A virtualisation project to provide enhanced storage performance

The business drivers for the project

As a charitable organisation and provider of residential care for older people, St Monica Trust has a requirement to store large amounts of data and manage their estate efficiently and securely. They wanted to streamline their storage infrastructure to provide faster access to storage that could be scaled quickly.

Using Microsoft Hyper V, they started to reduce their physical infrastructure but still needed a central storage solution to support the virtualisation of 12 physical servers.

“With the tools in Hyper V we can migrate between servers seamlessly but we needed a central storage solution to do that. We needed SAN to remove local storage in physical servers”, explains Max Gilbert, Operational IT Manager at St Monica Trust.

Ultimately, their goal was to accelerate the organisation’s adoption of modern computing and virtualisation in order to improve performance and increase the resiliency of their application and server infrastructure.

Why S3 (part of Trustmarque) was selected as a partner

While St Monica Trust knew they wanted a SAN, they were unsure which route to go down. That is where S3 were able to provide the right support and guidance, says Max says. He confirmed that the S3 technical consultants clearly demonstrated the scope of the project including how the solution would work, what the outcomes would be and where the S3 team could add value to their wider virtualisation project. “It was clear S3 had the resource to help as and when required,” says Max.

S3 was also able to provide flexible commercial terms to fit their budget cycles. Max confirms it has been a smooth process from start to finish thanks to the collaboration with S3.

The solution

S3’s highly skilled Storage and Infrastructure consultants worked with St Monica Trust to find the best solution for their requirements. They identified Western Digital’s centralised storage solution IntelliFlash T4100 to be the most appropriate platform; efficient, scalable, and cost-effective.

IntelliFlash T4100 includes the following features free of charge;

  • 26TB of raw storage
  • In-line deduplication and compression
  • Space efficient snapshots
  • Replication
  • Encryption
  • IntelliCare support and analytics platform

The S3 solution also included five years support and installation services. S3 consultants installed and configured the equipment on site during a quick and easy two-day installation.

The outcomes

The Western Digital IntelliFlash T4100 solution has allowed St Monica Trust to complete its virtualisation project.

The immediate outcomes included increased performance, faster access to storage and a clear roadmap for scalability and long-term commercial efficiencies.

Max confirms: “By virtualising our servers we have made much better use of our estate. We have more flexibility, increased performance, increased redundancy and we can access storage much quicker. We’ve also significantly reduced our in-use storage by almost 50% due to compression and de-duplication.

Max said the organisation is extremely satisfied to have been able to modernise its estate in line with its ambitions. “Virtualisation is the way forward and SAN was the main enabler,” he added.

St Monica Trust is now consulting with Trustmarque and S3 on future projects including Microsoft licensing and Office365 deployment. “The whole experience has been professional and we see Trustmarque and S3 as a valued partner,” confirms Max.

Key benefits

Through deploying Western Digital IntelliFlash T4100 with S3, St Monica Trust has seen a number of benefits;

  • Modernised environment supporting a more efficient use of the estate with faster access and scalability
  • Centralised solution decreasing physical storage
  • De-duplication and compression reducing data storage by 50%
  • Full redundancy
  • Immediate notification and active monitoring via IntelliCare support and analytics platform
  • Completion of virtualisation project

About St Monica Trust

St Monica Trust is a sizeable charitable organisation offering a unique blend of modern retirement villages, complete with specialist care homes and support for older people. Their aim is to provide the very best in later living, with facilities located in Bristol, North Somerset and Keynsham. They have five large estates, employing 1700 members of staff.

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About S3 and Trustmarque

Solid State Solutions (S3) formed in 1988 as a value-added integrator of data storage, computer and storage management systems. In 2014 S3 was acquired by Capita and now sits alongside Trustmarque, a leading IT reseller delivering customer-centric IT solutions that deliver better business outcomes. Together, we help customers deploy the right modern datacentre solutions with a comprehensive range of cloud-based virtual datacentre and physical infrastructure storage solutions.

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