Shoreline Housing Partnership has become the first housing organisation to virtualise its entire housing management systems.
Shoreline was formed in March 2005 as part of a large-scale voluntary transfer. In common with many other LSVT’s, they needed to create an initial, short-term service level agreement for the provision of IT services between them and the local authority. The need to update the SLA became apparent with the move to new, purpose-built headquarters and the requirement for applications such as Open Accounts.
Steve Neul, head of IT, Shoreline Housing Partnership, said, “We felt that deploying traditional servers would leave us with a technology infrastructure that was complex and expensive to manage, hence our decision to go virtual.”
Shoreline has now virtualised all of its 35 servers and includes everything from its anti-virus software, email applications and thin clients through to its core housing management systems. Notably, Shoreline is the first housing organisation to virtualise Anite Housing, Servitor, Apex and Open Accounts.
Steve Neul said, “Virtualisation has enabled us to reduce costs, improve the flexibility and scalability of our infrastructure, and tighten security. We can also respond to business demands quicker. For example last week, a new server was required for an application and it was provisioned and operational in less then an hour.”
Looking ahead, Shoreline plans to use VMware’s Replicator product to fine-tune their disaster recovery and business continuity strategy, with the aim of having all the servers running again within a couple of hours, and restored to a point only minutes before the disaster event.