When Michael Emery first met Elmar Gailitis, the Managing Director of Aiscorp in 2007, Elmar gave Michael advice on how to run his Citrix server and wide area network. In the IT world lasting partnerships make or break good solutions.
It was when Michael began to vitalise his network two years later that he realised his partnership with Elmar was a successful one. Over three months they developed a new server structure built on IBM’s Blade technology.
This merged nine servers down to five blades running in the one chassis. It had the capacity of 14 servers and over time Michael has made good use of these, even allowing him a spare lab for isolated software testing. Best of all the chassis allowed Michael and Big Save to future proof their network. Expanding server capacity is as simple as installing a new blade.
In June 2008, the Board of Big Save Furniture decided to move its distribution and operations facility from Paraparaumu to Napier. As any IT manager can attest, moving networks can shorten the lifespan of even the savviest administrator. It was left to Michael and Elmar to develop a solution which would configure acceptable redundancies on the network and move the entire system safely, all within a manageable timeframe.
Realising that the fate of Big Save’s future IT architecture couldn’t be outsourced to a courier company, Aiscorp and Big Save worked as a team to pack up the system. In just over two hours they were able to dismantle the system and have it on the road to Napier. After an overnight trip in torrential rain, Elmar delivered the hardware for Michael in the early morning hours of the next day. Michael was able to complete testing less than 24 hours later. It took just over 36 hours to dismantle and reinstall the system after moving it 260kms East.
Both Elmar and Michael make it clear, there would have been no way to do this without the combination of BladeCenter technology and the server consolidation. A centralised infrastructure running off virtualised servers, delivering thin client services at the branches and back-end administrative systems, was the right solution for Big Save Furniture.