Montreal firm reduces server headcount

System stability, power and manageability were all concerns Montreal-based Memory Experts International (MXI) recently addressed through the consolidation of its server infrastructure.

According to Lawrence Reusing, MXI’s vice-president of business development, the memory, hard drive subsystems and networking technology manufacturer needed a simpler and more reliable way for its 150 employees spread out among three different locations — the head office in Montreal, an office in London, U.K., and a manufacturing facility in Irvine, Calif. — to access the information they needed.

The data was mostly related to accounting and finance, manufacturing and purchase orders, Reusing told IT World Canada from his office in Irvine. “As opposed to having three different server systems transferring information back and forth, we wanted to have one server system and to have everyone get onto that system from all locations.”

MXI also wanted a solution that would have enough horsepower and be stable and scalable enough that it could “grow as the requirements change,” Reusing explained. “We’re a pretty heavy growth company — we have an annual growth rate of 75 per cent per year …. But the minute you install a server and run into a ceiling, the changeover costs are so heavy that you just can’t afford to plug in a system that will run out of room.”

In addition, cost of ownership was driving the company to look for a better solution. MXI had 14 Dell and white box servers at its Montreal location alone. “We calculated that with the expenses on staffing for IT, (in our setup at the time) the hardware might have be less expensive, but the IT maintenance was more expensive” because of the number of people necessary to maintain it — each server needed to be checked and maintained individually. MXI wanted a system that was easy to manage and it didn’t want to be stuck with a proprietary system or one specific architecture.

The manufacturer decided to consolidate all the servers at its Montreal location onto one platform and relocate two international server workloads to Canada. The firm chose IBM as the hardware vendor and Montreal-based Pr

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