When accounting firm Pilot Partners planned an office move to accommodate its continuing growth, it coincided with refreshing IT environments with offsite backups.
The requirement to securely store and retain client data a pressing concern, any update needed to offer improved backup and replication as well as very high availability.
While the previous IBMTM servers had proven to be a very reliable investment, they were reaching end of life. The opportunity to embrace new technologies meant that Pilot Partners could build a base for the next era.
Moving to a new address in Brisbane’s premium Eagle Street meant assessing carefully how to make the most of available space. As part of the upgrade, the decision was made: the filing rooms had to go.
Pilot Partners’ reputation has been developed through years of offering sound business and financial advice to many of Queensland’s most successful organisations. When it came to finding a technology specialist that understood their own business, the choice was easy. The Integrated Solutions team has unfailingly delivered on every project during the fifteen years it has supported Pilot Partners. Refreshing IT environments with offsite backups was the first step.
Fully redundant solutions were designed that offered considerable server consolidation onto IBM Bladeserver H servers, with off-site replication to offer greater peace of mind.
A 10Gb backbone and some serious processing power also made Pilot Partners ready to implement some much needed new business applications.
Paperless office eliminated the need for a filing room, which with Eagle Street office space typically costing in excess of $800 per square metre resulted in a considerable cost efficiency.
IBM Bladeserver H, now released as the updated PureFlex system, was an obvious choice. Not only did it offer superior networking and consolidation options, it also came out ahead in cost benefit comparisons. In fact, 22 servers were consolidated onto six blade servers, greatly easing management burden and squeezing more value out of available resources.
This solution provided Pilot Partners with sufficient redundancy to run all servers on six blades, with ample capacity to accommodate growth for the next five years.
Replication to the Integrated Solutions’ Data Centre provided a faster and safer disaster recovery option. Using Veeam Enterprise Backup and Replication, Pilot Partners gained the ability to seamlessly and automatically replicate critical servers to an off-site location, eliminating human error as well as some very time-consuming daily tasks. Pilot Partners had every reason to take disaster recovery very seriously indeed.
“Our system had already been tested in the major floods that hit Brisbane in 2011, when Integrated Solutions stepped in to evacuate our systems and get our servers out with very little notice. Continuing to provide services and manage future risk meant building a disaster recovery option to keep us operating”.
Moving from distributed servers to a consolidated environment meant there was less hardware to manage. There was a considerable increase in virtual servers, though, meant that the new solution was able to handle not only the scanned archives but also the resulting new business processes. Nowadays, very little paper in evidence at Pilot Partners, with laborious filing tasks a thing of the past. IBM 3400 SAN means centrally stored data is easily accessed.
“Client information is now available immediately, no matter where our employees are working from, meaning our service is more efficient and uninterrupted. We are no longer paying premium office space costs to store archived files and we are getting full value from every bit of floor space,” said Christine Connor.
While the blades and backbone were installed in advance to help establish Pilot Partners’ new document management system, the remaining infrastructure was put in place prior to relocation. This office move and data migration was conducted over a weekend, with only brief, planned downtime for packing and staff briefing.