As the Swiss National Science Foundation’s (SNF) IT infrastructure increasingly fell short of the demands placed on it in terms of performance and scalability, the organisation’s IT staff decided to have their landscape reviewed by an external party in order to identify ways that would unlock the required capabilities.
“Our IT performance was sub-par. When we discussed our situation with Bechtle, they proposed an IT audit to gain the necessary insights. The Bechtle expert who performed the audit was able to uncover many ways to optimise our infrastructure and we were also very impressed with his professional approach. He was very open to dialogue, pro-active and convincing without trying to force any particular solution on us. Bechtle provided us with an expert outside view, was very attentive in terms of what we actually need, very flexible in responding to our input and always thinking ahead. We chose a partner who was truly seeing eye to eye with us,” says Patrick Vuagniaux.
The project’s primary goal was to accelerate IT services for SNF’s employees. At the same time, the IT staff wanted to enable centralised long-term data backups.
“Our IT infrastructure was out of step with our requirements and we were looking for a solution that could keep the pace for the long run. At the same time, we are dealing with huge amounts of data we need to be able to back up and quickly restore at any given moment. That’s why we were also looking to centralise our backup routines,” explains Mr Vuagniaux.
Perhaps the biggest challenge Bechtle’s teams had to tackle was the short notice at which they had to propose a solution. They really had to showcase their responsiveness. Once SNF had approved of the experts’ recommendations and accepted the quote for a new infrastructure, it was up to Bechtle’s salesforce to confirm within just a week that Bechtle would be able to deliver. A backup solution and support services were subsequently incorporated into the quote.
With Bechtle, we had an expert partner by our side who would always listen to what we need and require. Bechtle’s team was very professional, provided valuable input without trying to steer us, and answered every one of our questions. We have built some solid and trusted relationships with both its sales staff and technology experts, and we’re looking forward to working with Bechtle again on future IT projects.
The Bechtle teams managed the project top to bottom, implementing an end-to-end migration to SNF’s requirements. Our specialists installed two Dell EMC Compellent arrays, a Dell EMC PowerEdge server, a Dell EMC storage server, a Dell EMC tape library, and a Dell EMC Data Domain. They then assisted SNF’s IT staff during the implementation of the new storage architecture, as well as the installation and configuration of the Cisco switches.
Bechtle also provided the customer with a thorough documentation of the new infrastructure. They provided support as SNF migrated its first server, educated its IT staff on the new solution and delivered the necessary documentation for ongoing support. “We now have a scalable infrastructure at our disposal that allows us to integrate future projects. We were very pleased that Bechtle proposed a number of approaches and left the final decision to us.”
A second project phase saw the implementation of a Veeam solution, the configuration of backup routines, and the migration of the backup job.
Patrick Vuagniaux: “The Veeam solution is nothing like our previous backup method. We are especially pleased with the simple user interface and with how reliable it is.” Finally, our experts verified the equipment’s redundancy mechanisms and advised the customer on how to operate the Veeam solution, joining SNF’s IT team for one day a month over four months to make sure they could successfully employ best practices.
“Working with Bechtle on a new infrastructure was a remarkable experience and both our colleagues and IT staff are very happy with the result. The optimised performance is really impressive. Everyone benefits from the speed and capabilities of our new system. It also allows us to save considerable time as it’s so easy to manage, reliable, and scalable. Operations are smooth running and we are now free to shift our focus to new projects”, explains Patrick Vuagniaux.