CompNow’s proposed Dell VxRail Hyper Converged Infrastructure, as a virtualised server and storage environment, was the best of seven solutions offered.
The key differentiator in the CompNow offering is the Active/Active attribute. With all nodes always available, Council can leverage all its capacity – it enables fully active processing and access to the complete storage capacity as no servers are idle in backup mode.
With the cost and maturity of relevant cloud services still evolving, James assessed that it is still wiser to have half of the stretched datacentre on-premise and half in a private cloud. The hyperconverged Active/Active environment delivers cloud-like benefits, such as high availability, but without the cost and transitioning effort from a traditional server/SAN platform.
The architecture stretches the eight node cluster across two geographically separated sites: with four nodes each at CoWT’s Civic Centre and a shared facility at the City of Adelaide 15 kms away, connected by fibre in the ground.
In the case of an outage, the Council’s work load continues to operate on whichever nodes are available. Even in the event of one or all nodes in the other site failing, there will be no loss of data from the downtime.
A Dell EMC VxRail hyperconverged solution simplifies the operation and management of CoWT’s growing, complex IT environment. Backup technology improvements shrink the time taken for backups, improve restore times, reduce the number of tapes and allow the IT team to more efficiently send copies of backup data offsite. The platform also supports the expanding mobile and remote access requirements to Council’s business systems.
The Dell EMC equipment converged into a single rack unit will enable CoWT to slot in more nodes for performance, or new apps. As nodes age in 5-7 years, they can be easily pulled out and replaced. The consolidated racking real estate and reduced power consumption fits the Council’s objective to be greener and drive down expenditures.
“We’re open to good ideas and the great business outcomes from the CompNow Active/Active solution was something we wanted to pursue,” James says. “While not the lowest response, it was easily the best value for money”.
The migration project required “the transitioning of a hundred different systems – Linux & Windows, and the Mobile connections,” he says. To de-risk the migration, low priority databases were the first to be tested. The project was completed with the ‘big end of town’ asset management, payroll, document management & GIS systems brought online.
Our network administrators, Jess & Jason, appreciated the regular collaboration with the CompNow team throughout the implementation.