The EWL cooperative – IT infrastructure and support for the Lauterbrunnen energy, electricity and IT company.

A hyperconverged, redundant infrastructure built on HPE SimpliVity connects EWL’s information technology to the future while dramatically streamlining maintenance. Bechtle’s complementary 360° support services further relieve the energy and service provider’s small IT department.

Project details.

  • Server & Storage
  • Professional Services
  • Public sector
  • HPE, Vmware
  • <250 employees

Starting pointing.

EWL is a public service cooperative that operates three hydroelectric facilities, delivering sustainable energy to the six villages of the municipality of Lauterbrunnen. In addition, EWL provides electrical and communications services, including planning and installation, web access and IT. Its business customers include some 60 hotels in the region, which receive a variety of services from EWL ranging from WLAN infrastructures to hospitality applications.
 

The service sector is a highly competitive playing field. With prices under constant pressure from other actors, companies must be able to rely on a highly efficient, consolidated and automated IT infrastructure if they want to retain their edge. Operating two isolated IT environments for in-house and customer service delivery, EWL found its architecture to be out of step with the market. With twice the maintenance and support binding substantial resources, and a hardware fleet nearing the end of its service life, it was high time to refresh.

 

Project objectives.

EWS wanted to consolidate its internal and customer-side IT into a unified, state-of-the-art infrastructure. In order to ensure reliable service delivery to customers, a portion of the support requirements was to be outsourced to a third-party provider. In addition, a high degree of automation through an HPE SimpliVity platform should relieve EWS’s IT staff of repetitive tasks.
 

Bechtle takes our custom just as seriously as the big players’. They’ve proven this time and again, especially when we’ve found ourselves in a critical spot.

Anton Mattmann, Head of Digital Services

Process.

In the summer of 2018, EWL and Bechtle sat down to work out the exact requirements on the future IT environment. In the fall of the same year, the in-house end of the concept went live, with the integration of customer services following soon after. The cooperative’s business developed fast, and in the spring of the following year, EWS already had to scale up its storage capacity.
 

Solution.

Bechtle deployed two dual-site HPE SimpliVity 380 nodes each for EWS’s in-house IT as well as its server farm running customer services. These hyperkonverged systems consolidate computing power, storage capacity and storage network in a single node and enable unified management with VMware vCenter.

 

A support agreement means EWL’s own IT staff can now rely on expert backup from Bechtle. EWL’s on-call organisation enables round-the-clock services for its end customers. In-house support for the HPE SimpliVity infrastructure receives on-demand assistance from Bechtle, with reactive 2nd and 3rd level support provided on weekdays between 8:00 and 18:00, a response time of 30 minutes, and an intervention time of 4 hours. Bechtle's service desk acts as the single point of contact for EWS.   

 

The 360° support package covers all on-site IT services related to the HPE SimpliVity environment and have both a direct and indirect impact on the areas of computing, data center, network and storage. Workplace support is still carried out by EWL’s own IT staff.

Business benefits.

Building on HPE SimpliVity, EWL’s new environment offers a state-of-the-art infrastructure. Thanks to its unified platform, it is much easier to manage than the cooperative’s previous IT landscape that consisted of heterogeneous vSphere environments. In addition, HPE SimpliVity also enables consistent storage virtualisation. The dual-site infrastructure is a big step up for EWL’s technology backbone: Its data centres now fit on a smaller footprint and network administration is now much simpler, while HPE SimpliVity features such as snapshots, deduplication and data compression proof to be extremely useful time savers.

 

Anton Mattmann, head of Digital Services at EWL: “One of the most impressive feats of HPE SimpliVity is indeed its data compression capability. We have achieved shrink ratios of up to 48:1. The speed at which the VMs handle manipulations such as migrations or snapshots is also astounding.”
 

With the extra cover of Bechtle’s 360° support, the IT team can now focus on its strategic tasks and continue to innovate and develop EWL’s digital service portfolio.
 

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