From its Harlow base, Truck-Lite Europe provides IT services to over 650 internal customers across two sites. Formerly known as Flexible Lamps and acquired by Truck-Lite Co. Inc. late in 2006, the merged organisation is a multi-billion pound operation with several thousand employees. Early in 2007 it was decided that the former Flexible Lamps’ data-centre would become the European data-centre for Truck-Lite. So faced with growing data volumes from the merged organisations’ and the desire to robustly protect business critical data in the wake of lessons learned from the Buncefield Oil disaster, the team set out to find an effective, reliable storage utilisation and Disaster Recovery solution that cost-effectively alleviated the pain of running Direct Attached Storage in a mixed Windows/Sun environment.
Mark Aylwin, IT Support Team Leader, Truck-Lite Europe noted, “Like so many other manufacturers in the UK, we were forced to catapult Disaster Recovery to the top of the priority list in the wake of the Buncefield Oil inferno last year, forcing us to fully explore ‘what-if worse-case’ scenarios.”
To meet their objectives, New Datum (a new partner for Truck-Lite) implemented a combination of Virtual Iron as the virtual server platform with two DataCore SANmelody 2.0 Dell Windows 2003 servers, providing synchronous mirroring and auto failover/auto recovery for path and data. The Disaster Recovery solution would provide high availability for Truck-Lite’s business systems, such as their critical ERP system and the Virtual Iron server applications.
The resultant solution allowed Truck-Lite to automatically manage capacity provisioning and, because of the way SANmelody provides capacity upon demand from a central storage pool (thin provisioning), Mark and his team have been able to immediately release and re-utilise previously idle server storage space, in effect, handing back valuable storage capacity.
Virtual Iron/SANmelody - all the benefits of virtualisation with an attractive price tag:
Truck-Lite considered options provided by all the major server virtualisation providers, but were impressed by the very attractive pricing structure and the ease of migration in the transition from traditional server to virtual server using Virtual Iron. As for SANmelody effectively complementing Virtual Iron, its truly agnostic approach means that it can robustly support all major server virtualisation applications and hardware investments, meaning that Truck-Lite are not locked into a particular provider for servers, disk, licenses or upgrades. They can have the flexibility of choice for their mixed environment, now and in the future.
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About Truck-Lite Europe
Truck-Lite Europe is part of the largest commercial vehicle lighting company in the world with a customer base that includes Volvo, Daimler Chrysler, Scania, Ford, GM and JCB. Formerly known as Flexible Lamps and acquired by Truck-Lite Co. Inc. in November 06, the merged organisation represents a multi-billion pound operation with several thousand employees mainly involved in manufacturing. Early in 2007 it was decided that the former Flexible Lamps’ data Center would become the European data-centre for Truck-Lite.