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Town of Gawler Council

ICT infrastructure overhaul for Town of Gawler Council

Background
Situated approximately 40km north of the Adelaide CBD, the Town of Gawler (The Council) is a local government area with a population of approximately 21,000 people. The area is administered by the Town of Gawler Council, which currently employs over 150 staff.

A large number of the council staff work at the Town Hall and Institute buildings (both built in the 1870s). However, these buildings have been earmarked for renovations as part of Gawler Connect – a community infrastructure project aimed at transforming the Gawler CBD into a modern business, cultural and learning hub.

As a result, the Council offices (including the existing data centre) needed to be relocated.

Business challenge
This relocation also provided the Council with an opportunity to refresh its ICT infrastructure. The existing infrastructure was not only ageing, but also approaching lease expiry, meaning a decision was required about the next phase of the Council’s ICT strategy.

Following an in-depth review process, the IT department proposed that the Council continued using an in-house solution as they were not yet prepared, at this point, to move to a Cloud environment, with new production server/storage infrastructure and an offsite disaster recovery/storage solution.

One of the biggest challenges facing the Council’s IT department was convincing executive management of the need for such a project, as well as the complexity involved in relocating, installing, migrating and deploying new infrastructure.

Once the merits of the project were accepted, attention turned to finding the right partner to assist with the implementation. The Council sought a proven market solution that could deliver the necessary capability and reliability without costly installation or configuration issues.

This meant finding a partner with the experience and expertise in deploying world-leading technology infrastructure, but also one that took a team-oriented, outcome-focused view to deployment. What’s more, the partner had to be flexible and agile enough to be part of the relocation process, including working around electricians and microwave network installers.

Solution details
After undertaking a comprehensive tender process, Data#3 was selected to help the Town of Gawler Council relocate and upgrade their server and storage infrastructure.

As well as the ability to provide professional managed services and support, Data#3 was chosen based on the successful deployment of similar solutions for other councils throughout Australia.

“The entire process was incredibly seamless thanks to the expertise and professionalism of the Data#3 team,”
Frank van der Wijngaart, IT Network and Systems Administrator, Town of Gawler Council.

Importantly, the proposed solution offered by Data#3 incorporated world-leading technology, including a Cisco UCS server and EMC storage.

Once the new premises for the data centre was confirmed, the relocation and migration process commenced. The virtual infrastructure was replicated to the building during business hours, and failover of the entire virtual infrastructure occurred overnight. This resulted in zero downtime for the council.

Additionally, a new disaster recovery/storage solution was established at an offsite facility 4km away to provide the necessary geographical redundancy.

Central to the process was the Data#3 Customer Solution Lifecycle methodology (pdo)2, which included the Plan, Position, Design, Deploy, Operation and Optimisation phases. The Data#3 team was also instrumental in providing partner support services across the Cisco and EMC technology.

Solution highlights:

  • Installation of new Cisco UCS server and EMC storage infrastructure
  • Deployment of a Cisco server and EMC storage solution at the new disaster recovery facility
  • Virtual infrastructure replicated and failover to new data centre
  • Ongoing support provided to ensure the solution was bedded in and optimized

Business benefits
The Town of Gawler Council has realised substantial benefits from the relocation and upgrade of their ICT infrastructure.

“Everything runs so smoothly now, which means we spend less time on maintenance and server issues and more time on core IT functions,” says Frank van der Wijngaart, IT Network and Systems Administrator.

The infrastructure upgrade also means end users enjoy better access to the network and faster data transfer, resulting in improved efficiency and productivity across the organisation.

What’s more, the Town of Gawler Council now has increased storage capacity, including the flexibility to scale capacity up or down to meet demand. This serves to future-proof the council’s storage needs and enables quick and easy provisioning of additional servers.

The new disaster recovery facility also ensures the Council’s data and networks are protected in the event of a major disruption at the main facility. This gives the Town of Gawler Council peace of mind knowing that data backup and business continuity are assured.

Summary of benefits:

  • Better allocation of resources – a high level of automation and less maintenance means internal IT resources can focus on core IT functions.
  • Reduced risk – offsite disaster recovery centre ensures data backup and business continuity.
  • Increased storage capacityfuture-proofing the Council’s data storage needs.
  • Improved scalability – flexibility to scale capacity up or down according to demand.
  • Improved productivity – end users enjoy faster access to data and networks.

Conclusion
The Town of Gawler infrastructure upgrade project was completed in approximately two months.

This included the relocation, installation, migration and deployment of fully upgraded server and storage infrastructure with zero downtime experienced by the Council.

“The entire process was incredibly seamless thanks to the expertise and professionalism of the Data#3 team,” says Frank van der Wijngaart.

“Their flexibility in designing the solution and managing the migration was impressive, as was their ability to work in with other vendors and suppliers involved in the relocation.”

van der Wijngaart continues:

“Due to the complexity of the project, I expected problems and issues, but there were none. We couldn’t be happier with the outcome.”

“The project was also completed on time and under budget allowing a block of maintenance hours to be banked with Data#3 for future use by the Council.”

Download the Town of Gawler Council Case Study.

To learn more about how Data#3 can assist your organisation, call 1300 23 28 23, or Enquire Online.

Tags: Cisco, Cisco Unified Computing System, Cloud, Data Centre Infrastructure, Dell EMC, Public Sector, Storage

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