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Success Story – Saskatchewan Research Council’s Data Center Move

Success Story – Saskatchewan Research Council’s Data Center Move

December 14, 2015

 

This fall, the Saskatchewan Research Council (SRC) planned to relocate their primary data center to a new location near their existing headquarters in order to take advantage of the availability of redundant power, new fire suppression systems, and improved climate control. As a valued partner, SRC asked ESTI to assist in completing the move as smoothly and quickly as possible.

ESTI Resources Utilized in Data Center Move:

Most of the work of moving a data center is in the planning. To avoid disrupting SRC business operations, the actual move of the hardware took place well outside of business hours, but only after ESTI spent some hours documenting the physical cabling (this is how each piece of gear connects to the rest of the network), and designing new connections from the existing buildings into the new data centre facility.

Most of the gear that SRC relies on to provide ongoing services to their users, as well as customers outside of the company was being moved into this new space, including:

  • Firewalls
  • Dozens of server chassis’
  • Switches
  • Wireless controllers
  • VoIP systems
  • Web & e-mail servers
  • Disk storage arrays

ESTI’s team worked with SRC to identify the appropriate hardware required to extend the network into the new facility, then managed the acquisition, and configuration of the new switches that would connect SRC’s users to the relocated services, while maintaining high availability. After all, redundant power in the data center is less useful if none of your users can access those services!

Storage arrays can be extremely heavy and somewhat fragile, and EMC professional services is uniquely suited to prevent damage when storage arrays need to be physically moved. The SRC move is just one of the many successful projects ESTI and EMC have partnered on, and both SRC and ESTI were glad to have EMC aboard to assist with this delicate piece of the operation.

Our teams worked together to install and test as much of the new systems and connections ahead of time to reduce the impact of the move; the goal with this type of move is that you should only need to plug the right cables in at the new location and power everything back up.

With a detailed plan of action in hand, SRC’s team tackled the task of physically moving the remainder of the equipment, and reconnecting everything at the destination, outside of business hours. Of course, some things just can’t be configured ahead of time, and ESTI’s network engineer was on hand to make the required last minute changes and verify that phone calls could be made, emails could be sent, and Internet users around the world would be able to reach the SRC website as usual.

Resources in the SRC data center :

  • SRC IT Manager - Chuck Ingerman (left)
  • ESTI Principal Network Engineer - Brennan Martin (2nd from left)
  • SRC IT Staff - Matt Knoll (2nd from right)
  • SRC IT Staff - Tony Mak (right)

Reflections from SRC’s IT Manager:

“The success of this move would not have been possible without the help from your team. Thanks to you and your teams for providing the support we needed to make it through this VERY complex move.”

– Chuck Ingerman

ESTI looks forward to assisting our clients with data center moves and other services and solutions related to the data center. If you would like to discuss a data center challenge your organization is facing, please reach out to our sales team at: sales@esti.ca.