New Zealand council moves away from complexity in the data centre by implementing Nutanix
Gisborne District Council (hereafter: Gisborne) is a unitary authority – both the district and regional council – for the Gisborne district, an area of north-eastern New Zealand. The business had a traditional 3 tier environment and was looking to replace their SAN and improve support. An interview with Kelly McLeod, Information Technology Team Leader and Jamie Telford, Senior IT Systems Engineer at Gisborne.
How did you come to be at Gisborne and what drew you to the opportunity here?
Kelly: “I grew up in this area. I was drawn to this opportunity because Gisborne District Council is one of the larger organisations in Gisborne. Our IT team has seven team members, but the wider group consists out of 18 people such as business analysts, project managers, and information management staff. There are not as many possibilities in this area to work with systems of a reasonable size, so this was a great chance. ”
Jamie: “I agree. I worked in Palmerston North for a while, and about five years ago I heard about an opportunity here when I happened to be back in town. The size of the council makes it an interesting place to work for.”
What challenges in your business influenced you to look for a solution?
Kelly: “Our current infrastructure was up for renewal. We had a traditional 3 tier environment and were looking to replace our SAN. Our goal was to reduce the headaches by simplifying management and moving away from complexity in the data centre.”
What were key considerations in your search for a solution?
Jamie: “Together with the challenges that Kelly mentioned, we were looking for a well-established technology that is highly reliable, but the cost was also a key consideration in putting together our requirements.”
Kelly: “Support played a big role as well. When working with large technology partners, it can be an exercise on itself to get the right amount of support. Not having to go through multiple levels of support to talk to the right person and pro-active fault management was really important to us.”
How did you search for a solution?
Kelly: “We created a Request for Proposal. Initially, we were a little hesitant because you often get 100+ responses. However, in our RFP we were very specific about our requirements, so we received 12 responses. Based on our key considerations we created a list of four partners that we liked most. Then it became a matter of narrowing that list down further, by looking into the details, the service provided and the financial investment.”
“BEarena has a professional attitude and a strong and long-standing relationship with Nutanix. Their clear communication, technical expertise and great support makes them the ideal partner. ”
Kelly McLeod, Information Technology Team Leader, Gisborne District Council
Why did you choose BEarena over competitors?
Kelly: “We got a really good vibe from the BEarena team we met at a conference, so when we launched the RFP, we knew that BEarena were going to be a strong contender. In the end their fantastic service offering and ‘down to earth’ approach, combined with a solid and proven Nutanix offering is what won us over.”
What were the timelines for this project?
Kelly: “The entire decision-making process took us two months. We were also moving buildings at the time, so we had a lot on.”
Jamie continues: “The implementation itself went very smooth, and Stuart McEwan (Senior Technical Consultant at BEarena) did a great job. We had a minor hold up due to getting the correct cables but other than that, we had everything up and running very fast. Once that was done we slowly migrated stuff across.”
How did BEarena deliver positive customer experience?
Jamie: “BEarena is clear in their communication. Compared to other projects we have carried out in the past, it has been a super easy process. We were looking to improve our support, and so far we are very pleased with how BEarena handles this.
What specific results have you seen from implementing the solution?
Kelly: “Performance wise we are not running anything massive, but this new environment is so simple to look after. The administrative hassle is almost non-existent. Jamie did a software update on a cluster a couple of weeks ago, and we did not have to do anything significant. The Nutanix technology works exactly as advertised. With our old SAN, we had to schedule maintenance, something we do not have to worry about anymore.
How does BEarena support your business at this point?
Kelly: “We are about to kick-off a Disaster Recovery Improvements Project to improve reliability and uptime of critical council services. We want to keep it as simple as possible and working with BEarena; we can be sure of great support and advice and a positive outcome.”
About BEarena & ASI Solutions
BEarena is an ANZ based IT Services organisation, focused on Hyper-Converged Infrastructure, Public and Hybrid Cloud Solutions, managed services and Disaster Recovery platforms. Operational since 2007, teams in both Australia and New Zealand service Enterprise government and corporate clients.
BEarena was acquired by ASI Solutions in Feburary 2020. LEARN MORE HERE