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SRK Consulting standardises IT systems

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The local arm of SRK Consulting has successfully upgraded hardware, improved its storage resources, migrated from Novell to Windows server 2003 and is currently migrating from Linux to Microsoft Exchange, all with the assistance of IT services and solutions provider, Datacentrix.

SRK Consulting is a global company, with 678 consulting engineers and scientists in 33 offices in 13 countries on six continents providing a range of consulting services to resource industries such as mining, civils and hydrology. The local concern is made up of around 270 users, across 10 offices with 170 situated at its largest local office, based in Illovo, Johannesburg.
According to Hamilton Macmillan, SRK consulting IT manager, the South African operation was the only company within the global group that was running Novell as an operating system.
“SRK wanted a single look and feel for its entire network globally, so we decided to replace the local office’s servers with new HP kit running Microsoft 2003.
"On the storage side, SRK needs to store an enormous amount of data based on the type of work in which it is involved, dealing with very large files such as Geographic Information Systems (GIS) information, drawings and layouts. Previously, we archived data to tape after a certain period but found that we often had to retrieve it when projects were revived, causing issues not only around the amount of time spent recovering data but also around the disk space required when information was reinstated on the system," he explains.
"Since the implementation of the HP Enterprise Virtual Array (EVA) 4000 by Datacentrix, all information is stored on the servers and can be accessed and used as needed."
At the Johannesburg office, SRK initially opted for a full HP storage area network (SAN) with 4TB of disk space, and 1TB at each of its Pretoria, Port Elizabeth, Cape Town, East London, Durban and Pietermaritzburg offices, which has been increased to 6TB at Illovo and 2TB at Durban, Port Elizabeth, and Pretoria offices respectively since the original implementation.
The company is currently migrating to Microsoft Exchange, starting with an Illovo office server and a server at a co-location site. SRK is also planning to roll out Microsoft SharePoint with Datacentrix early next year at its local office, as part of a global rollout.
Says Macmillan: "Datacentrix was recommended as a technology partner by HP when we issued our tender for HP equipment. We selected Datacentrix to assist us from the shortlist of recommended partners due to its national footprint, wealth of experience, the size of organization, links with HP and industry recommendations.
"We are happy to continue working with Datacentrix for our planned projects for 2008 as we have developed a very good relationship with the company – it has become a one-stop shop for SRK, with our Datacentrix contacts providing us with good advice and proven reliability."
Sebastian Jochelson, account manager at Datacentrix, says: "Datacentrix’ high level of skill with the range of HP equipment was key to us securing SRK’s ongoing business. Our HP-focused approach to market and heavy skills investment over the past few years has enabled us to enjoy continued success in growing our local customer base as HP’s largest and only value partner locally as well as a Preferred Partner with a direct contract with HP across their entire range of hardware products."