Dräger UK

CASE STUDY

A Brief Introduction

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Dräger is a leading international company in the fields of medical and safety technology. Founded in Germany in 1889, Dräger has grown into a worldwide, DAX-listed enterprise in its fifth generation as a family-run business.

A team of 12,500 staff serve an international client base, through manufacturing plants and customer service centres around the UK, and in Singapore, Australia, the Far East and the US. Dräger UK’s centralised IT services are delivered from Germany, while UK back office systems including production, distribution, and finance are housed at the Northumberland base, and supported by an in-house team of 10.

Will you cope if disaster strikes

The Challenge

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In 2010 Dräger UK embarked on a full review of its IT infrastructure, and appointed ITPS as preferred supplier. The brief was to design a flexible, agile system with the ability to support in-house development, facilitate company growth, strengthen the disaster recovery (DR) framework and deliver a better return on investment.

ITPS Approach

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Deputy IT Manager Andrew Young was brought on board to manage the project. He Worked with ITPS’s team of consultants and engineers to create the project plan and implement a VMware virtualised infrastructure, replicated to one of ITPS’s three Tier 3, ISO27001-certified data centres, and linked via a 100mbps uncontended circuit.

This supports the business by delivering a low cost, high bandwidth data centre-direct connection, which can facilitate offsite failover, replication and backup. The server estate of 20 machines was condensed into an onsite set up of two host servers and a shared NetApp SAN, giving high availability and resilience, and the WAN is designed so customer service teams across the group can all access the same customer information.

Results

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NOW POSSIBLE

The software development team can take a snapshot of any of the databases that support the business, from production to the online shop, and work on it without affecting any live data or systems. A high pressure manufacturing environment means lost production time could be costly, making a robust DR framework essential. After reviewing the options with ITPS, Dräger UK chose a rented model for the off-site DR, removing the need to buy a second server and SAN.

The DR structure is prioritised by area and department, so the business is not paying for 100% cover across all departments at all times. This all formed part of the project planning, along with elements such as regular live server replication and test environments in safe mode, which had previously been impossible. Dräger also has a bank of days that are used for development, fire-fighting or when high level technical expertise is required.

Will you cope if disaster strikes

The ITPS Difference

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The in-house team control server replication location and frequency, with recovery times from 15 minutes upwards. Should the system fail, the virtualised servers housed in the storage environment take over to ensure business as usual, while ITPS analyse and fix the problem.

ITPS has helped us to develop a flexible infrastructure that allows us to increase server capacity quickly and easily, and dual power and dual controllers mean we have no single point of failure, which is crucial to our business. We have complete faith in their problem solving abilities, even when it’s a third party issue.

“ITPS are like part of our team, and we value their attitude, knowledge and expertise,” says Andrew Young. ”They are fast and responsive, and understand our business and how the relationship works between our UK offices and our German head office.

We now have a system that is 1000 times faster than our old one. It is highly scaleable and future proof making us IT-ready as we expand, for instance by adding more customer care centres.

“ITPS was the obvious choice of partner for us. Trust and good customer service are the hallmarks our partnership with them, and they consistently deliver above expectations. ”

Andrew Young

Deputy IT Manager for Dräger UK

Get In Touch

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