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Infra Support – Dairy Farming


Customer Profile

A company in the dairy farming industry.

Problem Statement

The client needed a solution to assist them with multiple data centers and provide instruments to upgrade their existing application platforms. They needed to outsource this project to minimize the downtime specified in the Service Level Agreements (SLAs) with their customers. However, they wanted a trusted partner who could also provide a roadmap for the planning and execution of this initiative.

TechStar Solutions

Preparation
  • Identified the configurations, purposes, dependencies, and integrations of all components in the data center. Created an asset database to store this information.
  • Tracked weekly activity, since the centers were not static and had no change control processes in place.
  • Developed temporary change management processes for the duration of the project and supported management in the internal adoption of more formal processes.
  • Developed a complete data and application map, reviewed all network configurations, mapped out data traffic and redundant paths, and interviewed all technology owners to gain a solid understanding of all assets and intersystem dependencies.
Migration
  • Organized the project into workable groups given the size and complexity of the system. This would mitigate risk and allow for contingency planning.
  • Assigned every asset to a specific group based on identified dependencies and user/customer dependency.
  • Advised the customer that N+1 redundancy was needed since some systems could not be physically moved due to high availability and SLA requirements.
  • Negotiated terms with vendors for temporary “loaner” systems to provide the N+1 redundancy.
Verification
  • Advised the client to deploy a Pseudo Operational Network Domain (POND) prior to the migrations. This tests the effects of a migration under controlled conditions during a scheduled outage window. During POND testing, we were able to move devices into a new network domain within the existing data centers. This allowed each application owner to develop and document solutions before the physical moves.
Network Architecture, Engineering, and Deployment
  • Proposed a multi-gig Cisco architecture with end of the row configuration for the data center and corporate headquarters. (This met their bandwidth and performance needs at the best cost.)
  • Developed detailed configurations, staged the solutions, and deployed the new network.

Benefits

  • The customer’s migration was completed on time and under budget, with minimal downtime and only a few minor issues. This was a complex project that required a trusted partner who could offer meticulous planning.
  • The new data center systems have reduced energy consumption through virtualization and the upgrade of assets to newer, more energy-efficient solutions.
  • The new network architecture utilizes available bandwidth and resources more efficiently and fairly with comprehensive Quality of Service, QoS. VoIP, data, net-backups, web traffic, and the sharing of pipes without degradation of quality or slowdowns to critical systems.
  • The customer has realized significant cost savings by eliminating its operation of multiple data centers, reducing system complexities, and being more energy efficient.
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