Case Studies

Zinus, Inc. Partners with Bluetowne to Design, Configure and Deploy Wireless Infrastructure for New 460K sq. ft. US Distribution Center

zinus-logo-for-web-testimonials“One of the reasons I chose Bluetowne is because they spent a lot of time on site understanding our infrastructure prior to winning the project. I wanted to partner with a company that actually cares about what they do—and with Bluetowne it was clear that they’re not just about selling services and moving on. I greatly value our ongoing relationship and the high level of responsiveness, and cannot tell you how much peace it gives me knowing Bluetowne will handle anything that comes along.” – Jerrin James, Head of Logistics and Supply Chain Operations, Zinus, Inc.

THE CLIENT

As the pioneers in comfort innovation, Zinus’ patented compressed and rolled mattresses were one of the first on the market, over 20 years ago. They have shipped millions of mattresses and beds through their major distributors that include Amazon, Wayfair, Target, Sam’s Club and Wal-Mart. With production in their own factory in Xiamen, China, corporate offices are located in Seoul, Korea with the US corporate office and distribution center in Northern California. Rapidly expanding and in need of an additional US distribution center, Zinus locked in 460K sq. ft. of warehouse and office space in Summerville, SC.

THE CHALLENGE

Zinus had a timeframe of two weeks to design, configure and deploy a wireless infrastructure across the 460K sq. ft. of high-volume warehouse and office space, and needed a partner that could execute swiftly and accurately.  It was imperative that the wireless infrastructure could immediately support full operations on the specified go live date without any hiccups.

THE SOLUTION

Bluetowne meticulously conducted a wireless survey of the entire warehouse over multiple site visits, and delivered a design using best-in-class technologies that would support Zinus’ critical performance requirements.  As part of the solution Bluetowne configured and installed 47 Cisco Meraki ruggedized dual-band wireless access points, strategically placed for optimum performance and coverage both inside the facility and extending outside the loading dock area to cover the freight containers.  5 Cisco Meraki PoE network switches were installed to power the wireless access points, provide L3 routing for multiple networks, cloud managed visibility and control down to the port level, and data collection and monitoring of the end-points connected to each switch. The solution also required 5,800 ft. of copper and fiber optic cabling that was run throughout the warehouse.  Bluetowne provides Zinus with ongoing infrastructure managed services to support the solution and ensure optimal performance though proactive monitoring, maintenance and remediation.

THE RESULT

Zinus has a solid, high functioning wireless infrastructure that supports the high demands of its daily operations, including the continuous connectivity of 100 handheld scanners throughout the facility campus.  With Bluetowne’s infrastructure managed service offering, Zinus enjoys peace of mind knowing any issues will be taken care of before they impact operations. The solution achieved such desirable results, Zinus is planning to partner with Bluetowne to deploy a similiar wireless infrastructure in its Northern California distribution center.

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Live Oak Consultants Partners with Bluetowne to Achieve Worry-Free IT That Meets the Mission Critical Demands of Its End-Users

image“Bluetowne is there when we need them, without the overhead associated with having a dedicated IT person on my staff. They are intimately familiar with our environment and resolve any issues that arise quickly. Bluetowne provides a critical support function that enables me to focus on what we do best – provide high-value, quality engineering services.” – Richard L. Owens, PE, Managing Principal, Live Oak Consultants

THE CLIENT

Live Oak Consultants (LOC) is a full service civil, structural, mechanical, plumbing and electrical engineering firm providing quality, custom solutions to meet their client’s needs using the latest technologies. LOC is designed to be responsive to projects of all sizes, and boasts an impressive client list that includes names like Boeing, SC Ports Authority, Gulfstream Aerospace, Trident Technical College, MUSC, Robert Bosch, Clemson University, The College of Charleston, BP Cooper River, Lowcountry Orphan Relief, Metanoia, Water Mission, WestRock, Ingevity, Nucor, and Patriots Point Development Authority.

THE CHALLENGE

LOC was growing from a small firm, and reached the point where they could not effectively manage their own IT, and needed outside help and expertise. Due to the nature of LOC’s work, they demand an always available, secure environment with large file storage and high performance computing requirements for massive customer projects. Remote workers must also be able to operate effectively utilizing the firm’s CAD software and large file storage at a high performance level. LOC needed a partner who could not only lead their IT strategy to support the company’s fast growth and technology requirements, but also manage the daily operations and end-user requests so they could focus on providing responsive, high end service to clients.

THE SOLUTION

Bluetowne’s advanced service desk, monitoring and proactive maintenance solution was implemented to create a cohesive and high performance environment to meet the demands of LOC’s mission critical end-user requirements. With an infrastructure powered by Cisco, Meraki and Dell, LOC’s operating platform was tuned and optimized to provide higher throughput network capacity and visibility into network bottlenecks and congestion. Bluetowne implemented an end-user compute standardization and hardware validation based on repeatable custom computer images, providing seamless functionality with LOC’s multi-layer CAD and design applications. Finally, layered security was deployed across the environment to provide central logging of application and hardware activity. Bluetowne’s managed platform services support application was rolled out to provide end-users the ability to live chat with a remote technician, create support tickets efficiently and provide on-the-fly self help by running local system maintenance and tuning commands.

THE RESULT

Bluetowne’s BlueCare managed platform service provided LOC with a hands-off solution that addressed their high performance IT operating requirements and provided standardization in a responsive, repeatable and economical deliverable. End-users now operate at a higher productivity level with greater confidence in system up-time. All infrastructure and end-user computing systems are regularly monitored and tuned in accordance with industry best-practices and Bluetowne field-experienced engineering validation. As a result of Bluetowne’s ongoing service delivery, LOC is able to scale effectively, achieve operational efficiency, and proceed with confidence in achieving success with their demanding daily workload. LOC’s IT infrastructure is stable, effective and provides the firm competitive confidence in their marketplace.

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Young Clement Rivers Partners with Bluetowne to Virtualize Physical Servers and Applications to Increase Control and Operational Efficiency

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“Bluetowne got what we needed without trying to oversell us “stuff.” They spent a lot of time on site understanding the dynamics of our firm and our users’ needs, and designed the perfect solution to help us achieve our goals.” – Cy Nordoff, IT Director, Young Clement Rivers

THE CLIENT

Young Clement Rivers (YCR) is a law firm headquartered in downtown Charleston, SC that is recognized locally, nationally, and internationally as a leading force in complex litigation and transactional work. YCR’s seasoned attorneys practice in nineteen different legal areas, representing clients in almost every aspect of civil law from Admiralty to Workers’ Compensation.

THE CHALLENGE

While YCR had enjoyed years of operational success with their expanding local datacenter, management and implementation of new servers in an all-physical environment was placing a strain on the organization from an IT management perspective. Declining operational efficiencies were being noticed by upper level management in all areas, and YCR needed an effective way to fully manage the local datacenter stack while maintaining control over server and application growth.

THE SOLUTION

YCR partnered with Bluetowne to migrate all physical servers to a new VMware virtualized cluster. YCR requested the use of Dell hardware for both storage and compute in the new environment, and Bluetowne provided a flexible solution design utilizing YCR’s preferred hardware manufacturer at the time. The solution included Dell ESXi hosts, Dell EqualLogic iSCSI SAN and Dell Force10 iSCSI switch stack all under the control and oversight of VMware vCenter. The solution also included the creation and implementation of new Citrix application and Microsoft Exchange clusters for increased user demand. Bluetowne provided in-progress project and subject matter training and guidance for YCR, providing a smooth transition to YCR staff oversight and management of the new local datacenter.

THE RESULT

Today, YCR can effectively control and manage all hosts, 20+ virtual servers and storage environments, utilizing a single pane of glass. Increased operational efficiencies within the YCR IT department have enabled the team to expand their own knowledge of the virtualization stack, providing greater influence on the direction of the firm’s IT budgeting and growth decisions. YCR’s user-base can now securely access all of the firms’ applications from any device, anywhere, utilizing the Citrix remote access platform. YCR’s best-in-class infrastructure enables them to better serve their clients, provides state of the art security for sensitive client data, and positions the firm for future growth.

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Cipher Pharmaceuticals Partners with Bluetowne to Upgrade and Migrate Infrastructure to New U.S. Headquarters with Zero Operational Downtime

Cipher“A lot of people may claim they can do a job, and there are a lot of ways to get a job done.  But at the end of the day there are only a handful of people out there who really know what they’re doing and will do it the right way—and that’s Bluetowne.” – Art Waite, Director of Operations, Cipher Pharmaceuticals

“Our team was extremely impressed with Bluetowne’s level of planning and execution.  Our office move went flawlessly.” – Mark Spina, Senior VP of Finance and Treasury, Cipher Pharmaceuticals

THE CLIENT

Cipher Pharmaceuticals is a growing specialty company with a focus on dermatology. Their goal is to develop and acquire best-in-class skin care solutions for unmet medical needs. Cipher has everything it takes – strong financials, a robust and growing product portfolio, and savvy executive leadership with proven commercial execution capabilities.

THE CHALLENGE

Prior to engaging Bluetowne, the original company operating under the name Innocutis was acquired by Cipher, a public company, and experienced extremely fast-paced growth both in the U.S. and Canada. They were faced with the need to replace an aging computing and networking infrastructure to keep up with the growth demand. Cipher was also establishing a new U.S. headquarters, and had the requirement of zero operational downtime during the IT infrastructure replacement and migration to the new location.

THE SOLUTION

Bluetowne was indispensible in assisting with the new office planning and infrastructure build-out, working hand in hand with Cipher’s leadership team to provide support and clear direction. To facilitate growth and performance demand, the existing infrastructure was brought up to modern day “best practice” standards utilizing the latest technologies. To handle the high volume data demand of Cipher’s user base, Cisco Catalyst switches and Cisco Meraki wireless networking gear was deployed throughout the new U.S. headquarters. These technologies provided traffic segmentation, data governance and compliance oversight. Additionally, the server infrastructure was upgraded with a VMware physical-to-virtual migration of all servers.

THE RESULT

Cipher experienced no operational downtime during the transition, achieving a critical goal of the project. Cipher also achieved operational efficiency across all user functional groups while ensuring data control and integrity. The networking architecture provided seamless control of corporate-owned, BYOD, and guest devices independently. The VMware virtualized environment ensured effective utilization of hardware resources, flexible migration of workloads with Cipher’s existing cloud environment, and expanded options for disaster recovery and data availability. Cipher is well positioned for future growth as the company continues to scale.

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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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