Storage Case Study - VMware
- Industry: State and Local Government
- Type: County Agency
- Department: Technology Department
- Location: Jackson County, Wisconsin
- Technical Category: Storage
- IT status: Vast storage requirements
For several years, Wisconsin’s Jackson County had been using Dell’s EqualLogic, an iSCSI-based storage area network (SAN) system, for data storage. With time, as EqualLogic was no longer supported, county IT Director Kenneth D. Lechner worked to find an alternative that was both affordable and had the ability to grow with the organization in the future: “We needed much more storage space and increased speed across our networks.”
The Jackson County Technology Department supports systems for more than 250 employees and more than 80 county-wide and department software programs, as well as installation and maintenance of county servers, workstation computers and peripherals, and county-wide law enforcement system support and maintenance. The IT staff is also responsible for the courthouse/sheriff’s department, along with remote sites at the Forestry and Parks Department, UW Extension Department, animal shelter, Human Services Department, and Highway Department and Shop.
The County was also looking to make their data more secure than ever. “We needed something fairly quickly, to make sure our system was up to date. We also needed a new backup system to meet the additional storage needs and add redundancy.”
Lechner and staff considered different options. They first thought to just upgrade the EqualLogic system but then found out it was no longer a viable solution. “We then did some preliminary research on the VxRail system and contacted Sterling to see if they could find us a solution that best fit our current environment and would allow us to stay current for the next few years.”
In 2020, the Sterling engineering team met with Jackson County staff to discuss their data center refresh in detail. Sterling’s presales team did a thorough data-center assessment to get a better understanding of how Jackson County utilized the current environment. Detailed reporting produced data that included the number of Virtual Machines (VM’s), the purpose of their VM’s, amount of storage used, amount of storage wasted, storage protection type, storage performance, network architecture, physical architecture, and other data to make the best recommendation for Jackson County.
The new specifications included a six-node Dell Technologies VxRail Hyperconverged Infrastructure (HCI), All-Flash Software-Defined Data Center cluster, with redundant 25GbE Dell networking, redundant 1GbE Dell POE+ core switch, redundant Dell R740xd backup repository servers. Sterling also provided a complete rack, battery backup, power, and cabling refresh. Sterling delivered this turnkey solution to the customer offering installation, training, migration, and testing services both onsite and remote.
Says Lechner: “We now have storage for our future growth, we’ve hardened our network, added much more robust backup and network performance. The VMware has provided a manageable, scalable solution. Its redundancy and security give us peace of mind.”