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.
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.
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 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.