The Head of IT at Silverstone racetrack had inherited a server platform that had been outgrown by the organisation. The Disaster Recovery solution was difficult to manage, needed human intervention to run properly, and the platform was not performing as well as it needed to. The Head of IT was looking for a proposal to provide a high level of performance, in a solution that was economical, streamlined and efficient, and provide Disaster Recovery that was reliable and easy to manage.
Serveline were engaged as the chosen partner to undertake the project of building and implementing the server and storage platform. The request was for something scalable; fit to meet the requirements of the organisation now, and for several years to come. Minimising downtime in the event of a problem was a key requirement for them. They also needed a Disaster Recovery solution that was dependable and effective.
After a consultation to discuss the problems and the desired outcome, the Serveline technical consultants
set up a workshop where they analysed the organisation’s data and ran performance tests. From this, they gained a full understanding of the limitations of the existing network and the improvements that were required. Based on the results of this analysis, a solution was proposed by Serveline, to provide a high availability, virtualised server and storage platform. One of the key performance bottlenecks identified was the disk performance. The new storage platform was built on Synology all-flash storage arrays. Flash or SSD technology accelerates the performance of enterprise applications and virtualised environments, improving performance.
This solution offered Silverstone Circuits a number of advantages. Streamlining the server cluster in this way allowed the resources to be maximised – for example, if the resources on one physical server begin to be stretched, some of the virtual servers will automatically migrate to one of the other physical hosts, where ample resources are available. This way, resource requirement is balanced across the physical server platform. If one physical server needs repairing or upgrading, the software allows for the live migration of a virtual server to a different physical host, without any downtime. Virtualisation reduces the number of physical servers required by the organisation, reducing maintenance and energy costs. Virtual servers are managed, modified and multiplied much more easily than physical servers are, so that the new infrastructure can easily continue to support the organisation as it grows and changes.
The new Disaster Recovery solution, is a rapid and fully automated backup solution, protecting the organisation’s data. Utilising the multiple server room locations at the 800 acre Silverstone site, a remote, automated backup target with real-time file replication was configured. The data is now stored in the main building, and replicated to the secondary server location, to provide rapid recovery in the event of fire, flood or theft.
The entire project was delivered on time and within budget. Silverstone Circuits are now enjoying the benefits of a robust, high performing, high-availability server platform with room for expansion as the organisation grows, and an improved, reliable Disaster Recovery solution which is hassle free.