Virtualisation delivers cost savings and resilience for Morrison Bowmore

Case Study: IT & Cloud Services

Morrison Bowmore is one of the UK’s leading single malt whisky distillers, with three distilleries and four brands – Bowmore, Auchentoshan, Glen Garioch and McClelland’s. With over 200 years of whisky-making heritage, the company is owned by Suntory Group and is headquartered in Glasgow.

The business employs around 200 staff and prides itself on a flat management structure that gives breadth to job roles and allows decisions to be taken quickly. Highly skilled craftsmen create the finest single malt whisky at distilleries in Islay, Oldmeldrum and Clydebank. The state of the art bottling and blending facility in Glasgow ensures that the product reaches the company’s global customer base in perfect condition.

Rob Carroll, Technical Support Manager, Morrison Bowmore, led the project to move to a virtualised server environment. He said:

“We had reached a stage where our servers needed to be upgraded and we compared the costs of replacing them individually or moving to a virtual set up. There was a significant cost benefit in virtualisation and we moved from 14 servers to three host servers using VMware’s vSphere solution from Castle Computer Services.

“Last year a hardware issue with one of the servers caused significant problems and took 48 hours to rectify. If the same issue were to happen now then the failsafe would kick over to the next server, ensuring continuity of service.

“The virtualised environment has delivered significant efficiencies for us in terms of IT management. It used to take around two weeks to buy a new hardware server and complete the build, something that now takes about two hours, without the need and cost of additional hardware. Day-to-day maintenance is much simpler now; if the server is not performing it’s very easy to add more memory.

“We ran some tests on power consumption, and the reduction of physical servers has reduced monthly power costs by a third, making the system much more environmentally friendly.

“Amongst the three vendors that we looked at, Castle stood out for their experience and their understanding of what was needed. They provided a detailed analysis of our requirement and the timescales for implementation at each stage of the project. Their approach was very professional throughout the project and everything was delivered on time. Its one of the best projects we’ve been involved in.”

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