Virtualisation Solutions

Virtualisation is an important milestone in I.T., the time saving, power saving, redundancy and flexibility make it an essential for today’s needs. We have recognised the need and benefits virtualisation brings, and have been implementing it since 2006 an example of one of our implementations is below.

Situation

HarmerSlater is a rapidly growing accountants based in Surrey. They required an office move to accommodate more staff. Their primary server was approaching end of life so a review of their I.T. infrastructure was carried out with a view to the longer term I.T. strategy.

Requirements

Our review highlighted several issues that would become apparent over the coming years. The demands they would make on their I.T. infrastructure and systems would increase due to growing staff. With many dedicated accounts packages on the market (and their accountant versions), HarmerSlater would need to be able to use any/all of them and would need to upgrade both the packages and the data structure on a regular basis due to changing financial regulations. Due to the nature of the financial industry I.T. is critical at certain points in the year. At these times of the year their can be no loss of service and minimal maintenance windows.

Solution

We prescribed and implemented 2 physical servers attached to a SAN () and virtualised a total of 8 servers. The SAN utilises RAID for data integrity and redundancy (negating the risk of data loss and/or and downtime through hard disk failure). The 2 physical servers run VMWare Foundations which allows virtualisation of multiple hosts and rapid switching of one server to the other should a complete server develop a fault ensuring all virtual (host) servers remain operational. This allows any hardware maintenance to be carried out on either one of the servers with zero downtime.
Using Hub 'n' Spoke methodology all devices are linked to the network via at least 2 connections removing any single points of failure.
The various different functional servers can be rebooted with no impact on the others as required by software updates.

Additionally this setup