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Cluster-in-a-box Case Study

The customer
Mears Carpets are a 200-year-old company suppling carpets, wood laminate and vinyl floor coverings to all major house builders in the North of England. The business is run from a custom-built showroom which opened in June 2000 and Mears Carpets has a reputation for excellence in its market sector. The business currently has an annual turnover exceeding £12m.

The challenge
During our early discussions with String Systems, we outlined a very simple ethos: when our IT systems are offline we lose money. All our previous IT solutions had been built with this in mind, and the outgoing IT infrastructure involved the purchase of two of each key elements to ensure reliability and availability.

Our fundamental requirement was that the new systems must always be on and available.

The solution
String Systems highlighted that one of the major dis-advantages of the previous solutions that Mears Carpets had was although they had two of everything, not only did they have significantly higher purchase and setup costs but in addition to this only half the processing power was being used at any one time.

Fujitsu’s PRIMEFLEX Cluster-in-a-box solution provided a high-availability IT environment within a single chassis that kept expenditure and risk to an absolute minimum. The cluster consists of two PRIMERGY servers, shared storage and appropriate network components in compact housing. Allowing Virtual Servers to move across resources, optimising hardware and being available even in the event of hardware failure.

The Benefits

  • PRIMEFLEX Cluster-in-a-box is a true plug and play solution that can be installed and configured smartly, providing a resilient, reliable and flexible server and storage platform
  • Dual servers and power supplies, and shared resilient disk provide increased availability
  • By removing the need for multiple OS licences, it will save Mears Carpets money
  • It will also reduce energy consumption, leading to lower electricity bills
  • Easily scalable to meet future business needs, by adding virtual servers at no cost

Marc Mears has noted several key advantages to the Cluster-in-a-box approach. Not only did it come in on budget, reducing the burden on the business’s finances, but since its installation it has proven flexible, resilient and high-performing.

“The Fujitsu solution can accommodate all the devices and applications simultaneously with no lag or impact on performance, which means I have less to worry about and can focus on the growth of the business rather

than having hardware issues,” comments Mr. Mears. “It is remarkably robust, since migrating to the PRIMEFLEX Cluster-in-a-box earlier this year we have had no problems to resolve.

I like to keep things simple and PRIMEFLEX Cluster-in-a-box enables me to do that. The virtual machines boot up in seconds, making it easy and fast to make changes on the fly,” concludes Mr. Mears. “I’ve been so impressed

with the elegance and effectiveness of this solution that I’ll certainly bear Fujitsu in mind for future projects and further expansion.” Mears Carpets can now provision servers in any configuration at a cost that is a fraction of the competition. Should the company reach peak, it can easily add more storage or enhance server capacity. PRIMEFLEX Cluster-in-a-box is proving the perfect fit for this ambitious flooring manufacturer.

“PRIMEFLEX Cluster-in-a-box is the ideal size for businesses and allows them to quickly provision new services while minimising downtime. It is a cost-effective, simple solution that meets our needs exactly.”