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Datacentre + Networking

Case Study: Harrison Spinks

Nimble Storage is Harrison Spinks’ springboard for Disaster Recovery success.

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The Challenge
Harrison Spinks pride themselves on their honesty, ethicalmindedness and innovative attitude. They go to great lengths to ensure that their suppliers reflect the same values. When Harrison Spinks needed to update their ageing IT estate, seeking to modernise server, storage and network to create a more agile and scalable infrastructure, they chose to review their IT partner also. Understanding the culture of the company and possessing first-class technical expertise was essential: “I was blown away by CCS Media’s approach. They carefully considered and evaluated each individual challenge of the project and showed impressive technological know-how at every turn. It really helped to move Harrison Spinks forward and transform our IT estate into one that added value to the business,” explains Chris Dawson, IT & Strategy Manager for Harrison Spinks.

CCS worked with Chris Dawson and his IT Team to convert the network, server and storage systems to the latest HPE technology. Looking back, Chris Dawson reflects on the success of the project: “We definitely selected the right technologies and the right partner. During the phased refresh, our users were completely unaffected which was extremely impressive.”

With a modern core infrastructure at their disposal, Harrison Spinks wanted to build on this foundation and improve its resilience to failure. They once again turned to CCS for guidance on a storage solution as part of a new DR strategy they planned.

The original DR strategy relied upon an ageing Dell Equalogic solution that was beginning to encounter performance and reliability issues. With the threat of cyber-attacks and unforeseen events being so prevalent for every business, no IT team can afford to have any ‘weak links’ in their infrastructure. Harrison Spinks is no exception and identified the storage would need replacement. They wanted to create a multilayered DR strategy spanning several locations to offer reliable protection and lots of redundancy, all while harnessing modern technologies and techniques.

Due to the success of their HPE 3PAR production storage, initial thoughts turned to installing a third device. However, 3PAR is built for mission-critical environments and attracts a cost commensurate with this task, plus specialist skills to administer. Harrison Spinks’ IT team consists of just 8 people so resource and skills is an important consideration in any investment decision. With these factors in mind, CCS believed that selecting 3PAR would be a case of over-engineering a solution to the problem.
About Harrison Spinks
Harrison Spinks is an internationally respected, fifth-generation family business that has been manufacturing beds, mattresses and other pocket-sprung furniture in the UK since 1840. They are five-time winners of the Queen’s Awards for Enterprise, a feat that no other bed manufacturer has achieved as many times.

Harrison Spinks take great pride in producing much of their own natural materials on their farm in Yorkshire, or sourcing them from local suppliers when it is not possible.
“We had a really clear vision of what we wanted to achieve, and CCS worked alongside my team to shape our ideas into a functional and economic solution that outperforms our expectations.”

Our core services utilised in this project

Asset Tagging
Pre-Delivery Config Support
Recycling/Asset Disposal
O365 Migration
Installation Services
Project Management
“CCS brought great knowledge and skill to the process and acted as an important intermediary between ourselves and HPE, translating our objectives and technical considerations, giving us real peace of mind at every stage."
The Solution
Instead, CCS proposed HPE Nimble Storage, which also offers 6 x 9s (99.9999%) reliability, but at a fraction of the price of 3PAR. CCS arranged an online demo of Nimble in conjunction with the HPE storage team. Chris Dawson says: “The demo proved to me just how easy the Nimble storage solution would be to manage, and also highlighted that despite costing significantly less than our current 3PAR solution, we would not be comprising on function or performance.”

Chris Dawson worked with the CCS pre-sales team to determine the perfect Nimble storage configuration for Harrison Spinks’ needs. The CCS team prompted Chris Dawson to consider Nimble’s 20TB hybrid-storage array, which would create an optimised storage solution by blending both flash storage and traditional disk. At half the cost of 3PAR, the hybrid variant proposed would offer comparable performance versus 3PAR by conducting 98% of data reads from SSD. The 20TB disk space would also offer ample headroom to function as the DR target for future backups.

Veeam was also selected to run the backup/replication routines, because of Harrison Spinks’ past experience working with it and its ability to backup virtual machines both to the new Nimble Storage solution as well as the public cloud for further resiliency. For additional protection, a HPE StoreEasy device was deployed to receive a final backup from the Nimble Storage array, which in turn is backed up to tape. The resulting DR strategy means that they now have five layers of resilience.

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