Marine Stewardship Council

Marine Stewardship Council - Virtualisation Project

The Company

Marine Stewardship Council (MSC): A global organisation working with fisheries, seafood companies, scientists, conservation groups and the public to promote awareness and better environmental choices within the seafood industry worldwide.

The Problem

The primary problem that the MSC were facing was one of space, specifically in their server room. The lack of space meant that the large amount of IT equipment stored in the server room was experiencing heat problems, and even two portable air conditioning units were not sufficiently cooling the area. The MSC were also concerned that they didn’t have a sufficient disaster recovery solution in place to safeguard the organisations digital information. 

The MSC contacted Morcan for advice on a method of reducing the hardware mass, whilst reducing power and air conditioning requirements, and implementing a cost-effective disaster recovery solution.

The Solution

The Morcan team spent some time reviewing MSC's requirements from their IT systems, and devised a solution designed to create more space, and help with on-going running costs.

The suggestions included:

  • Virtualise all servers using VMware;
  • Use an iSCSI SAN for centralised, resilient and fast storage that all hypervisors could access simultaneously;
  • Upgrade (add memory, processors and extend manufacturer hardware warranties) and re-task 4 existing higher-powered servers;
  • Configure two hypervisors for Head Office (connected to the iSCSI SAN) to manage and run all storage for the virtual infrastructure;
  • Configure two hypervisors for the remote datacentre (hosted) to enable a full offsite disaster recovery solution;
  • Use Veeam Backup & Replication for backing up the virtual machines both to a local store (for fast restores) and replicating to the DR site.

The Results

The MSC decided to go ahead with Morcan's suggestions, and the changes were implemented into the system by Morcan's support team.

The results have met the demands of the team, and certainly helped with the issues that the MSC were facing.

To combat the space issue, Morcan removed some of the hardware to a hosted datacentre, where it is stored securely online and managed off-site. This helped buy back a huge amount of space for MSC and allowed greater peace of mind, as all Morcan datacentres guarantee optimal 'up-time' so customers can be sure that their servers will be secure and well maintained. It also reduced air conditioning requirements.

Morcan's team were able to reuse much of MSC's original hardware, simply updating it with added RAM and warranties, as opposed to factoring in completely new systems. This helped the organisation reduce their hardware procurement costs, saving a significant sum.

Additionally both the existing technology and the new elements that were introduced are being monitored by Morcan's support team, and as such are subject to on-going upgrades and renewals to make sure that the entire system is always running at optimal level. This ensures that MSC are always optimising the technology that they have, and are getting the very best value for money.

The addition of the Disaster Recover system ensures that should disaster strike, the MSC can rest assured that all of their company files, emails and saved documents are safe and secure at the hosted data centre and can be accessible at a moment’s notice. For such a busy organisation this is a hugely important element and the solution as a whole has helped MSC keep one step ahead.