When the RDL Corporation needed to find a more cost-effective but higher performance solution for its expanding IT requirements and improve its outdated database system, our solution architects provided the expertise to develop a new infrastructure that helped move the company forward and save them over a third of a million pounds in annual IT costs.
The RDL Corporation runs the SEC Recruitment and SEC Pharma recruitment companies. Based in central London and Woking, it offers specialist recruitment and resourcing services to a wide range of customers throughout Europe. It employs over seventy staff and has annual sales revenues of over £18 million.
SEC had three main areas that needed development. Firstly, managers wished to consolidate its many platforms into a more manageable solution that could deliver superior performance. This was required as the company was expanding; it had a planned move to an office quadruple the size of its current London premises and was aspiring to double its staff from 60 to 120. Its system, therefore, needed to be able to cater for its expansion and had to seamlessly link its locations in order to boost collaboration between colleagues.
Secondly, SEC needed a solution to its outdated database system. Its existing Oracle platform had over 65 million records and was costing the company approximately £5,000 a month without delivering the necessary returns.
The final requirement was to reduce costs. Being based in central London, its in-house IT centre cost £2,000 per sq. ft., per annum, plus operating costs. The annual IT spend was around £400,000.
We designed a modern, more stable and financially viable solution for SEC’s outdated Oracle database platform. The original Oracle platform contained over 65 million records and, at a size of 1.4TB, was incredibly resource intensive. Our solution architects developed MySQL-based alternative.
Our powerful and expansive Hyper-V Cloud platform was the ideal solution to provide SEC with the increased performance and capacity they required. This fully managed service came with, 24x7 proactive monitoring and technical support along, 100% Uptime SLA.
Our Hyper-V clusters use quality, branded Dell PowerEdge R620s, with each cluster powered by dual hex core CPUs and 128 GB RAM host servers to ensure each hardware host can handle the needs of the VMs residing on it. Our storage cluster is built upon EMC Isilon SANs to give maximum performance and reliability. To give an extra speed boost, we added SSD to each SAN for use with metadata acceleration.
We also have three different caching patterns which can be utilised to optimise disk layout by workload.
By doing this, we can ensure that virtual servers with a light to medium disk I/O requirement are served from a file system optimised for this purpose. At the same time, for those with high I/O requirements, such as database servers, we can move these virtual servers to a file system optimised for this purpose.
SEC’s move to Hyper-V was achieved through a staged migration with our 24x7 support team assisting.
The migration of in-house to external servers also highlighted the need for a new VPN solution that could offer remote access for colleagues working from home, whilst supporting the business’ existing locations in Central London and Working. We designed and delivered a Fortigate solution which allowed SEC colleagues to work remotely whilst still being able to access internal company resources. Fortigate helped seamlessly link the client’s Surrey and London bases whilst incorporating their remotely hosted systems.
SEC’s existing solution was proving to be very expensive, running on outdated hardware with demanding energy requirements, and taking up vital floor space in their busy office. Again, our Hyper-V Cloud platform offered the most cost-effective solution.
Our MySQL database solution helped shrink SEC’s 65 million record database from 1.4 TB to around 900 MB in size; reducing storage and resource requirements. In addition, as MySQL is an open source platform, SEC is no longer incurring license fees and so the £5000 per month operating cost for the database has been significantly reduced.
Migrating to a Hyper-V Cloud platform has improved the efficiency of the SEC systems and enabled improved collaboration because all systems are seamlessly linked. In addition, staff can work remotely from the office whilst still having access to resources.
The other advantage gained by SEC is that, by migrating to Hyper-V Cloud, they can scale up when required as they continue their planned expansion.
Migrating to Hyper-V eradicated SEC’s need to spend money on housing and maintaining such a large in-house operation. This, combined with the savings from our database improvements, enabled WHUK, to reduce SEC’s overall IT spend from in the region of £400,000, to just £62,000 – a saving of 84.5%.
According to Richard Bowman, IT Manager at RDL Corporation, we are ‘very approachable, amazingly helpful, and technologically knowledgeable;’ going ‘above and beyond’ to exceed SEC’s expectations. Our work with them has led to ‘improved efficiencies’ and a marked improvement in sales.