May 2010 Prospect Hospice in Wroughton Deploy Highly-Available IT System

Prospect Hospice, a charity based in Wroughton, Wiltshire that provides dedicated end of life care, had an IT system that Geoff Bryan, their IT Manager, wanted to improve. Geoff was keen not only to improve the IT experience of his end-users but also the reliability of their mission critical applications and servers.

Geoff worked with Clarity IT Advisors to devise a very cost effective Highly Available (HA) solution. Clarity IT recommended virtualisation and a solution based upon Hyper-V in Microsoft Windows 2008 R2 using DataCore SANmelody as the storage foundation.

"The solution proposed by Clarity IT Advisors was a perfect fit. DataCore SANmelody is proven and cost effective and is backed up by 24/7/365 support. I’m confident our data is highly available and of good integrity. Hyper-V gives us all the features we need, like Live Migration, and complements our extensive experience in managing Windows servers. SANmelody and Hyper-V have given the hospice levels of availability that were previously far beyond our budget."

As Prospect Hospice is a charity Geoff pays special attention to the total cost of ownership and not just the initial purchase price. "The total cost of ownership is very important to us. Every penny wasted is a penny not spent on patient care. This solution was affordable and we knew upfront what our running costs for the first three years would be."

Since the deployment Geoff has been able to replace their existing Windows 2003 Terminal Servers with Windows 2008 R2 based Remote Desktop services further improving the IT experience for staff and volunteers at the hospice.

March 2010 St Laurence School, Wiltshire Upgrade their IT Infrastructure using Microsoft Hyper-V and DataCore SANmelody

The IT system at St Laurence School in Bradford-on-Avon, Wiltshire was running on hardware that was soon going to become uneconomical to maintain. They also wanted to improve the hardware and software reliability aspects of their IT system.

Clarity IT Advisors recommended a solution based upon DataCore SANmelody and Windows Server 2008 R2. DataCore SANmelody is a software solution that creates highly available Storage Area Networks (SANs) using PC-based x86 / x64 hardware. SANmelody virtualises physical disks and turns them into highly available “active / active” storage that supports automatic fail-over and fail-back. Windows Server 2008 R2, in conjunction with System Centre Virtual Machine Manager 2008 R2 (SCVMM) was used to turn the existing physical servers into virtual machines. The combination of SANmelody and Hyper-V gave St Laurence a highly flexible, reliable and scalable IT environment that was extremely cost effective.

Pete Benn, Network Manager, said "Our new system based on Hyper-V and SANmelody is exactly what we were looking for. All our servers are as fast or faster than they were before, all our applications and data are highly available, we can deploy new servers running Linux or Windows without any additional expenditure and we’ve reduced our maintenance and warranty costs."

January 2010 Cooper Gay, one of the world's largest privately owned Insurance and Reinsurance Broking Groups, use Clarity IT Advisors

Cooper Gay are a global, rapidly growing insurance broker based in the City of London and depend heavily on their IT to deliver their market leading insurance solutions in areas such as Marine, Aerospace, Construction, Engineering and Terrorism. DataCore SANmelody is at the heart of their IT infrastructure and is used to ensure that their policies and data are available quickly and highly reliable.

A large number of VMware ESX hosts use SANmelody to run the many virtual machine based servers that Cooper Gay rely on for their day-to-day operations.

Clarity IT Advisors helped Cooper Gay to upgrade their SAN nodes to the latest 64-bit version of DataCore SANmelody whilst ensuring that no downtime was required. Ian Goodwin, the lead consultant, also provided consultancy that will ensure Cooper Gay get the best possible levels of performance from their hardware and the expected levels of reliability and availability from DataCore SANmelody and their VMware ESX hosts.

For more information about DataCore SANmelody visit:
  • Create the Ideal, Cost Effective SAN with DataCore SANmelody
  • DataCore SANmelody and Virtualisation

January 2010 Clarity IT Provide DataCore Professional Services to Volkswagen Financial Services

Volkswagen Financial Services (VWFS) in the UK have used DataCore SANmelody for several years as the foundation of their highly available storage area network.

Since SANmelody was originally deployed, the performance and storage requirements at VWFS have grown considerably. To ensure they continued to remain well placed to handle increased storage, performance and availability demands it was decided to upgrade the hardware underlying their SANmelody.

Clarity IT Advisors as the UK's leading DataCore technical consultancy was chosen to help VWFS. Ian Goodwin, Clarity IT's lead consultant, helped VWFS refine their network infrastructure and new hardware configuration to ensure it provided the right levels of performance and capacity.

Since the upgrade, performance characteristics have improved (up to 8 fold) so much that even end users have noticed and given very positive feedback.

Established in 1994, VWFS is already the second largest finance subsidiary after its German parent company. VWFS AG was established in Germany in 1949 and has grown rapidly throughout the years. Stability and dependability are both core attributes of the organisation. In 2006 VWFS first recorded over 1 billion pounds sterling of consumer lending, a milestone which was a significant achievement for the company and has since been surpassed in subsequent years up to 2010. The UK administrative and operations headquarters are based at Milton Keynes, employing more than 400 people and serves over 250,000 customers across the UK.

December 2009 Tilbury Container Services use DataCore SANmelody with Windows Server Clusters

Clarity IT Advisors have recently finished commissioning a new highly available SANmelody storage area network for Tilbury Container Services (TCS). SANmelody will be the storage foundation for several new Windows clusters that will become the new fault tolerant, disaster recovery platform TCS will base all its computing services on.

TCS are preparing several new Windows clusters that will be focused on Microsoft Exchange, SQL Server and Hyper-V. DataCore SANmelody was chosen for its exceptional levels of performance, availability features and low cost per GB.

For more information about DataCore SANmelody visit:

  • Create the Ideal, Cost Effective SAN with DataCore SANmelody
  • DataCore SANmelody and Virtualisation
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