As an organisation, Bernard Matthews has been through a transition over the past several years, rebranding their products as a healthy option to other types of meat and employing the services of a celebrity chef to help boost its cause. Alongside this rebranding, the firm’s IT department has also been through a shift; server sprawl and server management was draining the resources of the IT staff for day-to-day fire fighting, rather than technology helping to move the business forward.
By simply increasing the number of servers they were using each time the company required additional applications or data storage, not only were they paying for the additional physical space, they were also wasting valuable management time. Multiple servers require a bigger footprint as well as more cooling systems. As the support contract renewal date for Bernard Matthews’ multiple file and storage servers drew nearer, the company began to consider an alternative method for its IT infrastructure.
“Our old servers were expensive to maintain and it would have been financially prohibitive for us to buy new like-for-like servers for our requirements. We increasingly realised we needed to think differently about our approach,” said Darrell Rundle, IT Support Manager at Bernard Matthews.
Bernard Matthews engaged with trusted NETGEAR reseller Network Technologies to help it resolve its technology challenges. The company decided to replace its NetApp FAS270, NAS file storage system with two NETGEAR ReadyNAS® 3200 network storage systems. The devices are connected via iSCSI to Bernard Matthews’ Windows Server 2008 R2 file servers. The firm also now has two virtual host servers that are backed up at the firm’s remote office in Suffolk using iSCSI/NFS on two additional ReadyNAS 2100s which are also used to run low-priority virtual machines.
Predominantly, Bernard Matthews use the ReadyNAS equipment for backup and storage, for virtualisation and the NETGEAR ReadyNAS 2100 for virtual machines. According to the company, the NETGEAR devices give the IT department all the functionality they need, but at a much lower cost, both in terms of hardware and support, than the NetApp systems.
We were fast running out of storage space and we know costs would be a challenge if we wanted to continue our previous infrastructure. Now we have a much easier to manage system that allows us to do everything we need to – and for a price our CFO found more than acceptable.
Bernard Matthews has now reduced its servers from more than 40 to just two virtual hosts with shared storage and disk-based backup, resulting in significantly less management time. Less time is spent maintaining the old servers so the IT team are now available to be more innovative with their technology and continue their project of simplification.
This server consolidation also means the company is saving costs on heating and cooling numerous servers, and also on the support contracts required to maintain them. Bernard Matthews now has peace of mind that its previous aging storage technology has been replaced by reliable, affordable and simple ReadyNAS systems, including its centralised backup console and additional security features.
Bernard Matthews is expanding the project as part of a bid to simplify its wider technology infrastructure, involving consolidating other application servers and increasing levels of virtualisation. “The complexity of managing multiple servers, combined with the aging technology and support contracts meant that Bernard Matthews needed a more centralised approach to its technology, while at the same time reducing the cost and man hours it required,” said Donald Thompsett, Sales Director at Network Technologies.