star in emergencies, it is vital that its technology is resilient, flexible and scalable.
Pole Star worked with Dell to design a flexible, virtualized infrastructure incorporating PowerEdge servers and Dell EqualLogic storage. Previously, it took up to six weeks to order and configure a server, but now Pole Star can deploy a virtual server and launch it within an hour. By implementing this new environment, the company has also reduced its carbon footprint by more than 80%. On the storage side, Pole Star has bolstered its business continuity capabilities; for example Pole Star recently lost the function of one machine but the Auto-Snapshot manager enabled the company to restore it in minutes. As a result of this deployment, Pole Star’s IT environment can now support up to 50% year-on-year growth and assure that it is “always available” to anyone at sea requiring assistance.
In the case of both of these growing businesses, a more efficient IT infrastructure allowed for savings with regard to energy and cost while increasing productivity. Its improvements in these vital areas that enable SMBs to direct all their focus towards their own business, and to welcome unpredictable growth, rather than worrying that it will disrupt their IT infrastructure. Ultimately, companies who prepare for growth by deploying innovative technology will be able to boast greater efficiency, therefore positioning themselves over the competition.
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