Business Challenge

Incorporated in 1994, GRG Public Resources Ltd, and its sister company Recovery Management Services Ltd. works with police forces and fire services across the UK providing 24-hour, year-round call handling for vehicle removal, emergency boarding of premises and keyholder lists. Based in Stafford, its centrally located administration offices and purpose-built state of the art control room is perfectly placed to deliver professional services to clients, wherever they are located in the UK.

GRG PRL operates from a single location and employs approximately 100 staff members. Paul Blaylock, the company’s technology manager, initially deployed VMware Essentials with three server hosts, but realized quickly they couldn’t access all of VMware’s features like high availability, or the ability to setup test environments, without a SAN. Additionally, their storage infrastructure was becoming cumbersome to manage. GRG PRL wanted to add storage that was compatible with VMware, without introducing more hardware, vendors or overall complexity into the infrastructure.

Paul reviewed StarWind’s solution, but didn’t like that the platform was Windows-based or that StarWind’s support department was located outside of the UK. He decided to replace aging HP servers with two new Dell servers and added StorMagic SvSAN to simplify GRG PRL’s storage infrastructure, improve uptime and unlock all of VMware’s benefits, without having to install a physical SAN.

Solution

The two Dell servers running VMware and SvSAN are running many virtual machines (VMs) that are critical to the operation. The primary function is to manage the bulk of call handling systems, including private branch exchange (PBX) phone systems and Mitel PBX Solutions phones. Hundreds of phone lines receive constant, simultaneous inbound calls that are routed by management software to various call handlers within the company. Other virtual machines (VMs) running on the system are a Windows-based call recorder, and a Linux SRC that connects to the PBX and records the inbound call audio and some production SQL servers.

Two other physical servers being used by GRG PRL are: an Arcserve UDP standalone physical server (in the same location), for agentless backup that sends data to disk using VMware snapshots for backup; and another remote server that runs the SvSAN witness, to ensure that “split-brain” risk is eliminated.

Since installing SvSAN, approximately 80 percent of GRG PRL’s applications run on StorMagic. Paul has alleviated management headaches, is now able to set up test environments when needed and can access rich features without the costs and burden associated with deploying a physical SAN.

Why StorMagic

GRG Public Resources chose StorMagic SvSAN for several reasons, including:

  • Improved Availability - In the past, if server failed, GRG PRL previously depended solely on tape backup. With SvSAN, they’ve realized a 100 percent improvement in data availability in the event of host failure.
  • Guaranteed Uptime - With their previous infrastructure, if a server had gone offline, their business would have potentially experienced downtime for days. SvSAN means their assets are available 24x7 to meet their key business requirements.
  • Cost Savings - StorMagic was a less expensive overall solution and didn’t require upgraded VMware licensing fees.
  • Exceptional Support - StorMagic’s service has been excellent from set up on day one, and is located locally in the UK, in GRG PRL’s same time zone, with no language barriers.

Technical Configuration

Server Configuration (Per Server)
SvSAN License StorMagic SvSAN Standard Edition
Hardware Dell
CPU Two CPU sockets with 12 cores per CPU
Memory 393GB capacity
Storage Four disks totaling 3.6TB capacity; RAID-5 protection
Networking 1Gbit through a switch between the two servers
Hypervisor VMware vSphere Essentials Plus
Applications SQL, PBX call handling/routing, audio recording
Data Protection Arcserve UDP
GRG Public Resources logo

Company Name: GRG Public Resources Ltd
HQ Location: Stafford, UK
Type of Business: Call centers
Number of locations: 1

“StorMagic SvSAN delivers the features and benefits of a physical SAN without adding the complexities associated with more equipment from multiple vendors. With it, we have improved availability by 100 percent from our previous solution and are no longer concerned with downtime risks associated with server failures.”

Paul Blaylock, Technology Manager, GRG Public Resources

Simple

Provides a true 'set and forget' solution for any environment using centralized deployment and management - whether for thousands of sites or just one.

Cost Effective

Eliminates physical SANs by converging compute and storage into a lightweight commodity server footprint thereby dramatically lowering costs.

Flexible

Delivers on today’s performance needs leveraging any CPU and storage type whilst avoiding over-provisioning with the confidence of scaling for tomorrow’s demands.

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