IT infrastructure specialist Blue Chip has completed the virtualisation of First Wessex Group’s IT infrastructure, following the housing provider’s desire to centralise services across the group as well as replace ageing server hardware. The cost of the project was reported to be £130,000.
The first phase of the project involved the installation of four VMware ESX Hosts with a fibre connection to an EMC storage area network. First Wessex had 31 physical servers, 15 of which Blue Chip initially migrated to the new virtual environment along with the creation of three new servers.
Anthony Green from Blue Chip explained, “From working with First Wessex, it became clear that they could benefit from a complete change to virtualised servers, virtualised applications, published desktops and thin clients, which replaced old PCs and servers. As well as delivering cost savings, the new infrastructure increased server availability and reduced hands-on system management time and desktop support requirements.”
The second phase saw the addition of four more VMware hosts running 20 Citrix servers to increase First Wessex’s thin-client estate. As a result, the number of Citrix users at First Wessex rose from 200 to 600. Blue Chip is also installing Microsoft Exchange 2010 at First Wessex in November 2010.
Rob Boord, infrastructure manager, First Wessex Group, said, “The installation of a virtualised platform has delivered a wide range of operational and administrative efficiencies, including increased server availability and reduced hands-on system management time. The further expansion of our Citrix environment has also lowered desktop support requirements and allowed us to centralise more applications, not to mention the significant cost savings overall.”