In 2010 with a number of their IT servers reaching the end of life, together with a requirement to adjust to a new business structure the group IT service needed to rethink their Strategy. The business needed a new IT infrastructure that would achieve a number of goals.
First it had to be flexible enough to support an ever changing portfolio of group companies in the most cost efficient manner. Secondly, it had to be robust and secure as the services delivered to customers depended on the continuous availability of IT.
This was especially true for those group businesses such as Asteral that provided strategically important support services into the NHS. In order for Asteral to continue providing services to these clients they had to demonstrate that they could comply with a stringent business continuity and disaster recovery regime.
Brook Henderson asked Connexion, their existing IT support partner, to help advise on both the technology and its implementation.
Neal Murphy, Group IT Manager commented
"We gave Connexion the challenge of finding us an appropriate infrastructure solution. We were impressed with their professional approach of ensuring that any solution design was aligned to our business objectives and then following this up with a systematic plan and implementation process."
A new IT strategy
The implementation of this new infrastructure platform brought together several disparate server systems, one for each managed company, into one environment. Through using the latest virtualisation and SAN storage technology this new architecture was designed and built to withstand multiple points of failure and therefore to enable continuous operation.
The virtualisation ensured that processing capacity was shared amongst a number of servers so that if an individual server failed the others would absorb the load to provide a “non-stop” service. In addition, data from the office infrastructure is replicated to an offsite server and disk storage system to provide a full disaster recovery solution. One major benefit of this design is that disaster recovery testing can be undertaken offsite without affecting the main business systems.
The combination of a highly available office system backed up by secure offsite data replication ensures that IT can now better support the business objectives. It provides a more dependable and scalable service that is easier to manage at the same time as fulfilling the customers’ rigorous business continuity compliance requirements.
We gave Connexion the challenge of finding us an appropriate infrastructure solution. We were impressed with their professional approach.Neal Murphy, Group IT Manager
Brook Henderson is a privately owned organisation with a proven track record in creating value within the UK health and energy sectors. As a holding company they have used their expertise in asset and finance related activities to invest and build in a diverse portfolio of highly successful service businesses. These organisations provide a diverse range of services from maintaining high-tech imaging equipment in hospitals to developing sustainable onshore wind farms across the UK.
The capability of these businesses to provide value to customers is underpinned by a sophisticated IT service that provides timely operations and financial information as well as supporting their ability to communicate with clients.
Managed service to maintain performance
Although the performance of the new infrastructure environment was significantly greater than the one replaced, Brook Henderson realised that they needed help to ensure that it stayed that way. As with all IT systems, constant management is required to ensure that performance is optimised and any problems spotted early to reduce unforeseen downtime.
Brook Henderson therefore commissioned Connexion to maintain their environment through a proactive managed service contract. This service provides a help desk to respond to any issues, as well as proactive prevention services such as systems monitoring and regular onsite health checks and maintenance. In addition Connexion collates all the information gained from this service to provide proactive advice on how to develop and improve the IT delivery for the future.