Hyde Group has completed the replacement of its core IT infrastructure with the implementation of HP bladeservers and a storage area network (SAN) across its entire operations. The project was carried out by OCSL.
Hyde, which has over 45,000 properties, has replaced its ageing SAN after the system’s slowness and lack of resilience began to affect the housing provider’s business operations, including the system’s inability to adequately support a new call centre.Mark Dale, technology manager, Hyde Group, said, “The system was working but was extremely slow and reaching the end of its life so we took the opportunity to replace everything.”
Dale’s previous projects led him to choose HP hardware for the project. He said, “My experience with HP has been good – we previously had some HP servers and noticed we were having many fewer failures from them than from our other servers.”
The SAN installed by OCSL, an HP Gold partner and Hyde’s delivery provider, supports 1,600 users across Hyde’s 15 main locations and over 100 smaller sites. The system recommended by OCSL is based around an HP StorageWorks 8100 Enterprise Virtual Array and an HP StorageWorks 12000 Virtual Library System. A total of 19 HP ProLiant bladeservers are used as file, print and email servers and to run applications such as SQL Server.
Dale said, “Our users have moved from Microsoft Exchange 2003 to 2007 running on HP bladeservers in the new SAN and the performance increase is amazing.
“One of the common complaints we had in the past was from users regularly waiting several seconds to open email messages and up to a minute to open electronic calendars. Message access is now almost instantaneous and even the largest calendars open in a few seconds.”
Hyde now backs up to disk first then to tape afterwards, and with a week’s worth of back-ups online on disk, users can retrieve files in just 30 minutes whereas in the past the process took 24 hours and required offline access to a third party.
Hyde’s future plans include using Symantec Enterprise Vault for archiving; Hyde does this at the moment purely to free up disk space but in future Enterprise Vault will enable unique data to be archived. A further development will involve the installation of a second SAN at a disaster recovery site.