Comtec Presentations Ltd

  • Client: Comtec Presentations Limited
  • Project: Cloud and Virtualisation

Comtec Presentations Limited moves to the cloud to upgrade their systems and combines this with virtualization...

Having a requirement to upgrade their entire IT Platform in one bold move to integrate with their new International client base, but finding the cost hard to budget one accounting period. We presented a variety of ways of going forward while keeping overall costs within a set budget. We demonstrated how moving services to the cloud would be a good way to bring their systems up to date without outlaying a large amount on hardware, software and licensing all in one go.

The main implementation was for Office 365 and Exchange online as well as anti-virus services. Previously their email was held on the internet and pulled down via POP3 and distributed, by an in house Linux server running an email server program, to the internal staff. This in house server died and left them with an out of sync backup system for all their email for a few days. The emails were forwarded to a gmail account on which each individual had a mailbox. The emails were viewed via their web browsers. It caused a lot of disruption and confusion as you can imagine, having over 20 staff to show how to retrieve and send their emails that way rather than using Outlook.

This event was a trigger to finding a way to move forward to ensure reliability and get away from old in house servers running out of date operating systems. Other providers had recommended buying all new hardware at both desktop and the server room which would include the software at a large cost.

CNi Solutions proposed virtualizing the one main server and a redundant backup unit that had to remain in house to run the network on, to new hardware for a relatively small one off cost and then paying an ongoing fee per month to use Office 365 for mid-sized businesses which includes the use of Office 2013 Pro Plus and Exchange online. All other in house servers would then be taken offline.

The emails are all stored in the cloud, as is the configuration of the Exchange set up so there is no worry about servers becoming old and dying or not being backed up. You are always kept up to date as well so you won’t have to buy new software or licensing in a few years’ time. The service is always available as well.

The existing Windows Server was cloned using VMWare Vsphere onto a brand new Dell server including the backup device. Using VMWare allows you to keep the exact same set up but put it on to new hardware. The process can be done overnight with no downtime at all.

The services were migrated one by one over a period of time and at times when the system was not being heavily used so disruption was kept to a minimum. There were no large changes done over a weekend, which can be the more typical route taken by other providers, to then come in on the Monday morning to find nothing works and everything has changed.

Comtec Presentations are a leading “complete” live event production company; with over 30 years experience producing events, spanning the globe. Comtec are best known for their “can do” customer care and their delivery of the highest quality event services. They enhance all aspects of events, of all sizes visually and technically.  Comtec Presentations are specialists in dynamic budget solutions and in maximizing the profile, profitability and productivity of all companies involved at any event. This solution is enhanced by providing 90% of what they deliver all in-house.

Recently producing the TUC congress and launching the Artful submarine. To discover even more visit their website