Hephzibah is about transforming lives. Hephzibah brings, on a daily basis, a deep passion for creating an environment where children can grow into beautiful, strong, caring members of society. Hephzibah offers short and long-term group homes for children traumatized by neglect and abuse, child welfare, family services, foster care, adoption programs, and award-winning daycare on a sliding scale for families of all income levels.
Hephzibah’s Children’s Home was experiencing slow response time when attempting to access critical applications and data resulting in a significant decrease in employee productivity. They had IT resources located at each of their two locations both joined by 20Mb fiber connections. Each site had VMware server hosts providing services such as Domain Controlling, Email services, and file/application services. Due to the nature of their work Hephzibah also required 99.9% high availability uptime of their datacenter for their 24/7 operations. The two sites had been in place for years and the IT systems installed at each site were unique to the needs of that particular site staff. Collapsing to a single site would reduce cost but increase the initial complexity of the project. At the same time maintaining some site equipment at the secondary site is necessary to maintain core domain login and printing functions in the event of a loss of connectivity between sites. We then had to work out a method of accomplishing this major overhaul while minimizing business interruptions for a company that works well beyond the normal business hours.
Systech analyzed the situation and concluded that not only were the existing server hosts in need of replacement but the performance could be increased dramatically by installing a SAN device and collapsing resources down to one main site. In doing so, we created a private cloud to deliver services to the secondary site. This solution would address the ongoing poor network response issues. While at the same time consolidating resources and reducing long-term costs in the process.The results achieved not only provided the network response times, increased functionality, and the agility Hephzibah required – but has also positioned Hephzibah for scalable growth. The long-term costs for support will be reduced as the complexity and device count was significantly reduced after this implementation. The costs of the Hewlett-Packard hosts and Storage Area Network devices can be spread over a 5-year life cycle as HPE will provide warranty support for these devices for at least five years. Being that the complexity was greatly reduced the next upgrade cycle will require less labor and should prove far less costly. Hephzibah is also well prepared to take advantage of emerging cloud technologies which will mesh with their private cloud. This will provide additional choices beneficial to Hephzibah’s future. The next project slated is to eliminate Hephzibah’s on-premises Exchange server by migrating to Office 365. This will further reduce the onsite support needs, management needs, hardware requirements, and reduce long-term costs.
Now, Hephzibah’s two locations are joined together to create a seamless, painless experience for their employees and volunteers.
With the virtual infrastructure in place Hephzibah will save costs during the next upgrade cycle since the hardware can be replaced and the virtual machines migrated over to the new hardware.
Now that Hephzibah has the infrastructure in place, they are no longer dependent on a single site and have the ability to migrate their running virtual machines to a standby host at a different location.