Murdock Builders Merchants was originally established in 1982, and today is recognised as one of the leading suppliers of building materials and timber in Ireland. The company has 12 Builders Merchants branches and two timber sites, with exciting plans for continued growth.
As a vital part of this growth, Murdock Builder’s Merchants (Murdock’s) required a robust IT infrastructure which would fully support its business requirements going forward. One of the key issues was that Murdock’s IT services were centralised, but there was limited disaster recovery and business continuity functionality within them. Much of the existing server hardware and operating system platform had reached its end-of-life, and was outside of manufacturer support. Some servers were experiencing serious performance issues, and this was affecting service delivery.
Murdock’s required a reliable IT infrastructure that would ensure business continuity and peace of mind. Essentially, in the event of a failure, it was vital that the IT infrastructure would return to business-as-usual quickly and with minimum disruption. The solution also needed to be highly scalable and capable of supporting Murdock’s business growth strategy. Murdock’s also required a phased approach to solution delivery in order to support budgetary requirements and align to business productivity.
Capita, which has delivered IT services and support to Murdock’s since 2007, was appointed to design and deploy an infrastructure upgrade project with Disaster Recovery (DR) and Business Continuity.
Based on Murdock’s requirements for improved core business functionality and continuity of service throughout all branches, Capita designed a new infrastructure, upgraded and relocated the Disaster Recovery solution, and enhanced the company’s Business Continuity. The infrastructure was designed to support and cultivate Murdock’s current and future growth requirements.
The very latest virtualised server technology was deployed to enable Murdock’s to deploy fewer physical servers and make more efficient use of its server hardware. The virtual platform allows Murdock’s IT staff to manage the server infrastructure from a single console and reduce the time required to provision new servers at no additional costs. It is also now possible to run multiple operating systems and applications on the same computer simultaneously, increasing utilisation and flexibility of the hardware.
A capacity planning exercise was then carried out to determine the servers that could be virtualised. Once completed, a new Storage Area Network (SAN) was implemented to support the deployment of the virtual environment and provide for centralised storage, as well as a single back-up solution for both physical and virtual servers using the latest disk-to-disk-to-tape backup strategy.
Finally the Disaster Recovery was relocated and a solution deployed which replicates the virtual estate, providing enhanced DR/Business Continuity capabilities.
The infrastructure upgrade and streamlining of the technology has achieved an overall improvement in Murdock’s customer service. The project was delivered with minimum impact on the day-to-day running of the business, administrative processes have dramatically improved, and cost savings have already been identified throughout wider business efficiencies.
The improved Disaster Recovery and Business Continuity solution also provides unprecedented peace-of-mind. Murdock’s knows that if an element of its infrastructure does fail, it has the appropriate resilient solution in place to ensure business resumes as quickly as possible.
“As a service-driven operation, we totally value the continuity of service and level of commitment displayed by Capita. The local project delivery team has been consistent since we first started working with them. As a result, we’ve developed an excellent working partnership and know we’re in safe, trusted hands. We also have peace of mind that should an issue occur, the Capita team has inside knowledge and is immediately on hand. This ensures we deliver an efficient, seamless service to our widespread customer base – which remains our number one priority.”
Michael Rooney, Group IT Manager, Murdocks UK