ESPC Upgrade Boosts Performance while Delivering Savings

Case Study: IT & Cloud Services

ESPC (Edinburgh Solicitors Property Centre) was incorporated in 1971 and since that time has grown to become the leading force in residential property throughout central Scotland. The company combines the strength of marketing opportunities with access to a network of over 140 solicitor estate agents, providing homebuyers and sellers with a convenient, cost-effective and hassle-free means to buy and sell property.

The network is complemented by ESPC showrooms in Edinburgh and Dunfermline which offer a personal touch with advice on every aspect of buying and selling a property.

The online portal receives almost 1 million visits every month and it is vital that ESPC’s systems run 24 hours a day.

Castle had five years previously implemented a move to a virtualised infrastructure and ESPC felt that it was time to review the options to replace it.

Ian Rarity, IT Services Engineer at ESPC, said:

“We were seeing the beginning of capacity issues both in terms of SAN and CPU utilisation on actual hosts and wanted a new solution that would meet our needs for the next five years.

“We worked closely with the team at Castle to develop the most appropriate solution, replacing our old BladeCenter/SAN with a smaller number of higher specification servers and a new SAN. Other than the hosts and shared storage, our infrastructure remains the same with a couple of physical servers, some basic LAN/DMZ networking and a large VMware ‘private cloud’ environment.

“We have seen all of the performance increases that we were looking for as well as benefiting from real savings and efficiencies. We are using a lot less power and rack space in the data centre, which enabled us to consolidate down from two racks to one and go back to a regular rack power feed, rather than the custom-built power bars that were needed for BladeCenter. The result translates into a saving of around £5,000 a year.

“Castle demonstrated that they had the necessary technical skills and resources to help us deliver the project successfully. We had confidence in their team from our previous implementation of VMware and the transition went very smoothly.

“In its five year partnership with ESPC, Castle has consolidated over 50 physical servers to 5 VMware hosts creating significant operational benefits and efficiencies for the business.”

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