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Article Type: Case Study          Published: 09-2015         Views: 2290      

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Commercial vehicle systems manufacturer Truck-Lite is adopting an IaaS approach in order to enhance its Europe-wide infrastructure and processes.

Truck-Lite is a global leader in the design and manufacture of lights and mirrors and the use of LED technology for the automotive and commercial vehicle industry. Truck-Lite’s European operations are housed at a large state-of-the-art testing and manufacturing site in Harlow in Essex. It also has another site in Birmingham which manufactures specialist mirror systems while its largest European base is at Eisenach in Germany where it produces high quality lighting components.

Truck-Lite was in the process of upgrading its ERP system in Europe. The system is based on Infor enterprise database software and controls the sales, purchasing, finance, manufacturing and warehousing and even the design concepts for the lighting products the company makes. Truck-Lite needed a scalable and flexible solution to support the continuing growth in its European business.

High availability and strong Service Level Agreements (SLAs) were at the top of the priority list. The overall hosting requirement included the provisioning and hosting of servers, firewalls and network equipment combined with the monitoring and management of the environment with a Disaster Recovery solution enabled as well. The service needed to be driven by 24/7/365 support and had to be cost effective.

SEAMLESS MIGRATION
iomart was chosen to provide the managed data centre, managed private cloud, managed network hardware, managed connectivity and managed backup needed. Paul Beavis, Director of IT (European Operations) for Truck-Lite, explains, “We were in the process of reviewing our whole IT infrastructure to protect and build on our strong market position in Europe. We have a complex ERP system which needs to be introduced in stages across our three European sites. iomart was chosen because it could provide us with a sustainable and scalable solution that we could expand as time goes by and it was prepared to back this up with clearly defined responsibilities in the form of fully documented SLAs on all critical infrastructure and complete account management.”

The migration of the servers from the previous hosting site was seamless. The migration was staged by identifying the least used and smaller servers and creating a VMWare image and moving this to the iomart cloud overnight. The larger and heavily used servers where moved by the same process but usually over a weekend to prevent down-time for the users.

NO FAILURES, NO INTERRUPTIONS
iomart provides a highly available and robust hosting environment and a resilient and future-proofed network infrastructure for Truck-Lite in its Tier 3 London data centre. The platform consists of a cluster of VMware Host servers which run VMware vSphere Enterprise and Windows Server 2013. At the core of VMware vSphere is a robust virtualisation layer that abstracts processor, memory, storage and networking resources into multiple virtual machines that run side-by-side on the same physical server. This allows dynamic resource allocation with processing, RAM and disk space assigned to where it is most needed on the fly. iomart can upgrade to newer hardware for Truck-Lite without any effect on the running of the platform.

Paul Beavis explains, “By using VMware vSphere in a full private cloud clustered environment, we are guaranteed no hardware single point of failure and no interruption of service during maintenance or upgrades. It means we can expand our resources quickly and simply because the server instances are abstracted from the underlying hardware.”

BACKUP & DR
Truck-Lite has a SAN Storage solution using a Dell Equallogic PS6 100XS unit which provides approximately 9.3 Tb of useable space. A Backup Windows server delivers centralised management and enables both physical and virtual servers as well as “hot” SQL server backups meaning there is no database downtime for backing up.

The Disaster Recovery virtual platform is housed in one of iomart’s other fully owned and managed data centres and is based on three VMware Host servers using Veeam replication software. Inter-data centre communications are provided over an inter DC VLAN across iomart’s own private fibre network. Cisco firewalls and switching equipment provide enterprise class protection in both the production and DR environments.

SUPPORT NOW AND FOR THE FUTURE
iomart carries a range of accreditations including ISO 9001 and ISO 27001 and is independently audited and certified across a range of organisational criteria to ensure customers’ data remains secure and services remain highly available.

Paul Beavis continues, “The fact that iomart operates under strict SLAs and carries these important certifications means we can be sure that we meet all regulatory requirements. We know that if an issue does crop up with our platform it will be dealt with as soon as possible by iomart’s own engineers. It’s important to have someone you can get hold of quickly.”

The managed private cloud solution implemented for Truck-Lite by iomart is intended to enhance the company’s European infrastructure, processes, and business strategy and has reliability, efficiency and resilience at its core. The scalable and adaptable IaaS approach will support Truck-Lite’s business model and IT strategy over the coming years. More info: www.iomart.com

“By using VMware vSphere in a full private cloud clustered environment, we are guaranteed no hardware single point of failure and no interruption of service during maintenance or upgrades. It means we can expand our resources quickly and simply because the server instances are abstracted from the underlying hardware.”

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