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Data Center-In-A-Box: MicroAge Replicates Efficiency for Retailer’s Remote Locations

Remote Management for Business Growth

A well-recognized household name, this retail giant incorporates numerous divisions and business lines with offices located across North America. For one of its divisions, MicroAge has been engaged to provide an array of server and networking solutions for a number of years.

Recently, Adam Rankin, MicroAge Solutions Expert, was contacted by the division’s IT manager to develop a compact data center/server solution to connect smaller satellite offices with the main location. Since these satellite locations’ data centers were running on small and antiquated servers, the client wanted a storage/server solution that could be delivered to headquarters, configured in-house and then shipped to remote locations where staff could immediately plug it in and use. Minimal complication and maximum functionality were the engagement’s twin goals.

Adam researched the possibilities to ascertain a solution that best met these objectives. The answer was to specify an IBM BladeCenter® S Chassis, a six-slot blade server with a built-in SAN to accommodate a number of hard drives. With three remote locations each encompassing approximately 100 employees, the solution provided a cost-effective and efficient alternative to the client’s existing model. In fact, each fully redundant, all-in-one unit not only saved on power and administration costs, but also allowed remote management from headquarters.

It was determined that a total of three IBM BladeCenter® S servers were required to manage the client’s data—one for each satellite location. Within each, the SAN component accommodates four terabytes of data while each blade, incorporating Intel® Xeon® Series Quad Core processors, and 32 gigs of RAM. While the company redeployed existing equipment for other uses, the satellite offices’ data centers each underwent a complete IBM ‘forklift upgrade.’

From a results standpoint, the upgrade has provided cost savings in a number of areas; the efficiencies achieved by the solution’s ease of use and remote management have been significant, along with energy savings and increased productivity. As Adam comments, “The solution’s savings have allowed the client to reallocate budget dollars from operating expenses to capital expenditures. It allows the client to consider new projects that will let it build on these efficiencies, as opposed to just maintaining existing capability.” Moving forward, MicroAge will continue to partner with the customer to develop equally innovative solutions to meet both immediate and long-range business objectives.

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Adam Rankin
19 Years Experience
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