If you have been a steady reader of this blog you know Westcon/Comstor is in the midst of a data center consolidation project, moving our production infrastructure to the new Cisco UCS platform with EMC Clariion. The past two weeks were wins, on a couple of levels.
Westcon’s Single Global ERP system runs on three instances. Our most recent win was the completion of the migration of our North American instance to the Cisco/EMC platform. We had a number of challenges along the way, and it will be a couple weeks before we declare complete victory, but there were immediate performance benefits that are immediately helping our sales, operations and finance colleagues. We are really seeing queries that would take 3 minutes now return results in 30 seconds. Batch jobs are running significantly faster. This translates into the potential for larger windows of uptime. And, as Comstor’s/Westcon’s business continues to grow, and the transaction volume continues to increase, we have the headroom to take on the volume without increasing our batch windows. The performance of the platform has so far been living up to its expectations.
In addition to having a very smart, tireless, group of application’s, infrastructure and engineering colleagues inside Westcon, and great support from Cisco, EMC and CBTS (our data centers are being consolidated as a managed service within Cincinnati Bell – another great story for another post someday soon), one of the key reasons we were able to make the move in a relatively calm manner was our use of BPOS. For those of you who are not familiar with BPOS – BPOS is Microsoft’s cloud offering combining Exchange, Sharepoint, OCS, LiveMeeting and Forefront. Except for a couple of special mailboxes, everyone in North America was migrated to BPOS last year. Why is this important? Well, it was nice that we did not have to move all the Exchange servers from our old data center to our new data center. We had slowly been de-commissioning the servers these past few months as part of the data center consolidation, but you have to love it when a plan comes together. We only moved one. The natural, high-level stress associated with a data center move was mitigated just a little bit because we did not have to manage the move of our messaging platform.
Why do we talk about this? This blog is written for many different audiences, but one of the objectives of this blog is to help Westcon’s and Comstor’s customers (Resellers, Service Providers, and Systems Integrators around the world) understand what their customers are going through, and how the cloud can help as companies migrate to virtualization and new data-center converged platforms such as UCS/EMC. Helping Westcon’s customers and Comstor’s customers provide a complete vision, optimized for the customer’s business situation, that leverages sound architectures, is a large part of the Westcon/Comstor value proposition. We are literally eating our own dogfood. We run our company on the products we distribute, sharing those experiences with our customers, part of which is why we write this blog. We get many responses here from customers and suppliers, and encourage you to send your comments or questions any time on what we are going through if it can help you help your customers.