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A-Z Maps – Introducing a Hyper-Converged solution

A-Z Maps approached Bechtle as they were looking to upgrade their storage solution. Their current Dell server and SAN were 7 years old and Dell do not support devices over 7 years old so, if any issues occurred, they would not be covered. It was therefore decided that it was not cost-effective to continue maintaining this aged infrastructure. With thousands of mapping and image files, A-Z Maps had a large volume of data. Due to the remote location of their office, high speed internet is not easily accessible and it was therefore vital for A-Z Maps that these files could be stored locally and not in the Cloud.

Project details.

AZ-logo
  • Server & Storage
  • Manufacturing
  • Scale Computing
  • <250 employees

Bechtle’s Solution

A-Z Maps approached Bechtle to discuss a replacement. They did not have a specific solution in mind but specified that it should be simpler to manage than their existing infrastructure. Speaking with their Account Manager and our Server & Storage specialist, several options were proposed by Bechtle. These included HPE, Nutanix, SimpliVity and Dell/EMC. Having previously heard of Scale Computing, A-Z Maps also had an interest in their offering. A-Z Maps particularly liked the process and collaboration offered by both Bechtle and Scale Computing and felt that it was the solution that best suited their requirements.

 

As part of the decision process, A-Z Maps also attended a ‘Get Your Geek On’ Workshop with HP. Developed by Bechtle, these unique workshops provide a hands-on, technical opportunity for customers to get first class experience of new products – without pressure to purchase them. 

 

The specific workshop that A-Z Maps attended centred around designing a highly available software defined storage environment and it covered:

 

  • A demonstration of Instant On with HPE hyper-converged solutions
  • Best practice design of a hyper-converged environment
  • Installing and configuring a software defined SAN for Hyper-V and VMWare
  • Veeam solutions for hyper-converged environments

 

The day provided the participants with the skills to design and build a highly available storage environment that they could take back to their business. This workshop proved helpful for A-Z Maps as it allowed for them to explore some of the options without pressure.

 

Scale delivered a demo system to the A-Z Maps office for a period of 1 week which enabled them to get hands-on experience of the equipment and put it through its paces before making any final decisions. Following on from the demo and quotes provided by Bechtle, A-Z Maps decided to go ahead with the HC3 Hyper-Converged solution offered by Scale Computing.

 

The Benefits

The biggest challenge for A-Z Maps was the transition from the old to the new solution. Previously using VMWare, A-Z Maps had full visibility of all updates taking place and any movements within the system. With the new HC3 solution, this visibility is no longer required as it all takes place behind the scenes. The challenge has been in changing the mindset to simply trust that everything is working as it should. Following the deployment of the new solution, there have been no performance issues and A-Z Maps are very pleased.

 

The new solution has saved both money and time. Previously, the IT Technician would have spent his weekends updating the systems. Now, he simply spends one hour going through updates with Scale Computing and arranges a date and time that he would like the updates to take place – taking the stress out of his day and giving him more time to do other things. Although the other solutions had lower acquisition costs, the operational efficiency proved more valuable for A-Z Maps.

 

As a result of the solution supplied by Bechtle and Scale Computing, A-Z Maps now have DR capabilities, enhanced business continuity and a simple, easy to use solution with ongoing support. The new infrastructure will enable A-Z Maps to further expand their offering to include additional digital products, wallpapers, and wall art alongside their current mapping publications.

Dan Tonge, Systems Manager, Geographers’ A-Z Map Company Ltd
A-Z Maps.
“After looking at various other solutions in the market, Bechtle and Scale offered us exactly what we needed – a complete, easy to manage platform with a highly responsive support team”

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