Broadacres streamlines operations thanks to a new infrastructure and disaster recovery facility

Client: Broadacres Housing Association
Industry: Social Housing
Project: Full infrastructure renewal
Broadacres sees a 60% increase in delivery of key business applications, a tenfold increase in network speeds, a new recovery time objective (RTO) and Recovery Point Objective (RPO) of under four hours thanks to a new core infrastructure and backup and disaster recovery facility.
“The successful completion of this infrastructure project with our partners, Central Networks, has laid the foundation to allow Broadacres to improve and transform its ICT services, delivering benefits to internal and external customers."
Mark Birch, Head of ICT
Client

Broadacres is a not-for-profit housing association based in Northallerton, North Yorkshire. It owns and manages over 6,000 homes across Yorkshire and strives to offer its tenants first-class service.

Broadacres offers a wide range of services such as carrying out repairs, ensuring the home is kept to the highest standards, as well as providing its tenants with ways to save money.

Challenge

Broadacres was faced with an ageing infrastructure, which was no longer supported. It also wanted to leverage its existing investment in VMware to make the most cost-effective use of the licensing model.

Broadacres wanted to take advantage of solid-state drives (SSD) to boost system performance, especially around their core line of business databases. The main network core switch was no longer supported and only worked at 100mb/s, which was no longer suitable for their requirements.

Finally, Broadacres wanted to upgrade their backup and disaster recovery facility to bring it in line with the RTO and RPO requirements of the organisation.

Solution

Central started by reviewing the core switches that were at end-of-life with a maximum throughput of just one gigabyte per second with no option for upgrade. Central suggested a new 10-gigabyte core switch backbone using CISCO switches to provide a new, future-proofed framework.

The core infrastructure set-up was upgraded to Fujitsu servers and storage, including the new and increasingly affordable SSD drives. These two elements helped make significant improvements to application performance and staff productivity.

With the growing volumes and increasing sensitivity of stored data, Central reviewed Disaster Recovery RTO and RPOs and recommended a Veeam backup-server for the production site and replication server at a remote location in Manchester.

Results

Central seamlessly implemented the new systems over two weeks without any downtime for users.

Broadacres has since experienced a 60% increase in desktop performance speed throughout its core applications, as well as its RTO and RPO reducing from 24 hours to four hours or less. Hardware is now running 10 times faster to connect all core devices on the network.

The Broadacres IT team is also now able to rapidly restore files and whole servers. Its busy Contact Centre has also benefited from being able to open and process multiple records at the same time, streamlining its operations.

“Following the successful completion of our infrastructure project with our partners Central Networks we saw as much as a 60% improvement in the delivery of key business applications; a tenfold increase in networking speeds; a new RTO and RPO of under four hours and all delivered with zero downtime for our users. This work has laid the foundation to allow Broadacres to improve and transform our ICT services delivering benefits to internal and external customers.” Mark Birch, Head of ICT

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