UEC Electronics Partners with Bluetowne to Address Storage Needs, Saving Thousands of Dollars a Day in Avoided Downtime

UEC Electronics Partners with Bluetowne to Address Storage Needs, Saving Thousands of Dollars a Day in Avoided Downtime

“We were impressed with Bluetowne’s knowledge and professionalism.  They were extremely flexible and cooperative in helping us work through and resolve any issues that popped up, and had a level of organization and follow-through that the other partners we considered lacked.” – Julie Schultz, Information Technology Manager, UEC Electronics

LogoTHE CLIENT

UEC Electronics (UEC) specializes in the development and sale of mission critical products. They offer comprehensive solutions in engineering design, product development, rapid prototyping, and lean, innovative manufacturing services, as well as their own line of mobile power products.

 

THE CHALLENGE

Prior to engaging Bluetowne, UEC’s biggest challenge was a general lack of IT expertise as it related to specific areas of their infrastructure. They struggled with various issues, including a mixed 4.1 and 5.1 VMware environment, and local storage that was near capacity and was not shared, centrally managed or expandable. Server maintenance plans were cumbersome, and required downtime and after-hours work. UEC relies on mission critical applications every day that could mean thousands of dollars in lost productivity should they experience any downtime during business hours. Knowing the vulnerability of their current infrastructure and that this was a chance they could not afford to take, they partnered with Bluetowne to help design and deploy a solution to take their infrastructure to the next level, and ensure resiliency and ease of expansion as the company continued to grow.

THE SOLUTION

The deployment took one week, with zero downtime during business hours, and included: upgrading VMware hosts from 4.1 and 5.1 to 5.5, deploying VMware vCenter 5.5, deployment of a new iSCSI shared storage SAN, a new Cisco iSCSI and virtualization switch stack and expanded vSwitch capacity with additional NIC’s in each host. Bluetowne also migrated all virtual servers to the new platform.

THE RESULT

The VMware upgrade allowed UEC to take advantage of VMware VMotion and other advanced virtualization features. The new SAN helped UEC address their storage issues, including minimizing server downtime and increasing storage capacity and scalability to accommodate future growth. They were able to realize virtualization cluster advanced redundancy, and saw a performance increase due to the networking and storage reconfiguration. They can now increase their Windows server capacity and footprint on the fly, and seamlessly migrate resources during scheduled maintenance windows. To wrap up the project, Bluetowne ensured that UEC’s staff was trained on how to maintain and support the SAN and new virtualization architecture through thorough documentation and knowledge transfer.

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The GEL Group Partners With Bluetowne to Increase Performance and Position Company for Future Growth

“The level of knowledge is what attracted us to Bluetowne—they delivered solid consulting and offered clear direction to help us solve our business challenges. Watching my colleagues’ responses and seeing them get excited when Bluetowne was presenting a solution was a good barometer for me that we chose the right partner.” – James Westmoreland, Director, Radio Chemistry Division, The GEL Group

the-gel-group-squarelogo-1425888197402THE CLIENT
The GEL Group (GEL) is a leading analytical laboratory, engineering and consulting company. Since 1981, GEL has provided a unique breadth of analytical testing, environmental consulting, civil engineering and geophysical engineering services that meet high standards of quality and accuracy to a broad and enduring client base.

THE CHALLENGE
Prior to engaging Bluetowne, GEL’s biggest challenge was the diversity and legacy of the systems that they manage—and the ability to handle the accelerated change in the industry. Due to support expirations and feature enhancements within VMware products, GEL knew it was imperative that they complete an upgrade in an effort to stay current and realize the full potential of their infrastructure. GEL was also experiencing scalability issues with their storage—the current raid configuration and storage capacity was not poised for future growth. GEL knew that they needed to employ a trusted technology advisor from the start to ensure that the end result was a reliable infrastructure that would scale as the business continued to grow.

THE SOLUTION
Bluetowne partnered with GEL to assist with two different project implementations to help address their challenges. The first was to complete a successful upgrade on their current VMware infrastructure from version 3.5 to 5.1. The environment consisted of building a new vCenter and upgrading 3 hosts, while using iSCSI as the connectivity to shared SAN storage. The second project involved replacing the existing SAN environment with a new EMC VNX5200 array and migrating all existing data to the new environment, while keeping in line with the iSCSI infrastructure.

THE RESULT
The VMware upgrade project allowed GEL to take advantage of the renewed support by VMware, and all of the enhanced features offered in version 5.1. Some of those features included SSO, thin provisioning, centralized license management in vCenter, iSCSI binding, storage VMotion within the GUI, and much more. When GEL completed the storage refresh project the following year, they not only received a best-in-the-market SAN, but they were now able to realize vast improvements in performance, as well as the ability to scale the EMC VNX5200 to meet the demands of future growth.

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