Bringing Simplicity to a Complex Problem for Blackpool Council

Setting the Scene

Blackpool Council is a forward thinking local authority with a track record in the exploitation of IT to transform service delivery and achieve efficiencies and savings. However, the Council’s previous data centre infrastructure was not capable of delivering its vision.

The Challenge

Blackpool Council is a forward thinking local authority with a track record in the exploitation of IT to transform service delivery and achieve efficiencies and savings. However, the Council’s previous data centre infrastructure was not capable of delivering its vision. The organisation had experienced an explosive growth in storage which was proving to be costly to maintain and expensive to back up (60+ terabytes). After experiencing a major system outage the council’s business continuity and disaster recovery strategies were also high priorities.

Blackpool Council needed a solution which would:

Increase performance

Reduce data footprint

Improve efficiency

Reduce cost

The Solution

Nimble Storage’s SmartStack™ solution, designed, implemented and supported by NG-IT comprised of the following elements: Nimble Storage CS400 series storage array; Cisco UCS B200M3 Performance Blade Servers with 6296Fabric Interconnects, Nexus 5500 Network switches, Nexus 1000v and Virtual Security Gateway (VSG). UCS Director for orchestration and management; VMware ESX 5.1 & Site Recovery Manager; Microsoft Hyper-V 3.0 and Citrix XenDesktop 7.5.
The council’s virtual server and virtual desktop estates now benefit from a stateless compute environment specifically designed for today’s data centre challenges, with 10Gbe connectivity to flash optimised hybrid storage which provides 70,000 IOPS and 100’s of TBs of capacity in minimal footprint. The SmartStack™ solution is deployed in the council’s two data centres, allowing the organisation to run live services at both sites, whilst providing bi-directional replication of ALL data to protect against site failure. Using Nimble Storage data replication technology with VMware SRM provides the Council with the ability to resume some or all of their business services at the surviving site in a matter of minutes or hours, rather than days or weeks.
The implementation of SmartStack was completed in only 2 weeks with the overall project delivered well within the pre-agreed timeframe. Smartstack has delivered significant performance and quality improvements with greater flexibility at a reduced price.

The Benefits

The SmartStack™ solution is deployed in the council’s two data centres, allowing the organisation to run live services at both sites, whilst providing bi-directional replication of ALL data to protect against site failure. Using Nimble Storage data replication technology with VMware SRM provides the Council with the ability to resume some or all of their business services at the surviving site in a matter of minutes or hours, rather than days or weeks.
The implementation of SmartStack was completed in only 2 weeks with the overall project delivered well within the pre-agreed timeframe. Smartstack has delivered significant performance and quality improvements with greater flexibility at a reduced price.

Client testimonial:

Tony Doyle, Head of IT at Blackpool Council

“We’ve achieved the unachievable in such a short space of time! NG-IT has delivered an end to end SmartStack™ solution for our new data centres which has reduced footprint by 300%, given us a solid reliable Disaster Recovery plan, significantly improved performance and tripled IT productivity whilst still saving capital and revenue costs in line with aggressive budget restrictions.
We are able to provision new business systems in hours instead of weeks and now have a flexible and scalable data centre infrastructure. NG-IT has brought simplicity to a traditionally complex problem.”