Valpak is the UK’s leading supplier of compliance and recycling solutions. It has a significant role in supporting the recycling obligations of UK companies. It also provides consultancy to help customers reduce their carbon footprint and is influential in communicating best practice in green computing. Valpak has a mandate to implement and adhere to best practice internally, including leveraging cost effective technologies such as virtualisation to reduce energy consumption.
“We needed the support of a partner that we could rely on to develop a solution that would not only be 100% reliable, but also support the future growth of our business while extending our commitment towards green computing.”
Ben Erwood, Head of IT, Valpak
Challenge / business problem
Valpak has many diverse business requirements supported by a combination of Microsoft Dynamics and bespoke applications. These were developed and added to over time, with each application demanding its own separate instance of Microsoft SQL Server. The result was an all too familiar situation, with lots of different versions of SQL Server and a large resource overhead to administer and manage the unique configurations and requirements across different servers.
When Valpak made the decision to upgrade its Microsoft Dynamics NAV application, it also needed to upgrade to Microsoft SQL Server 2008 R2. This was the perfect opportunity to standardise across the business.
Valpak engaged Coeo to deliver a two phase solution to migrate to SQL Server 2008 R2 and consolidate the number of SQL Server instances in use from twenty to just four.
This project was so successful that Valpak extended the scope to include data centre consolidation across its IT infrastructure.
Coeo’s technical director Christian Bolton says, “After an assessment of Valpak’s requirements, we identified an innovative, cost effective solution that we could deploy using Microsoft Hyper-V, Microsoft System Center Virtual Machine Manager 2010 and Microsoft SQL Server 2008 R2 in a Windows Server 2008 R2 environment. What started as a SQL Server consolidation project expanded into a data centre consolidation project to encompass their entire IT infrastructure.”
Months after the consolidation project, Valpak was able to confirm 100% availability of its business critical systems. More than that, it had experienced significant cost savings from reduced database administration overhead. It had a new, efficient, infrastructure in place that would give it the scalability required for the foreseeable future to accommodate new users and applications as the business grew.
Valpak engaged Coeo to provide a managed service to continually monitor systems and ensure continuity. Ben Erwood Head of IT at Valpak says, “We were immediately impressed with their approach and structured engagement. We recognise their expertise in their field and we now rely on them to provide a fully managed service, monitoring our systems 24/7.”