New IT brings benefits for Melville Housing

Case Study: IT & Cloud Services

Melville Housing Association is a charitable organisation, supporting local communities by providing and developing high quality affordable homes and housing related services.

Founded in 1995, the organisation owns and manages more than 1,760 properties across Midlothian, South Lanarkshire, East Lothian and Edinburgh.

The existing IT infrastructure at Melville Housing had served the organisation well for some years but had reached a stage where an upgrade was required to better integrate with telephony systems, and improve facilities for disaster recovery to enable robust business continuity.

After a detailed tender process, Castle was appointed to implement a new IT system incorporating an IBM Blade Server centre and Storage Area Network (SAN) running VMware virtualisation and Citrix thin client servers. Castle also installed a replacement CAT6 cabling infrastructure and new telephone system.

Andrew Noble, Chief Executive, Melville Housing said:

“We had reached a point where the IT infrastructure needed to be upgraded, giving us the opportunity to research the market and ensure that we took advantage of the latest technology to improve efficiency within the organisation, creating reliable business continuity arrangements and improved communications.

“The introduction of virtualisation is a much more efficient use of hardware and reduces the need for additional servers. Because we now have virtual servers, backups can be stored off-site for disaster recovery and we know that in the event of an outage our systems can be up and running in just minutes. Previously, if one server failed then all services running on that server were unavailable until the problem was fixed. If that were to happen now, all services are migrated automatically to another server.

“The introduction of Citrix and thin client terminals has made a real difference to the day-to-day administration of our systems. If a software application has to be upgraded it is now done on the server, rather than having to be processed on every single user’s desktop. We also have greater security and standardisation as users can’t add or remove software to their desktops.

“We now have a modern IT infrastructure that is highly secure, significantly more efficient, and provides effective disaster recovery. It is future-proofed to meet our needs for some time to come. Castle worked closely with our team to ensure that the upgrade was installed with minimum disruption. The project was delivered on time and budget.”

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