Supporting Energy Systems Catapult

Hosting, Network, Consultancy | Non-profit

Energy Systems Catapult relocated to new offices and approached Eloquent Technologies to help with the migration and to optimise their network infrastructure

 


The challenge

Energy Systems Catapult were facing a critical situation. They were moving offices to central Birmingham and the new IT team faced several challenges with the legacy IT infrastructure. The solution was only a year old but the VMWare platform was close to failing and there was no adequate backup in place.

The solution

  • Server migration from on-premise to Eloquent Cloud using Zerto

  • Rebuild VMware and commission VMware platform in new office

  • Migration from Eloquent Cloud back to on- premise equipment

  • On-premise Veeam backup

  • Zerto Disaster Recovery solution

  • IT support and consultancy

The benefits

  • VMware platform functions as it should with no errors or downtime and data is secured

  • New 10Gb network provides a better user experience and backup/restore is much faster

  • Eloquent's technical expertise facilitated the success of the project, complementing ES Catapult's internal resources

  • The planned Disaster Recovery solution will improve resilience and built-in failover options to minimise downtime for users


Background

Energy Systems Catapult (Catapult) is a leading technology and innovation centre, set up to help the UK navigate the transformation of our energy system and capture new commercial opportunities. The business is a government-funded project and is a very new initiative, focusing on recarbonisation and the sustainability of electricity, heat and combustible gases. The Energy arm consists of 110 staff, mainly based in Birmingham.

Catapult were introduced to Eloquent Technologies (Eloquent) through a partner company so Catapult decided to meet with them for initial discussions around their IT requirements.

Wind farm

Good planning and consultancy was required

Eloquent proved that they had a very good understanding of Catapult’s immediate needs and identified the critical issues that they faced. After initial investigations, it became clear that the office relocation would be delayed as the current platform needed to be stabilised and data secured before the move. This was a critical milestone of the move and would have caused severe delays if Eloquent had failed. It was also a good opportunity to fully reconfigure their data infrastructure so that everything worked like clockwork in the new offices.

 

Seamless migration

Eloquent first had the task of extracting the data from the VMware platform which had a lot of issues. This required a careful and forensic approach, minimising impact to the end users. Because of the large volume of data, a ‘seeding’ process was required. In September 2016, all of the information was downloaded and transported to one of Eloquent’s data centres and then uploaded to the Eloquent Cloud. A delta sync was then run to synchronise any changes made since the initial seed. After much testing, the cloud hosting solution went live on 29th September 2016.

The on-premise VMware platform was then decommissioned, upgraded, rebuilt and commissioned in the new offices. All the information was replicated from the Eloquent Cloud back to the on-premise platform using Zerto.

It was all successfully switched over by 6th January 2017. Catapult let the staff know the week leading up to the switchover that there would be some downtime. They planned it for a Friday lunchtime, when the business was relatively quiet, and it took less than an hour to migrate the virtual VMware machines back over and reconfigure the firewall.

 


"Support and knowledge has been fantastic"


The project was delivered on time and to budget, thanks to Eloquent’s good communication and meticulous project planning. Since the infrastructure has been fully rebuilt and commissioned by Eloquent, all the staff have noticed a dramatic and welcome increase in speed and stability. 

“The day-to-day contact we had from Eloquent was with Matt Hanley, whose support and knowledge has been fantastic. The objective of reconfiguring the one-year-old system was to ensure that we had the utmost reliability.

"We wouldn’t have been able to deliver this project without Eloquent; their experience and expertise has made sure that our brief was successfully met.”

- Darren Rees, Head of IT at Energy Systems Catapult since April 2016

Excellent results

David Ford, Director at Eloquent Technologies, added,

“Catapult approached us with a complex situation that needed to be very carefully managed, avoiding data loss and disruption to users. Having migrated all the data to the cloud, we were able to reconfigure the servers, providing a reliable and effective IT infrastructure, that is fit for purpose.

We are all relieved to have successfully delivered a complex and risky project, and look forward to completing the work with the DR strategy. We will be happy to support Catapult in any way we can in the future.”

 


"We wouldn't have been able to deliver this project without Eloquent."

- Darren Rees, Head of IT at Energy Systems Catapult


 

Future plans

Energy Systems Catapult will be expanding their on-premise platform's capacity with Eloquent's expert assistance, as well as implementing the planned Disaster Recovery strategy.