Elite Plastics is a packaging manufacturer supplying to trade professionals, merchants and builders. Its customers include builders’ merchant Jewson and plumbers’ merchant Graham. A family run business of 50 staff, Elite’s IT infrastructure is managed by one permanent member of staff.
The Challenge - Two aging servers
Elite Plastics uses email to handle the vast majority of orders coming into the business. The company was, however, concerned about the two aging servers which managed these emails and the ordering system. Both had been creating problems and were long overdue an upgrade.
IT manager, Simon Lewis, was having to spend a large amount of time charging hard drives and cleaning up temporary files to increase available memory. He also noticed that both servers were crashing with increasing regularity and feared a major crash which would cripple the business’ ability to take orders.
“We had previously suffered a major crash which had taken more than a week to recover from, using tape backup,” said Simon. “The longer we waited to change the servers the greater the danger was that we would suffer another crash where all information was wiped – it was real cause for concern.
“If this happened then no one in the office could do anything. We handle 95% of orders by email and if people were making purchase requests we wouldn’t know. If we couldn’t respond for a week then there is a real risk customers would go elsewhere. It would have been a nightmare.”
There was also added urgency as both servers were running the Windows 2003 server operating system (OS). As support for this OS was coming to an end, there was a concern that the servers would also become vulnerable to hackers.
The Solution - Migrate onto two new servers
Probrand, which has a long standing relationship supporting Elite Plastics with its IT infrastructure, advised on the best way to migrate the email and ordering systems onto two new servers, before carrying out the necessary work.
While conducting this migration, Probrand's engineers also upgraded the email system to the latest version of Microsoft Exchange.
To allay any additional concerns in regards to security or downtime, Probrand deployed a next generation firewall and improved the disaster recovery system by replacing the tape backup with an offsite cloud service.
The Results - Infrastructure protected against the loss of functionality and vital information
The deployment of two new servers, along with the security and backup measures that have been put in place, have given Elite Plastics much needed peace of mind. The company knows that its vital infrastructure is protected against the loss of functionality and vital information – which would debilitate the company and its ability to conduct any business.
This whole process also took place without having any significant impact on the organisation’s daily operations.