Vital upgrades for business growth
Western’s regular reviews with Superior identified the need to replace their server system – a substantial but necessary undertaking. As Pippa Toogood, Western’s Senior Account Manager, explains, “The old system of several Xserves was becoming old, obsolete and no longer able to be supported. We were looking to combine the functionality of different servers into one.”
Western undertook a complete analysis of the existing servers, taking time to understand the data requirements now and for the future. Part of the scope was to improve fault tolerance and redundancy, providing robust data protection and an improved disaster recovery solution using the latest file synchronisation strategies.
The solution consisted of a Mac Pro running OS X server connected to enterprise fibre channel RAID storage from Promise via an ATTO Thunderlink adaptor. This server was then synchronised to a secondary Mac mini running OS X server, connected to a Promise Pegasus2 Thunderbolt RAID. Western scripted the synchronisation using P5 Synchronize from Archiware. The software performs an overnight sync of a huge amount of data created each day. This new solution has allowed Superior to implement a disk-to-disk-to-tape backup strategy with the final backup being to an LTO tape storage unit for long-term offline storage.
Implementation without interruption
Such a major IT intervention to a busy company inevitably brings major implementation issues. A vital goal was to copy huge amounts of data to the new servers with minimal disruption to Superior’s demanding deadlines. Western’s plans included the careful monitoring of Superior’s production schedule until they finally pushed the button to set into action a busy weekend to swap old for new.
“Our engineers worked out of hours throughout the weekend to ensure that on Monday morning, everything was back up and running. Some people didn’t even realise there had been a change except that things were a little quicker,” Pippa Toogood, Senior Account Manager, Western.
Continued innovation with Western and Apple
Superior has always trusted both Western and the new Apple innovations that they introduce to the company. Paul Bridgewood, IT Manager and Continuous Improvement Manager, knows the importance of continually investing in the right technology. “What we didn’t want to do is to buy a slightly cheaper system and then pay the price with numerous call outs and other costs. We feel that with Apple – everything fits,” he says.
Both companies know the value of innovation to stay ahead of the competition. Western always knows the value of understanding and matching the standards of each of their business customers.
“Superior isn’t afraid to invest in cutting-edge technology. As the business has grown, Western has been there to support us.” James Hodgkiss Associate Director, Superior.
"If we’re not innovating, someone else will. It’s what keeps us one step ahead of the competition.”
James Hodgkiss, Associate Director, Superior.