EDU1

  • Industry:  Education, Non-Profit
  • Employees:  85 Employees
  • Project:  Managed Services
  • Environment:  22 servers, 94 computers, 30 access points

 

Case Study Overview

With the Advanced Care agreement in place, we immediately began untangling the network to identify why the IT systems were crashing. What we learned was outdated computer code, missing patches and misconfigurations were all working together to create a perfect storm.

 

We began spending time with the leadership team and staff in each department to learn and identify department goals and objectives. We took their feedback and designed an affordable and comprehensive IT strategy that allowed them to reach these goals without any additional cost.

 

We stopped additional spending on IT vendors, data backup, hosting, and project management platforms. One example is a $10,000 annual investment into a cloud storage solution called Egnyte. Another was a $14,000 annual investment into Rackspace to keep legacy websites online for archival purposes.

 

Our IT audit showed this spending was caused by allowing individual departments to invest into IT type platforms without first consulting IT. This created a decentralized portfolio of different systems doing similar things, each hiding under a different department budget. We provided the leadership team with the facts so they could make accurate decisions.

 

To further stabilize the IT network, we installed Cisco Meraki switches and wireless access points throughout the organization. This gave the customers the best IT infrastructure at an amazing price, allowing them to enjoy a stable and fast technology experience.

 

Warning, Tech-Talk Ahead

The main production system ran VMware Essentials (5.x) on a single Dell 720xd with 12x 3TB drives configured in Raid 6. It had two six core processors with 128GB of memory. Randomly this server would purple screen without any indication. Every time this happened we lost the file server, domain controller, print server and the internal exchange email server.

 

The first bug was VMware 5.x using the E1000 network adapter on Server 2012. The second was a failing processor disguised as a memory issue. After re-configuring the adapters on VMware and replacing the processor, all server issues went away and the network was stabilized. This was all achieved without any additional cost to the customer.

 

Our switches were connected through 10GbE stacking cables or 10GbE fiber connections, ensuring the highest performance of network traffic. Through virtual networks, we prioritized and separated the server, data, phone, and public wireless networks. As additional security, we routed all public wireless traffic through the backup internet connection.

 

Internet traffic is routed through our on-site network security appliance. HTTP Anti-Malware scanning, intrusion prevention, website filtering and real-time reporting help protect the network from threats. We also blocked all traffic outside the United States by default.

 

Every 15 seconds a ping is sent to Google DNS to check for connectivity. During an outage, all internet will be routed through the backup internet connection. When fixed, all traffic is moved back to the primary.

 

Final thoughts

Our unique ability to merge our technical expertise, business acumen, and communication skills allowed us to identify and fix the problems this growing organization was facing with their technology platform.

 

We are currently in the process of migrating their internal Exchange server to Microsoft Office 365. We plan to have this project completed in Q4 2017 which we will then continue to maintain and help expand their business. 

Problem:
Existing IT provider was asking for additional money to fix unreliable IT systems. The staff lost confidence in their IT platform while leadership felt “nickel and dimed” every time they had an issue.

 

Solution:
Customer signed up for Advanced Care, an unlimited and comprehensive support service by Desert IT Solutions.

 

Results:
Eliminated IT issues without an expensive upgrade while reducing IT costs by $245,735 over a 5-year period (30%). We also prevented a wasteful investment that would have “fixed” the system crashing issue. Additionally, $24,300 was saved by re-negotiating internet, communications and 3
rd party vendor contracts.