The company has bought virtualisation technology from StoreAge, a partner of software supplier CA. The technology sits within CA’s Brightstore storage-management software and will allow the company to reduce the number of its servers from 160 to about 90 across its production, development and testing environments.
The business has grown from a small to a medium-sized company, increasing its staff from 70 to 450 people in two and a half years.
“When customers started to escalate, we had to decide what we could do internally to keep costs down,” said John Low, head of shared services at the company.
“All too often the answer with storage is to throw more hardware at the problem, but we were not satisfied with that, and the CA StoreAge proposition meant we did not have to take that lazy and expensive approach.” The cost, space and time savings combined with the flexibility made virtualisation a “no brainer,” he said.
Kensington will use the virtualisation software in its planned off-site datacentre. The company currently works with a third party off-site back-up service provider to secure data. Low said that although this provided almost guaranteed recovery capabilities, storage costs had spiralled.
“We are moving towards a dual-site strategy and the virtualisation software makes it easy to transfer data within the storage system, which gives us flexibility,” he said.
Clive Longbottom, analyst at Quorcirca, said any company not looking at virtualised storage environments is missing a trick. “It allows you to increase capacity, optimise investment and utilise existing equipment,” he said.
Longbottom agreed that data-transferring capabilities make virtual environments effective. “You can transfer in a matter of minutes or hours rather than over a day, and it gives you greater business continuity and disaster tolerance.”