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Scale Computing saves Swedish Standards Institute valuable time and resources with cost-effective hyperconverged solution

Key Challenges:

  • The VMware solution and legacy IT hardware was expensive and complicated to maintain
  • Licensing fees were expensive
  • Small IT team with limited technical skills for managing VMware
  • No disaster recovery or backup strategy in place

Scale Computing Solution:

Swedish Standards Institute (SIS) deployed Scale Computing’s HC3 platform along with an additional cluster in a separate data centre for disaster recovery and backup.

Key applications used:

  • Website for selling standards developed with EpiServer CMS, EpiServer Commerce, .Net core & SQLServer. Running on Windows 2012 with SQLServer 2016
  • Jira Software (project management tool for agile teams) running on Windows 2012 and MySQL
  • Confluence (document collaboration) running on Windows 2012 and MySQL
  • Windows Active Directory, File and Print Services
  • Bitbucket, a web-based version control repository. Running on Windows 2012 and SQLServer 2016
  • TeamCity, a Java-based build management and continuous integration server. Running on Windows 2012 and SQLServer 2016
  • Microsoft System Center Operations Manager
  • Microsoft System Center Configuration Manager

Business Benefits:

  • No additional licensing fees to pay
  • Cost savings on more affordable hardware
  • Time saving though simplified management
  • Affordable disaster recovery and backup
  • 24/7 availability

SIS – An international institute of standards

SIS manages and coordinates standardisation in Sweden and the organisation represents Sweden in the European standardisation organisation CEN and the global organisation ISO. SIS’s clients are a cross-section of Sweden’s private sector and public sector organisations, including global businesses, government agencies, local authorities and county councils, trade associations and voluntary organisations. All SIS’s national and international standards are based on, developed through and quality-assured by the SIS standardisation process. These standards are established within a broad range of industries and business sectors to facilitate trade, innovation, and increase business efficiency. 

Existing IT environment

SIS’s IT environment was partially-virtualised, running on VMware and legacy Dell hardware with disks and a subsystem. The institute needed a complete refresh on its hardware and decided to take the opportunity to look at the option of moving away from VMware, which was expensive and complicated to manage.

Martin Pucher, Systems Administrator at SIS commented, “Our hardware clearly needed refreshing so we decided to take the opportunity to look for a completely new solution. We had been struggling to work with VMware, it was complicated to upgrade and we simply did not have the technical knowhow.”

Challenges

SIS has over 180 employees operating internationally, to publish and sell standards and manuals, as well as offer training and consulting services. This means IT underpins the Institute’s entire operation, so it was crucial that the system had 24/7 availability. Like most businesses today, SIS had a tight budget restrictions and found VMware’s licensing fees to be expensive. To add to this pressure, running VMware meant there was no extra budget and so SIS had no disaster recovery and backup solution in place.

Pucher commented, “At SIS we are a small IT team, with only one person responsible for managing the infrastructure, and we did not have the skills or budget to manage VMware properly. We do not have the time or capacity to send any members of the team to training sessions so it was essential that we upgraded to a low-maintenance solution.”

SIS turned to its partner, Data Resilience, for market knowledge and insight. After discussing the Institutes requirements and skill challenges, Data Resilience recommended Scale Computing’s hyperconvergence solution and provided a demonstration via their onsite kit.

Pucher explained, “After a discussion with Data Resilience we knew we had three options; outsource to a third party hosting provider, stay with VMware or upgrade with Scale Computing. We felt that outsourcing would be a very big step for us and we were certain we wanted to keep control over the system, so on-premises was crucial. Data Resilience had the solution onsite and after they showed us a demonstration it was clear that Scale Computing’s HC3 platform was the solution we had been looking for.”

 Per-Ola Mård, managing director at Data Resilience commented, “At Data Resilience our number one focus is helping customers meet their IT requirements without compromise. It was clear to us that SIS were over-paying for a solution with a host of functions they didn’t require, which in turn meant they could not afford the additional functions that they did need, like disaster recovery. Scale Computing’s solution is perfect for businesses like SIS – it provides capabilities for managing the virtualisation, securing VMs using high availability, disaster recovery, and highly efficient data optimisation functions all in one easy to use system. We are happy to have Scale Computing’s HC3 Platform in our portfolio, to enable us to help businesses like SIS, get the simple, easy-to-use solution they need.”

Full Steam Ahead with Deployment

After Data Resilience provided the demonstration, SIS decided to move forward with the purchase. Pucher commented, “We were completely confident that the solution was perfect for us after seeing the demonstration. We had already purchased the solution when we began running our tests and we were not disappointed – the solution worked exactly as expected.”

SIS deployed a four-node cluster on the primary site to run the whole environment. Within three months the system was fully migrated, with 20TB of data and 80VMs running across a now fully virtualised environment.

Pucher commented, “The deployment of the first cluster was very simple and we were really pleased with the speed and ease at which were able to migrate the system. We had assumed that, technically speaking, it would have been easier to migrate VMware-to-VMware. However, as it were, migrating to the Scale Computing solution could not have been easier. We never had any reason to roll back the migration, everything worked perfectly and there was no end-user disruption. Additionally, we saved money instantly as the solution had no additional licensing fees, which had been expensive with the old VMware solution."

Peace of Mind with Disaster Recovery Backup

Scale Computing’s cost-effective nature meant SIS was also able to purchase and deploy a secondary three-node cluster in a separate data centre for snapshot replication, disaster recovery and backup.

Pucher said, “The three-node cluster for disaster recovery and backup was most impressive and Data Resilience were especially helpful in make sure everything was configured before installation. In total it took two hours to install and we were replicating that same day – we got it started on Friday and by Monday the entire system was replicated. Having this additional system for backup gave us great peace-of-mind.

Exceeding Expectations

Since the successful deployment of the HC3 platform SIS has benefited from the solutions simple management and 24/7 availability, meaning the IT team can now spend more time on value-add tasks like deploying and cloning servers.

Additionally, by choosing the Scale Computing solution for both the IT environment and disaster recovery, SIS has consolidated its IT vendors down to one, meaning one point-of-contact. This means the IT team has been able to focus on tasks that add company value, rather than managing the IT system.  

Pucher concluded, “We could not be happier with Scale Computing’s solution – it is perfect for our team, especially its ease of use. We have been running Scale Computing for more than a year now and it still continues to deliver every hour of every day. We have performed two upgrades, planned and scheduled, with the push of a button. And we have the full reassurance and the ever-watching eye of the Scale Computing support team in the background to confirm everything was running fine. We definitely made the right decision to go with Scale Computing.”