Ystad in the southernmost part of Sweden is home to just over 30,000 people, and on top of this comes thousands of vacationers during summer. It is one of the fastest growing municipalities in the region – forecasts indicate that population will increase by 17 percent over the coming decade.
Growth is a significant factor guiding planning for the IT department, which manages most of the municipality’s key applications and also takes care of IT operations for associated enterprises, including emergency services and publicly owned companies. The IT team is highly skilled, and most core applications are hosted in the municipality’s data centre. “We have a mixed, hybrid environment where a large share of workloads are managed by us on-premise, while we also purchase managed services from external suppliers. Our schools are large users of public cloud services, while we run the basic infrastructure,” says Fredrik Nilsson, IT operations manager at the Ystad municipality.
The main engine for public IT is a virtualised environment based on a VMware platform, comprising about 200 virtual servers. This number is steadily increasing. A few applications, which for various reasons don’t fit into the virtual platform, are still running on dedicated servers, but these are phased out and replaced when opportunities arise.
The vital hardware elements in Ystad’s data centre was approaching end-of-life, and the equipment would not serve future needs. It is customary for the municipality to update the critical parts of its infrastructure after about five years of service. There was also a need to invest in increased capacity for core applications, which in turn will support further digitalisation and additional e-government services, for the benefit of both the public and the municipality’s organisation.
IT department first began scouting for new servers, and a procurement was initiated. Among the responding suppliers was Proact, entering a proposal which contained a novelty in this context: equipment from Huawei, a brand which has made significant strides in the data centre market.
”The hardware brand name is neither very interesting nor something we take into consideration. Our procurement was simply about getting a solution which was a good fit both for our existing environment and our outlook for the future,” says Fredrik Nilsson.
The procurement gave at hand that Proact, together with Huawei, offered the most capable option, and also the most economical. In the succeeding steps, storage systems and SAN switches were updated as well. In the following procurements, the Proact-Huawei proposals also came out on top.
The upgrade constituted a significant technology leap, as all conventional storage using rotating disk was retired. Deploying the Huawei Dorado storage platform, Ystad’s data centre became an All-Flash site.
The user experience is positive: ”We have observed significant performance gains compared to the previous storage solution,” says Fredrik Nilsson.
Proact also manages tech support for the Ystad IT department, managing all infrastructure support issues. As a certified Huawei Enterprise partner, Proact locally provides product expertise to the municipality, equal to standard vendor support. Further benefits include that Proact’s support technicians have a broader skill set, with access to the full Proact Group knowledge base.
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