The city of Amersfoort in the Netherlands recently implemented a high performance IT infrastructure based on Dell PowerEdge 1855 blade servers and a Dell / EMC storage area network (SAN).

According to Dell, the blade servers have given the City of Amersfoort optimal performance and high-density computing and, along with the SAN, have helped to simplify business operations with improved utilisation of the IT infrastructure.

The problem

Performance across the whole IT infrastructure had to be optimal for the City of Amersfoort to satisfy the demand for online services. More and more people were accessing the local authority’s Web site for information services and new government guidelines made it necessary to store data for longer periods of time. In addition, the organisation needed to review its existing server hardware and data storage systems to ensure the IT infrastructure remained cost-efficient and delivered advanced performance.

Heimen Huisman, head of IT, the City of Amersfoort, says: “It was clear that the Dell team understood our specific business needs and our objectives in developing the legacy systems. Using Dell PowerEdge servers, we are gaining optimal performance across the whole server environment. Also, as computing models continue to evolve, it’s vital that we deploy standards-based technology so we can address IT challenges in the future.”

Consultation

During an initial meeting, Dell Services advised Huisman to improve server performance by creating a more consolidated computing environment, based on Dell PowerEdge 1855 blade servers. Working with a consultant from EMC, Dell Services also recommended a SAN solution consisting of the existing EMC Symmetrix system and Dell / EMC Dual SANs. The objective was to test the advanced scalability and ease-of-use from a Dell / EMC SAN solution before possibly deploying Dell / EMC CX500 SAN technology in the future.
Huisman says: “I had read a lot about Dell PowerEdge 1855 blade servers and I’d identified their advantages in terms of performance, high-density computing and scalability. Dell gave us the added confidence of installing the solutions ourselves because we had a single point of contact throughout the whole project. In addition, the pre-tested and certified technology combinations of Dell and Oracle solutions further simplified deployment processes.”

Deployment

With the support of Dell Services, Huisman and his IT team then deployed a demo module in-house that included Dell PowerEdge 1855 blade servers complete with chassis, to see the benefits for themselves. After the test phase was successful, the local authority placed an order for 80 servers and two Dell | EMC SANs.

According to Dell, the new environment is delivering a more consolidated computing infrastructure-increasing cost-effectiveness across the network. Within the Citrix environment, there is now more server capacity with half the number of central processing units (CPUs).

The Dell server environment, which includes clustering and network load balancing, is now delivering critical operating systems and applications from Citrix, Microsoft and Oracle across the whole IT infrastructure.

Huisman said: “We were impressed by Dell’s build-to-order capability which ensured that we gained the latest technology with advantageous pricing-a key consideration for any public sector organisation.”

Dell PowerEdge servers are providing advanced manageability though the Dell OpenManage Suite, which simplifies operations by consolidating both hardware and software management functions into a single user interface.

Huisman again: “The diversity of Dell’s portfolio means that it can provide complete, enterprise-class IT infrastructures, plus the after-sales support to give peace-of-mind.”

The City of Amersfoort has also implemented Dell Latitude D505 notebooks and Dell Dimension 8400 desktops. The local authority also receives the Dell Business Support and Dell Gold Enterprise Support services offerings which give 24x7 rapid access to Dell technicians.