Multi-Site Employment Agency
The agency's IT strategy was focused on a centralised IT infrastructure and application delivery model to drive down costs, reduce support effort and better manage business data. This strategy was partially implemented, however differing operational strategies by various business units and site data storage additions over the existing lifespan of the company made consolidation difficult. The lack of adequate bandwidth at site locations also hampered the adoption of this strategy.

Stellar Systems implemented a new Microsoft environment including Hyper-V virtualisation, Exchange 2013 and a companywide DFS structure to consolidate and distribute data to required business units. All site hardware was replaced with small servers operating as DFS-R nodes to provide local access to replicated data. Other improvements were made across the network to decrease support costs and increase end user access and autonomy as well as increasing confidence that data was being recorded and saved correctly.
Key elements of the delivered solution are as follows:
Virtualisation & Server Platform An existing non-redundant centralised server platform was replaced with a SAN backed highly-available Microsoft virtualised environment on IBM hardware. Existing applications and data were migrated to the latest Microsoft server platforms including on-premise SQL and Exchange servers.
WAN Infrastructure Juniper equipment was introduced to establish VPNs to a large number of site offices, provide switching and firewalling capabilities and enable remote user access over SSL VPNs. The establishment of separate VPN tunnels and a dedicated voice network allowed the integration of an existing IP phone system allowing integrated communications between site offices.
Data Reorganisation & Distributed Access Existing disparate site data was collected and reorganised into a standard structure across all business units. Granular group based permissions where introduced for easy administration by company staff. Site servers based on Windows Storage Server were introduced and the DFS-R protocol was employed to distribute relevant data to roaming users at site offices, removing the burden of site based backup management and avoiding the problem of slow access to data not present at any particular site.
Application Deployment & Self Service Key business applications were centralised and distributed to site users via the use of a remote application virtualisation solution increasing performance and accessibility. Self-service options were deployed via policy to user workstations allowing the completion of general configuration and access to support resources without Servicedesk assistance.
Backup Disk to disk backup was introduced to replace an outdated tape based platform. Nightly backup image replication was configured to an offsite datacentre removing the requirement for rotation of physical media.
Web Proxy & Monitoring A centralised web proxy with nodes present on site servers was introduced to enforce policies, provide logging of user activity and reduce load on site internet services.
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